Culture - Things about Chinese people's names

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inbeijing
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Culture - Things about Chinese people's names

Postby inbeijing » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:12 pm

Culture - Things about Chinese people's names

The names of Chinese people are usually expressed as family name first and given name second. For example, a man called Zhang Wei has a family name of "Zhang", and a given name of "Wei." Among closer acquaintances, the names of older people are usually prefixed with "Lao..." which literally means "old". For instance, "Lao Zhang" means "Old Zhang." Younger acquaintances, on the other hand, are often prefixed with "Xiao..." which means "small," so "Xiao Wang" means "Small Wang." For those who know each other very well, the given name may be used by itself. However, if one's first name is composed of only one character, they are customarily referred by their given name only by other family members.

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