posted by Green at 8/19/2008 08:47:00 PM
Chinese names can be confusing, since they traditionally put last names first. I don't know how the TV is reporting it, sometimes they reverse it to be Western convention and sometimes not. It could be that the first names are Kexin and Chong, and He is their last name. I'm always a little concerned that I might address someone Asian incorrectly when I see a name like that.
He is the last name, in these cases. At least, according to Wikipedia, but I've noticed they've been using the Asian convention with Chinese and Japanese athletes on NBC.
Yes, it's the last name. I have a Chinese professor who explained that to everyone. At the Olympics the names are in the order they are in in China - what we would consider the last name first. Often when Chinese people move here they have to reverse the order they're used to so then the He would come last like our last names. So in China they don't call them He they call them Chong and Kexin except in formal settings when they say the whole thing. My teacher also explained to us that there aren't as many surnames as we have here and that the names are considered like clan names, so if you meet another He for instance and you aren't related you still have a certain camraderie and call that person your cousin even though they aren't.
Thanks, Ladies. I guess based on what you said WL, the He family must be pretty proud right about now.
I used to work for my family importing cars from Beijing. I never had a chance to go on any of the business trips, but I made all of the travel arrangements. Figuring out which name to put in which field was a BITCH.
In this case He is the last name, but in instances where you have the same name for both males and females it could be that the characters used to write those names are completely different and therefore mean completely different things. Also, traditional Chinese names usually mean something. I know this because I dated a Chinese-American man for 8 years and all his sisters' names had a meaning like Flower Angel or Weeping Willow, etc.
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