The order of the name

I’m in complete agreement with LOLFANG of Nyoro~n fansubs on this LOL (though the all caps make it hard to read). Even though I silently fume when journos from big newspapers who should really know better regularly make mistakes with Asian names and that my secret ambition is to make Westerners reverse their given name – surname order when I finally succeed in my attempt tonight to try to take over the world.

I asked a Japanese friend about this many moons ago and her reply was something along the lines of: ‘When I write in Japanese, I write the names in the Japanese order and in the Western order for English.’

And despite all of that, I still tend to write ‘Tanaka Rie’ and ‘Horie Yui’ in English just because I’m used to it already and it sounds nicer. And just to confuse myself and everyone reading.

12 thoughts on “The order of the name

  1. Haha, despite making myself write Japanese names in Japanese orders (because I’s a weaboo that way) for the sake of consistency, it’s probably easier to just write them in the way that comes to mind first (like in my ind it’s always Horie Yui but Mamiko Noto)

  2. It always pisses me off slightly when someone messes up my name. My name is

  3. Newspapers usually write Chinese and Korean names in the right order (surname-given name). The reversal only applies to Japanese names. I fail to see a compelling reason to dumb things down in one case and not the other. No, scratch that. I don’t see a compelling reason to dumb things down.

    Oh, and at some point, they’ll have to apply their rule to “Souryuu Asuka Langley”.

  4. I write as I would say it verbally (for blogging purposes at least) and from an Asian to another, it’d only be right to address a Japanese by their family name first then given name.

    I remember very vividly when I was 16 and in Japan with my Japanese cousin, I kept going “Shizuka Kudo” and he kept correcting me. Personally I think it’s only polite to address them in a way that is culturally acceptable for them.

  5. For me, cultural correctness aside, hearing “Ayanami Rei” and reading “Rei Ayanami” is headache-inducing. Don’t mix original and reversed forms, please >_<

  6. Adding to the confusion would be the western forms, applications and computer programs that insist that the user enter their name in “Last, First” format. @_@

    At the risk of sounding like an American otaku, I’d prefer the “Last First” naming convention a la “Ayanami Rei.” However, considering the ridiculous amount of resistance this country has had to other international standards like… oh, say… the metric system, I doubt I’ll see the name standard applied in my lifetime.

  7. Yeah, I always seem to alternate between surname first and surname last for VAs for some reason. Still, I operate with a surname first for Eastern names, and first name first for Western ones.

  8. (Lack of) Punctuation will be the fall of English. Just put it in the format (lastname comma space firstname) and you’d be grammatically correct + you get to make it sound the way Japanese would sound?

  9. Is it honestly *that* confusing for people? I never thought it was. When I am referring to Asian names I give it in the Asian fashion, with exceptions for people who have “western” reputation, like Jackie Chan, or Rica Takashima.

    Noto Mamiko sounds more normal to me, and I don’t really get the confusion.

    When I was a kid, there was a kid called Musashi Joe, because his parents put the name in the wrong order on the school form and for 12 years, this poor kid had a backwards name, because the school was a bunch of idiots. We all called him “Musashi Joe” which sounded kind of cool to us. lol

    Anyway, this gaijin/gwailo doesn’t see the difficulty. (What’s the Korean rude way of saying foreigner? lol)



    Hungry for Yuri? Have some Okazu!

  10. With me, it usually depends on the forum of discussion. If it’s weeaboo central, I’ll ususally make sure to use the eastern convention to limit the whining. If it’s a more mainstream discussion, I’ll usually go western to avoid confusion as to what is family name versus given name. All else being equal, though, I’ll usually go western style, as that’s just the way my mind works. Some names, though, I usually end up using a certain way no matter the forum (ie: Romi Paku, Noto Mamiko), either because they just sound better one way or I’m for whatever reason more used to seeing them that way.

  11. Actually, Erika, you’re a gwaipau since you’re female… but personally, I find it natural to put it into the Eastern convention since I’m used to it, and it feels more natural, although I will concede to Western standards regarding family names when necessary.

    In translations which strictly follow English conventions.. there’s no real choice there. Otherwise…

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