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« Back to articles from category "Culture"

The following article was published in our article directory on September 9, 2011.
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The History Of Chinese Surnames

Article Category: Culture

Author Name: James Tien

Chinese surnames are a very important part of a person's name. It tells other people a little about the person and what their family stands for, just by the surname given. Chinese names are much different than a Westerner's name, by the way it is given and carried throughout their lives.

These names are passed down through the families with each new born child. The surname is what gives the true meaning to the rest of the name. This given name is treated as a symbol of what their family stands for, whether it be pride and honor or beauty. There are many different symbols that a family can stand for. All of their names hold true value.

The China name is placed differently than that of the Westerner's. The Chinese's family name, the surname, is placed before their given (first) name. This has been the traditional way of giving names for around five thousand years.

Over the years, China has used over 22,000 surnames. Today, only about 3,500 are used. Most of the China population carries only 100 common names today. There are, however, about 10 surnames that are the most popular. Zhang, Wang and Li are just a few popular names that are being used.

When addressing a Chinese person, it is respectful to use their surname. For example, if you were addressing Yao Ming, you would call him Mr. Yao. Gan Shuo would be addressed as Mrs. Gan.

The women rarely carry their husbands family name. They often just carry their own. If they do decide to carry the new married name, it is added on to theirs, keeping the brides maiden name intact.

Now, the younger population in China, are being named with two character names, instead of the traditional three. They consist of the family name and the given name. These names are not complicated to write, say or read.

It is very common for the people of China to share their names with others. It is not their desire to have an unusual name or a common with a unique spelling, as it is in the Western culture. The meaning of the name is much more important to them. Their names are given as a gift when born, and they treat it as a gift.

For more information on Chinese surnames, a search on the Internet will bring an abundant of information. Information from the meaning of each of the names being used to the full history behind this unique way of given names.

About the Author: James Tien author articles in the Chinese culture niche. He suggest you check out Absolutely Feng Shui for more on Feng Sui and Chinese Hours.

Keywords: Chinese surnames

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