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Re: Draft for review: Personal names around the world

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2011 07:09:12 +0100
Message-ID: <4E607308.7040303@w3.org>
To: "Kang-Hao (Kenny) Lu" <kennyluck@csail.mit.edu>
CC: WWW International <www-international@w3.org>, John Hax <johnhax@gmail.com>, Ambrose LI <ambrose.li@gmail.com>, Zi Bin Cheah <zibin@opera.com>, Yuan Chao <yuanchao@gmail.com>
Hi Kenny,

Thanks for sending this additional information. I'm happy to hear that 
it led to some interesting discussions in the Chinese IG.

The article is not intended to specify all the ways in which names are 
used in a particular part of the world, and in the section 'Examples of 
differences' the intent is only to use some examples to show just some 
of the kinds of differences that can occur. There is a lot left out for 
each of the cultures mentioned.  For that reason, although your comments 
below provide interesting additional points, I am not inclined to make 
changes to the document itself.

I could add this to the associated wiki page, if you like, although 
subsequent emails in this  thread indicate that you may want to change 
parts of it first (?).

I add a couple more notes below for things not picked up later in the 

On 27/08/2011 21:34, Kang-Hao (Kenny) Lu wrote:
> Hello Richard,
> Sorry for the late response but several folks from the HTML5 Chinese IG
> gave the following comments about the article:
> == Hax ==
> * Automatic name parsing is error-prone even for Chinese names. For
> example, "欧阳锋" could be a name with "欧" or "欧阳" as the family name.
> * The article doesn't mention that a few people, especially Japanese,
> uppercase their family names and place it in front. Ambrose pointed out
> that this practice has a French origin.
> == Ambrose ==
> * In Hong Kong, my name would be written as Kenny LU Kang-Hao. This is
> because the first two words makes an English name in the right order and
> the last two words also makes a Chinese name in the Chinese order. The
> causes problems when people immigrate.
> * In America, people use
> 1. Kenny Kang-Hao Lu / Kang-Hao Kenny Lu (the last name is always the
> last, and in an official document this indicates "Kenny" as formal)
> 2. Kang-Hao (Kenny) Lu (this emphasizes that "Kenny" is informal)
> (My comment: the example "Fred Yao Ming" in the document is probably
> inaccurate. It should be "Ming Fred Yao" or "Ming (Fred) Yao" although I
> am not sure about this.)

Note that Fred Yao Ming is equivalent to your Hong Kong usage of Kenny 
LU Kang-Hao.

> == Zi Bin ==
> * There is no standard for the separator of the second and third
> ideographs of a Chinese name. All the following are in use:
> Zi  Yi  Zhang
> ZiYi Zhang
> Zi-Yi Zhang
> == Kenny (me) ==
> * Perhap there should a section about romanizatation and mention that
> there are two orderings for romanized names: "Mao Zedong" or "Zedong
> Mao" for "毛泽东". You might want to mention the practice of uppercasing
> family name here as well.
> * In general, I think mentioning generational name in the "Different
> order of parts" section is a bit complex and unnecessary. As you
> mentioned, not everyone has a generational name these days and even if "
> 毛泽东" has a generational part, I still expect the given name of "毛泽
> 东" to be "泽东", not "东" (or at least in a database that has a "given
> name" field, this is more likely to be "泽东" for reasons you mentioned
> later in the same section). This also matches what is described in
> Wikipedia[1], although we might be wrong in some definition of "given name".
> Anyway, my point is that I haven't seen any system, in Chinese or in
> English, that asks for or makes use of generational names, and hence it
> might be easier for the reader to just learn "毛泽东" as the family name
> "毛" + the given name "泽东".  The mention of "generational name" could
> be moved into the wiki for cultural interest.

The generational name is introduced in the context of describing the 
anatomy of Mao Tse Tung's name, but it does say later that "those who do 
have one expect it to be used together with their given name. Thus, if 
you are on familiar terms with someone called 毛泽东, you would normally 
refer to them using 泽东 (Ze Dong), not just 东 (Dong).", which I think 
actually covers your point.

> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_name#Family_names
> * It is not 100% accurate to say that Chinese names are not separated by
> spaces. For example, [2] has several examples for Chinese and Japanese
> names:
> 呂 康豪
> 清水 昇
> 加藤 文彦
> I don't have a figure on how common this practice is. Perhaps the
> sentence could be modified into "Note also that the names are
> <ins>normally</ins>  not separated by spaces."
> [2] http://s-web.sfc.keio.ac.jp/conference2011/
> Thanks for this nice article. It stirred interesting discussion in the
> Chinese IG.


> Cheers,
> Kenny

Richard Ishida
Internationalization Activity Lead
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)


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