View Single Post
Old 05-19-2005, 10:26 AM   #1
Ima's Avatar
Location: New England
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7
Japanese names when used in English?

What is the correct way to say a Japanese persons name when conversing with them in English?

Lets look at an American name for reference: George Washington.

If I were to meet this man he would be introduced to me as:
Mr. George Washington

His First name (or given name) is George and his Family name (or surname) is Washington.
When this name is written in English it is: George Washington.
In both written and verbal forms the given name is first and the Family name is second.
When I speak to him or if I were to introduce him to someone I would call him Mr. Washington -- Or in an informal setting I might call him and refer to him as George.

However, In Japanese (I believe) the Family (surname) is written first
As in:
Toshiro Mifune
AND I believe when the name is brought into English it stays this way

Toshiro is the Family name (surname)


Mifune is his first name (given name)

But --
Question 1 -- Even though his name is written Toshiro Mifune, If he were to introduce himself to me would he not introduce himself as Mifune Toshiro? i.e. reverse of how it is written

Question 2 - When I speak to him or refer to him in a formal setting do I not say Mr. Toshiro?

Question 3 - In an informal setting might I call him Mifune as I would call the previous gentleman George?

Question 4 - Is this the case for other Asian languages as well, Chinese and Korean for example?

Thank you for any information
  Reply With Quote