In researching a subject in history of Chongqing, I came across various English translations of the name of a building, "白公馆" in Chinese, e.g. "Bai Mansion", "Baigong Guan", "Baigongguan", "White Residence", "White House".[note] The interesting part is the translation of "白". Should it be phonetically "Bai" or semantically "White"? The answer is, It depends on the origin of the name. According to Baidu, this building was named after its owner Bai Ju (surname Bai). So the correct translation must be phonetic. "Bai Mansion" may be the best, although "Baigongguan" serves well as the name of a place. I don't suppose Mr. Bai, the owner, called it "白公馆" with intention of using a pun. But if he had done so, our translation would be impossible, or you pick one you like.
This reminds me of the translation of "Rice University", a reputable college in Texas. In the late 1980's, people in China referred to it as either "莱斯大学" or "稻米大学". But since the school was named after a person, as was known to all later, only the translation "莱斯大学" survived.
[note] If you need to see who uses which term, use these keywords to search on Google (quotation marks matter; example for "Bai Mansion"):
"白公馆" "重庆" "bai mansion"
chongqing "bai mansion"
chungking "bai mansion"