The first character:
佳 [jiā] good, beautifulThe left part in this character is supposed to give you the meaning. Unfortunatley it would be rather hard to guess. I would never guess the meaning from this clue. Add to that that there are numerous character with this part with a whole range of meanings. Basically it becomes a very useless clue to remember the meaning. The right part is supposed to give you the pronunciation of the character. This configuration is pretty common, but it rarely gives you more than a qualified guess, and never the necessary tone of the character. For a dialect I suppose it should have even less use.
From 亻(人 rén) 'person' and 圭 guī phonetic.
Some examples with 佳:
佳话 jiāhuà n. charming/much-told taleOn to my second character:
最佳 zuìjiā adj. ①〈phy.〉 optimum ②〈wr.〉 best; first-rate
报佳音 bào jiāyīn vo. carol
才子佳人 cáizǐ-jiārén np. gifted scholars and beautiful ladies (in Ch. romances)
宝 [bǎo] treasureEverybody knows the character for jade 玉 and put under a roof it makes some sort of sense. This is a good one! Wish more characters were like that.
From 宀 (mián) 'roof' over 玉 (yù) 'jade'. Treasure stored in a house.
The full traditional form 寶 also contains 缶 (fǒu) 'jar' and 貝 (bèi) 'money'.
Some examples using 宝:
宝贝 bǎobèi n. ①treasured object; treasure ②darling; baby ③cowry ④good-for-nothing; odd character ◆v. treasure ◆adj. treasured(I've used the Wenlin software for the translations)
宝贵 bǎoguì adj. valuable; precious ◆v. value; set store by
宝剑 bǎojiàn n. precious sword
宝石 bǎoshí* n. precious stone; gem
When Chinese people hear it they usually think it is pretty funny. Usually they make a reference to 温家宝 WēnJiāBǎo, the Chinese Premier, since without his surname his name is pronounced the same as mine.
I think my name is sounds gullible and super-sweet. Perhaps a nickname for a baby or something. I believe it will be recognised as being a name of a foreigner. Since I'm a foreigner and only use it as a nickname, that's alright with me.
And... then there is a company with my name. Using the same characters too. The JiaBao candy and dried fruit company! Here you can see their mango product! In stores all over China.
Why 'Jiaboa' then? It is derived from how Chinese would translate my nickname 'Garbo'.
I'm thinking of changing the character to 家宝, meaning 'family treasure'. Since I'm the only son and having five sisters, I think that name could be quite suitable. Especially from a Chinese point of view. Don't you agree my dear (less valuable) sisters? Grin ;)