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Old 11-03-2008, 07:56 PM
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Explain to me (Asian) Indian names

The people of Indian descent that I have known here in the United States have had what a Westerner would consider fairly "normal" names - by which I mean "First-name Surname", such as "Risha Shah". It never occurred to me to wonder if they might have been anglicized.

Several years ago, my company opened branches in Gurgaon and Chennai, and in that time the people working there have become a larger and larger proportion of the associates in my department. The names that many of them are listed under have become bewildering to me.

For instance, take "James Prokhabar C" and "C Danuoosh", both of whom work in the same position under me out of, IIRC, Gurgaon. (Those are not their real names, but a close approximation.) Is C a first name or a surname? Can it be both, and their names are both in the typical Western order (or both reversed)?

Is C actually the full name, for that matter, or is it just an initial? Is "James Prokhabar" a first name and middle name, or is the surname "Prokhabar C"?

Last edited by Risha; 11-03-2008 at 07:59 PM.
Old 11-03-2008, 08:11 PM
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One of my exes is Bihari; he tried to explain Indian names to me, but it's complicated by the fact there's like 200 languages in India and numerous cultures, all of which have different naming traditions.

According to him, South Indians have really long names that they usually abbreviate. I don't know if this is just for business or if they do so in personal life, too. They also don't seem to have quite the same concept of 'middle names' and 'surnames' as we do -- my ex's father had three names, but my ex used the second of those names as his surname (sort of like if your father was John David Thompson, and you went by James Stuart David).
Old 11-03-2008, 08:36 PM
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According to him, South Indians have really long names that they usually abbreviate. I don't know if this is just for business or if they do so in personal life, too.
I've known a couple of fellows with such names personally (fellow grad students), and they both go by their first syllable in informal contexts.
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Mississippienne View Post
According to him, South Indians have really long names that they usually abbreviate.
Oh, yeah, I'm familiar with those. I'd never dare to try to spell one here without an actual example, but they often have 15 to 20 letters. I've also never dared try to say one of those out loud.

It never occurred to me that they might be the one letter people.
Old 11-03-2008, 08:49 PM
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What the others say is true; South Indian names usually are long. My legal name is S. Indian and long; though I am not, my parents liked the name. I go by a shortened version of it. To be truthful, I don't like when outsiders (read: non-Indians) say my full name, they can never say it exactly right and all too often butcher it completely and try. It only irritates me when they say names like "Wawryziniec" just fine and then think mine is weird.

North Indian names are normally a little shorter. Names like Rajesh, Anand, Ajay, Dheeraj, Pratik, Anita, Seema, Nisha, these are the names I am more familiar with.

Oh, and our names are in the same order, as far as I know - person's name then family name. Perhaps some sects in India have it differently though.
Old 11-03-2008, 08:49 PM
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I posted this same question a while back.
Old 11-03-2008, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Anaamika View Post
My legal name is S. Indian and long; though I am not, my parents liked the name. I go by a shortened version of it.
Heh! Is this sort of like Italians giving their child a very Scandinavian first name, like Ingrid? I wonder if other Indians are ever a little perplexed when they meet you.

My ex's name was Rakesh, and his brother was Ramesh (no, they are not twins!).
Old 11-03-2008, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
I've known a couple of fellows with such names personally (fellow grad students), and they both go by their first syllable in informal contexts.
My experience here with co-workers has generally been first two syllables (out of 4). e.g. "Dara" for "Darashana", and "Charu" for "Charukesi" -- though I never heard anyone abbreviate "Arunima". (All of these folks have 4 syllable last names too).
Old 11-04-2008, 04:28 AM
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My family is from South India. The traditional naming convention in our community for males is:

[Caste Designation or Community Name] [Family Name] [Given Name]

The result of this is that people using this naming convention (who belong to the same community or caste) will have the same first name and different last names.

However, for reasons which I have not been able to determine, some families in the community traditionally used the following convention:

[Family Name] [Given Name] [Caste Designation or Community Name]

Large numbers of our community have immigrated to the US. For their first generation children, some of them have chose the following naming convention:

[Given Name] [Caste Designation or Community Name] [Family Name] [Father's Given Name]

This approximates the US convention of having the given name first, and keeps the child's last name the same as the father's last name (because the father's given name is his last name).

Other members of our community have chosen the following naming conventions for the first generation children:

[Given Name] [Caste Designation or Community Name] [Family Name]

or

[Given Name] [Family Name] [Caste Designation or Community Name]

This follows the US naming convention, but has the effect of the first generation child having a different last name than the father. Subsequent generations wouldn't have this problem, however. (I'm named according to the latter convention)

For women, this is a bit trickier. From what I can tell, many women traditionally only had their given name. However, these were the traditional naming conventions used for women in our community:

[Given Name] [Father's Given Name]

or (but I've rarely seen this):

[Given Name] [Family Name]

After marriage, the wife would use the following convention:

[Given Name] [Husband's Given Name]

or possibly:

[Given Name] [Husband's Family Name] [Husband's Given Name]

and I've seen this one for women:

[Given Name] [Wife's Family Name] [Husband's Given Name]

and this one too:

[Given Name] [Wife's Family Name] [Husband's Family Name] [Husband's Given Name]

But all the older married women I've seen always have their Husband's Given Name as their last name.

And I've never seen a woman in our community use the traditional naming conventions for males (which I described above). However, the first generation naming conventions which I listed above for the children of immigrants is being used for females as well as males.

And if that's not complicated enough:

Members of our community who are still in India are beginning to adopt the naming convention which the US immigrants have adopted.

These naming conventions are for our community. Different communities will have different conventions, however I think something close to this is fairly widespread in South India.

As for the initials, it's common to initialize the first two names when using the traditional naming convention for males. It's also common to initialize lengthy names as stated above.

Last edited by BrightNShiny; 11-04-2008 at 04:30 AM.
Old 11-04-2008, 04:42 AM
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I worked with a guy called JK.

This was short for Jaikrishnan.

But Jaikrishnan itself is short for Ramalamadingdongkrishnattamalahalla or something like that. He told me basically I would never be able to pronounce it, so don't bother even trying.
Old 11-04-2008, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by BrightNShiny View Post
My family is from South India. The traditional naming convention in our community for males is:

[Caste Designation or Community Name] [Family Name] [Given Name]

The result of this is that people using this naming convention (who belong to the same community or caste) will have the same first name and different last names.

However, for reasons which I have not been able to determine, some families in the community traditionally used the following convention:

[Family Name] [Given Name] [Caste Designation or Community Name]

Large numbers of our community have immigrated to the US. For their first generation children, some of them have chose the following naming convention:

[Given Name] [Caste Designation or Community Name] [Family Name] [Father's Given Name]

This approximates the US convention of having the given name first, and keeps the child's last name the same as the father's last name (because the father's given name is his last name).

Other members of our community have chosen the following naming conventions for the first generation children:

[Given Name] [Caste Designation or Community Name] [Family Name]

or

[Given Name] [Family Name] [Caste Designation or Community Name]

This follows the US naming convention, but has the effect of the first generation child having a different last name than the father. Subsequent generations wouldn't have this problem, however. (I'm named according to the latter convention)

For women, this is a bit trickier. From what I can tell, many women traditionally only had their given name. However, these were the traditional naming conventions used for women in our community:

[Given Name] [Father's Given Name]

or (but I've rarely seen this):

[Given Name] [Family Name]

After marriage, the wife would use the following convention:

[Given Name] [Husband's Given Name]

or possibly:

[Given Name] [Husband's Family Name] [Husband's Given Name]

and I've seen this one for women:

[Given Name] [Wife's Family Name] [Husband's Given Name]

and this one too:

[Given Name] [Wife's Family Name] [Husband's Family Name] [Husband's Given Name]

But all the older married women I've seen always have their Husband's Given Name as their last name.

And I've never seen a woman in our community use the traditional naming conventions for males (which I described above). However, the first generation naming conventions which I listed above for the children of immigrants is being used for females as well as males.

And if that's not complicated enough:

Members of our community who are still in India are beginning to adopt the naming convention which the US immigrants have adopted.

These naming conventions are for our community. Different communities will have different conventions, however I think something close to this is fairly widespread in South India.

As for the initials, it's common to initialize the first two names when using the traditional naming convention for males. It's also common to initialize lengthy names as stated above.
TTRHA*

*Tried To Read, Head Asploded
Old 11-04-2008, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Mississippienne View Post
One of my exes is Bihari; he tried to explain Indian names to me, but it's complicated by the fact there's like 200 languages in India and numerous cultures, all of which have different naming traditions.

According to him, South Indians have really long names that they usually abbreviate. I don't know if this is just for business or if they do so in personal life, too. They also don't seem to have quite the same concept of 'middle names' and 'surnames' as we do -- my ex's father had three names, but my ex used the second of those names as his surname (sort of like if your father was John David Thompson, and you went by James Stuart David).
Finally, something I am unquestionably qualified to answer!

Traditionally, south Indian names have three parts - the name of your ancestral town or village, your father's name, and a given name. What confuses people who are not familiar with this scheme is that the given name is last on the list. To take an example, I have a cousin whose name is (changed to protect the innocent) K.R. Rajeev.

K is the first letter of his father's village, R is the first letter of his father's given name, and his own given name is Rajeev, although most people call him Raju.

A lot of people in south India still have names that follow this pattern, which in some ways is very convenient, because it's a sort of potted family history. Increasingly, however, people of my generation (and even my parents' generation) have adopted the firstname lastname convention. Quite frankly, it's a lot easier than being called Doddaballapur Mahabalarao Jaithirthrao.
Old 11-04-2008, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Dervorin View Post
Finally, something I am unquestionably qualified to answer!

Traditionally, south Indian names have three parts - the name of your ancestral town or village, your father's name, and a given name.
Nope. As I stated above, in our community, the father's given name is not used for male children's names. While the naming convention you depict is certainly widely in use, it's not by any means universal in South India.

Secondly, while it is common to have the ancestral town or village as the first name, you will often find a caste signifier as the first name instead. Although I have seen the caste signifier placed at the end as well.
Old 11-04-2008, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Princhester View Post
TTRHA*

*Tried To Read, Head Asploded
If you repost the entire thing, it ain't gonna get an easier to read. :P
Old 11-04-2008, 06:37 AM
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True dat.
Old 11-04-2008, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Dervorin View Post
Finally, something I am unquestionably qualified to answer!
K is the first letter of his father's village, R is the first letter of his father's given name, and his own given name is Rajeev, although most people call him Raju.
Agree! In my case though, my parents kindly spared me the whole mess and named me a simple Firstname-Middlename-Lastname combo. Which makes everyone who meets me think that I was adopted.

Although Japanese find this waay too complex to grok, so I just go with my first name, and lie that my middle name is my family name. (It spares me the exact discussion in the OP)

Last edited by chromaticity; 11-04-2008 at 08:03 AM. Reason: Added more info
Old 11-04-2008, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by BrightNShiny View Post
<very long and complicated explanation about his specific community, one of many, which can have their own schemes>
In other words, I should give up trying to make any sort of assumption, and ask each person what they wish to be called.

Last edited by Risha; 11-04-2008 at 08:55 AM.
Old 11-04-2008, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Mississippienne View Post
Heh! Is this sort of like Italians giving their child a very Scandinavian first name, like Ingrid? I wonder if other Indians are ever a little perplexed when they meet you.

My ex's name was Rakesh, and his brother was Ramesh (no, they are not twins!).
Other Indians are often perplexed when they meet me, yes, and have only heard my name. I look Punjabi which is far northern. It amuses me. :-)

But get this one. My ex, who was South Indian, was named Joel. Hee.
Old 11-04-2008, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Risha View Post
Oh, yeah, I'm familiar with those. I'd never dare to try to spell one here without an actual example, but they often have 15 to 20 letters. I've also never dared try to say one of those out loud.
I worked with a guy once whose last name was Thiruvenagadaswamy. Since I had to write his name and introduce him once, I learned how to say and spell it. Took some practice.

He just went by "Ragu," his first name, most of the time. And my understanding is that that was a shortening of his real first name.
Old 11-04-2008, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by BrightNShiny View Post
Other members of our community have chosen the following naming conventions for the first generation children:

[Given Name] [Caste Designation or Community Name] [Family Name]

or

[Given Name] [Family Name] [Caste Designation or Community Name]
Two anecdotes -- two male Indian friends of mine have told me that their "middle names" are intended to carry on in perpetuity (assuming an unbroken male lineage; and assuming a continuation of the naming tradition). Their "middle names" are the same as their fathers', grandfathers', great-grandfathers', etc.

Neither of these two friends are Southern Indian. One is Punjabi-speaking Sikh from Amritsar (middle name: Singh), the other is a Marathi-speaking Hindu from Mumbai (middle name: Sadashiv).

Since these "middle names" continue on through the generations, might Singh and Sadashiv actually be caste or community designations?
Old 11-04-2008, 11:20 AM
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Traditionally, all male Sikhs are named "Singh". Sadashiv isn't a caste name, it's an aspect/epithet of the Hindu god Shiva.
Old 11-04-2008, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Risha View Post
In other words, I should give up trying to make any sort of assumption, and ask each person what they wish to be called.
That would, I think, be by far the best approach.
Old 11-04-2008, 12:39 PM
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The best Indian name I've seen belonged to a guy whose ethnic group (which I don't know) had no last names so his grandfather chose his occupation as his last name. Burzin Engineer is just about the coolest name ever.
Old 11-04-2008, 01:29 PM
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Oh, yeah, I'm familiar with those. I'd never dare to try to spell one here without an actual example, but they often have 15 to 20 letters.
Perhaps the most famous example would be the great theoretical astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, known to almost everybody as just Chandra.
Old 11-04-2008, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Anaamika View Post
It only irritates me when they say names like "Wawryziniec" just fine and then think mine is weird.
Trust me as someone with a Polish last name, 99% of people in the US aren't gonna pronounce Wawrzyniec (one 'i') correctly. They can't even pronounce my name correctly, and it's one of the few Polish last names that's also* completely phonetic in English!



* "also" because Polish names are basically phonetic if you know how to pronounce Polish. Understandable if you don't, but man I get sick of, "why isn't it spelled how it's pronounced??????" questions.
Old 11-04-2008, 02:33 PM
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My apologies, zweisamkeit.
People don't even try. I can't count the number of people who have looked at my name, and then just call me by my last name, which is easier. But I know my first name isn't hard, because sometimes, white poeple DO try it and they usually do a darn good job. Just sound it out!

Ugh, I sound like everybody in the world who bitches about their name.

Last edited by Anaamika; 11-04-2008 at 02:35 PM.
Old 11-04-2008, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Anaamika View Post
My apologies, zweisamkeit.
People don't even try. I can't count the number of people who have looked at my name, and then just call me by my last name, which is easier. But I know my first name isn't hard, because sometimes, white poeple DO try it and they usually do a darn good job. Just sound it out!

Ugh, I sound like everybody in the world who bitches about their name.
No worries.

I have to admit I felt like shit when I read your post, because you say you hate when non-Indians use your first name. I'm always afraid I'll mispronounce something and sound like a dumbass, but I'd like to at least do my best. And now I feel like a jackass because I might be annoying people.
Old 11-04-2008, 03:05 PM
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I did say, I don't like it and not that I hate it! But I don't hate when people just look at my name and try it. This is OK:

"Hello, Anaamika. I hope I pronounced that right."
"Hey! You did right (or) This is how it sounds. But you can call me Mika. I like that better."

What I don't like is, after that conversation, or when I've introduced myself as 'Mika', people sometimes will call me Anaamika for shits and giggles apparently. Don't do that! Why would you do that? You know what I like to be called, I done went and told you!

Disclaimer: My real name is not Anaamika. But it serves as a darn good example, doesn't it?
Old 11-04-2008, 03:19 PM
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This thread explains a lot to me regarding my Indian coworkers inability to explain naming convention to westerners.
My direct supervisor goes by the shortened version of longer name that is used on formal work documents. Her last name on common paperwork is also a shortened version of a longer name on formal documents.

My office mate's husband works for the same company at a different site. Due to a snafu with imigration, they mixed up her husband's family name and given name, and now her "last" name is her husband's given name, which is rather long. It's fun to hear the front desk guards attempt to page her. (I feel for them - we've got a lot of foreign nationals here) Her husband goes by either a shortened version of the "last" name, or by the letter V. (which does not appear anywhere in the "last" name and is, I believe, the first initial of his first name as it appears on American paperwork.

Another supervisor goes by two letters and a "last" name. I don't know if that's a family name or a given name or a location. The name on his paperwork is an unpronouncable-by-westerners name starting with the first letter that he goes by, and the usual last name.

So the only general rule I can claim is to call people what they wish to be called, and if in doubt, ask. And do not try to make sense of any of it.
Old 11-04-2008, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Risha View Post
In other words, I should give up trying to make any sort of assumption, and ask each person what they wish to be called.
Yeah, that's probably for the best. For a good number of South Indians, the last name will be the given name, but it's not universal.
Old 11-04-2008, 08:02 PM
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You have a full name which is often a traditional western style name which a person would go by in actual life, in business and circles and would suffice for pretty much everything. And then there is the complete name which is very long and would be used; pretty much never except perhaps when the person needs to be distinguished.

So http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/paki...yer/42639.html

Complete name: Shahibzada Muhammad Shahid Khan Afridi.
Full name for pretty much all practical purposes; Shahid Afridi

Another (Sri Lankan)
http://content-pak.cricinfo.com/sril...yer/50804.html

Complete Name: Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas

Full Name: Chaminda Vaas.
Old 11-04-2008, 09:58 PM
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I have no problem with someone trying to pronounce my name and failing. My name isn't familiar to most of my fellow Americans, so I am not offended by a failure to get it right.

What does offend me are stupid comments about my name, like "oh, I'm not even going to try to say it."

I also am annoyed by apologies ... Look, you don't know me. There's nothing to apologize for for not knowing how to pronounce my name.

Princhester, Risha, there's no need for anyone's head to "asplode" (frankly, that comment feels a bit offensive to me).

The simple point is that Indian culture is a conglomeration of scores of different cultures. Whenever you ask a question about "Indians," imagine you're asking a question about the culture of North America, South America, Europe, and the Middle East all at once. Simply don't expect there to be a single answer.

But, to try to get some generalization, it is possible to say that overally, family names are used in the north and not in the south. Bright's post is very good if you want to know anything more specific.

The question of the initials is an interesting one. Of course, only a person who uses initials can be a good source, but my feeling is that if a person is never addressed in his native culture by the full form, then practically speaking, it is the initialized form that is the "real" name.

Oh, and another general rule -- if a south Indian asks you to address him by what looks like his "last" name, then it's probably his given name, not his family name, especially if you never see the initials spelled out. Again, this is not true for any particular case.

Last edited by Acsenray; 11-04-2008 at 09:59 PM.
Old 11-06-2008, 05:31 AM
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Princhester, Risha, there's no need for anyone's head to "asplode" (frankly, that comment feels a bit offensive to me).
You gave 12 different name orders for one community. The system in your community is complex and inconsistent, as your very own post explains. I don't intend that to be offensive. It's just a simple fact.
Old 11-06-2008, 06:20 AM
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There's a problem I've noticed in the Vietnamese community - well-meant intentions to simplify naming protocols end up fucking things right up.

When the Vietnamese first started arriving in Australia in the 70s, our none-too-cosmopolitan whitebread society of the day had no end of trouble with their custom of "Family name first - secondary given name second - main given name last". But slowly we got used to it. Just as we got used to it, the Vietnamese - by then becoming more assimilated - decided to make things easier for us by adopting Western name order. At least some people did. Others didn't. Then, to confuse things even more, some took up their "middle" name (much as some Westerners do) because it was easier for the locals to pronounce. Then there's the Vietnamese names that are almost like titles ("Thi" for girls and "Van" for guys) which are a bit like having "Mr" or Ms" as a part of your actual name. But not all people had that. Of those that did, only some dropped it - again, trying to be helpful.

So take the "Jane Doe" name of Nguyen Thi Kim Huong...

She's Ms Nguyen, called "Huong" by her friends.

Then she changes it - upon arrival in the West - to Thi Kim Huong Nguyen. Or maybe she doesn't.

Then she finds "Ms Thi..." looks tautological to her, so she drops the "Thi". Or maybe she doesn't.

Then she finds our lot can't pronouce "Huong" to save ourselves, but we're fine with "Kim", so she adopts that name instead. Or maybe she doesn't.

Good intentions on both sides, but a bastard if you're trying to do paperwork.
Old 11-06-2008, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by TheLoadedDog View Post
There's a problem I've noticed in the Vietnamese community - well-meant intentions to simplify naming protocols end up fucking things right up.

When the Vietnamese first started arriving in Australia in the 70s, our none-too-cosmopolitan whitebread society of the day had no end of trouble with their custom of "Family name first - secondary given name second - main given name last". But slowly we got used to it. Just as we got used to it, the Vietnamese - by then becoming more assimilated - decided to make things easier for us by adopting Western name order. At least some people did. Others didn't. Then, to confuse things even more, some took up their "middle" name (much as some Westerners do) because it was easier for the locals to pronounce. Then there's the Vietnamese names that are almost like titles ("Thi" for girls and "Van" for guys) which are a bit like having "Mr" or Ms" as a part of your actual name. But not all people had that. Of those that did, only some dropped it - again, trying to be helpful.

So take the "Jane Doe" name of Nguyen Thi Kim Huong...

She's Ms Nguyen, called "Huong" by her friends.

Then she changes it - upon arrival in the West - to Thi Kim Huong Nguyen. Or maybe she doesn't.

Then she finds "Ms Thi..." looks tautological to her, so she drops the "Thi". Or maybe she doesn't.

Then she finds our lot can't pronouce "Huong" to save ourselves, but we're fine with "Kim", so she adopts that name instead. Or maybe she doesn't.

Good intentions on both sides, but a bastard if you're trying to do paperwork.
That's a problem right there. Western forms are designed to work with names that take the form [personal name] ([middle name]) [ family name]. Western data models are designed for it. Ebay (Australia), to cite a known example, allows you to register only [First name] [Last name]. More correctly, these forms should use [Full name] as a separate field, and [preferred greeting] as another.

Last edited by Cider Depot; 11-06-2008 at 06:54 AM. Reason: Clarity
Old 11-06-2008, 06:03 PM
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"Huong Nguyen"?

I guess "Kim" is better than "John Wayne"
Old 11-06-2008, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zweisamkeit View Post
and it's one of the few Polish last names that's also* completely phonetic in English!
My last ( and for that matter first ) name is south Slavic, six letters long and completely phonetic in American English. My family even added the "h" to the traditional "ic" patronymic when the entered this country to make it more so.

Maybe one person in ten get it right on the first try . People often just try too hard on exotic-looking names.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 11-06-2008 at 06:17 PM.
Old 11-06-2008, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acsenray View Post

Princhester, Risha, there's no need for anyone's head to "asplode" (frankly, that comment feels a bit offensive to me).

.
Frankly, my head was about to asplode.

It would have been easier if you had made a list
andy - first name
frank- fathers first name
jean - mothers name
jaipoor - city
whatever other name components there are.

instead of going generic;

then people could have seen you going:
jaipoor dave jean sammy fred
alternate version
jaipoor sammy fred
alternate version
sammy fred jai[poor

the generic/generic/generic/generic or generic/generic/generic gets pretty fucking impossible to follow .... hence asplodey head.

Now if someone as an exercise in pity would like to redo that post, with actual names that might belong to actual people [indian or generic american names would work] i would be infinitely thrilled...
Old 11-06-2008, 08:24 PM
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Ok, how's this:

Poindexter's family hails from London. His family name is Smith. He is an engineer and is a Duke.

His name would be:

London Smith Poindexter (abbreviated L.S. Poindexter)

or

Engineer Smith Poindexter (abbreviated E.S. Poindexter)

or

Duke Smith Poindexter (abbreviated D.S. Poindexter)

Let's take the first example. Because Poindexter is so long, he decides to abbreviate it. So his name becomes:

L.S.P. Dexter

Now, the alternate naming convention I've seen is:

Smith Poindexter London (you can sub Engineer or Duke for London). In which case,
the abbreviation would be:

S.P. London

Keep in mind though, that some people may not use the 3 name convention. So, you might get:

London Poindexter which would be abbreviated either L. Poindexter or L.P. Dexter

I'm not going to do the women's names here, unless someone really wants me to.
Old 11-06-2008, 08:32 PM
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I should clarify. Above, I'm using engineer and Duke as caste name equivalents. These are hereditary--I've only occasionally seen people adopt a name based on their current profession, although presumably, this is how the name came about a long time ago.
Old 11-07-2008, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dervorin View Post
Finally, something I am unquestionably qualified to answer!

Traditionally, south Indian names have three parts - the name of your ancestral town or village, your father's name, and a given name. What confuses people who are not familiar with this scheme is that the given name is last on the list. To take an example, I have a cousin whose name is (changed to protect the innocent) K.R. Rajeev.
.
My wife's family does something very similar--but there's another catch, on top of the Village Name. Father's Name. Given Name, they have another name which I think is similar to a baptismal name or a "Star name" that they prefer to be called. So, my wife's brother's name is two initials, followed by his Given name but if you ask what to call him it is none of his "real" names. I've been married to her for 7 years and have given up trying to figure it out.
Old 11-07-2008, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Princhester View Post
You gave 12 different name orders for one community. The system in your community is complex and inconsistent, as your very own post explains. I don't intend that to be offensive. It's just a simple fact.
1. I didn't do it.

2. My point was that it's not one "community" we're talking about. It's a collection of diverse communities. If you ask a question about a complex situation, it's not unreasonable to get a complex response.

3. Yes, part of the point is that it is complex. Speaking personally, I don't find it offensive that people might be confused or uninformed about something like this. But as I said previously, it's not, for example, mispronouncing my name that offends me, it's "humorous" remarks like "oh, I'm not even going to try saying your name" or "that makes my head asplode" that I find offensive. If you don't know something, I'm happy to explain it to. BrightNShiny, in particular, has gone to great lengths to try to explain it. But the implication that my cultural characteristics are unreasonably strange or complex is not welcome.
Old 11-07-2008, 08:24 PM
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1/ You gave them in the sense you stated them. I'm not saying you are responsible for creating them. Obviously.

2/ You said in your post several times that the 12 different conventions you stated were from your particular community. You said there would be even more variations (though similar) if you included other communities.

3/ I'm not saying that is your fault. I'm not saying it is anyone's fault in particular. Every community and certainly my own has aspects that are ridiculously complex beyond all necessity. But the simple fact is that the cultural characteristics of the naming conventions in your community are unreasonably complex.
Old 11-07-2008, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Princhester View Post
1/ You gave them in the sense you stated them.
Nope. I sure didn't.

Quote:
2/ You said in your post several times that the 12 different conventions you stated were from your particular community.
Perhaps you'd like to review the posts that actually have my name on them.

Quote:
But the simple fact is that the cultural characteristics of the naming conventions in your community are unreasonably complex.
"No universal standard" seems rather reasonably simple to me.

But in any case it's patently ridiculous to label a system that hundreds of thousands of people live with without thinking twice about it as "unreasonably complex." And, yes, it is offensive to suggest that it is, because calling something "unreasonably complex" implies "If you had any sense of reason, you'd change it."
Old 11-08-2008, 06:32 AM
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Sorry about the confusion. Obviously I had jumped to the conclusion you were the person who posted the long list. My mistake.

Makes no real difference. The person I was responding to with my asploded comment (by the way, you know about jokes, right?) posted a list of 12 different naming orders for their community. Not for a diverse collection of communities, no matter what revisionism you may wish to engage in.

If you think "no universal standard" equals simple, you need to do some more thinking. "No universal standard" is actually a recipe for confusion and complexity. Nor is it patently ridiculous to label a system that hundreds of thousands use "unreasonably complex" if it's unreasonably complex. There are any number of unreasonably complex aspects of any culture, unfortunately, because things in this world aren't always as well organised and neatly defined as they could be. Finally, you are being remarkably touchy if you think that I am implying a criticism because anyone with any sense would be able to change the naming system in BrightNShiny's community. How could he possibly do that?

Your post seems illogical and frankly rather precious. There are pit threads every week where westerners on these boards criticise the hell out of aspects of western culture for being illogical/overly complex/grossly stupid. Take, say English spelling. It's completely, utterly, ludicrously complex. I wouldn't give a damn if you said so in 40 point font, I'd just agree.
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