I went to an international art university and have now moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and have a job that forces me to interact with people on a first and last name basis.
At my college and in the Bay Area are many, many, many non-American born Asian people who either do not speak English well or are in the process of learning English. I noticed that many of them choose an American name to go by.
My college roommate who was an ESL tutor in college also told me how common a practice this was among her students, almost all of whom were Asian. She would always ask them their name and when they'd say a name that was obviously NOT their name she would ask them, "Well...what does your mom call you?" And they would say Wen, Ming, Joo-Eun, Hyun-Ki, you get the idea.
I noticed that nearly all of them choose a name that would be considered very "ordinary" but is also pretty uncommon or at least uncommon for their age (late teens/early 20s) such as Beverly, Francine, George, Bruce, Margaret, Henry, Stewart, etc.
My question is, has anyone else noticed this? Why do you suppose they choose these names; where do they get them from?