Talk:Chinese surname

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Adding Korean and Vietnamese equivalents surnames[edit]

I think adding Korean and Vietnamese equivalents when available to Chinese surnames. For an example: Zhao (pinyin: zhào, Wade-Giles: Chao, simplified Chinese: 赵, traditional Chinese: 趙, Vietnamese Triệu, Hangul (Korean) 조) will expand the readers understanding that these equivalents do exist between these 3 cultures —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.180.1.214 (talkcontribs)

Something about "Surname" and "Family Name"[edit]

They are not always the same. What is the difference between last name and family name? "Last name" is the name that comes after the first and middle names, and is used in titles i.e. Mr. "last name" or Miss "last name". ... "Family name" is one that is shared with the family, but is not necessarily the surname.

Look for example the actor Lee Majors. His real name is Harvey Lee Yeary, but he adopted the stage name Lee Majors. His real family name is Yeary, Majors is only his (staged) last name / surname. I brought this up because i noticed on many chinese articles like Betty Ting or Kelly Lai Chen the names Ting and Lai getting mentioned as their "family name", when in fact it is only the surname of their staged names. Ting´s birthname is Tang Meili, which means Tang is her real family name, not Ting. Same with Lai, he was born as Hsi Chungchien, which means Hsi is is real family name, Lai is only his staged surname. Lai has a sister named Betty Loh Ti. She was born as Hsi Chung-i. This case just underlines what i mean. Kelly Lai and Betty Loh are siblings and have the same mother and father. The family name of both is Hsi, but their surnames are different (Lai/Loh).


I am only here to help to improve. But maybe Wikipedia should consider the possibility to seperate between "surname" and "family name", since they are not always the same. Look also the famous Samurai/Ronin Miyamoto Musashi, who was born as Shinmen Bennosuke. His real family name was Shinmen, his (staged) surname Miyamoto. --Niten Doraku (talk) 19:32, 8 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Surname and family name are the same thing. Stage name/pen name/pseudonym is a completely different issue, people with different stage name don't normally change their surname officially. Hzh (talk) 14:32, 26 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

japan also has chinese surnames[edit]

multiple users seem to remove Japan, from the beginning sentence. which is vandalism, japanese can also have chinese surnames, ryukyuans for example being the most obvious, and a lot of japanese also have a chinese name but with a japanese pronounciation. this is fact. i can list a couple out of my head. but the question is, why do these users remove japan? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.26.190.194 (talk) 08:42, 20 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is about Chinese surnames, not East Asian cultural sphere surnames Immanuelle 💗 (please tag me) 16:50, 25 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The problem was the wording, adding Japan to a list together with Korea and Vietnam sounds like Japanese people use Chinese surnames to the same extent as Korea and Vietnam, when only a very small proportion of Japanese people use Chinese surnames. Hzh (talk) 23:05, 3 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Duplicate content[edit]

It seems the sections Xing and Shi contain substantial content verbatim identical to the articles Chinese ancestral surname and Chinese clan name, respectively. Unsure what the protocol is in this situation, but surely the content will desychronize rapidly in this state. Courtesy ping to @Immanuelle:, who has contributed a lot of the text in all locations. Folly Mox (talk) 08:32, 25 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Folly Mox we should just let them desync as I and other people add to those two articles. Immanuelle 💗 (please tag me) 16:50, 25 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Immanuelle: I'm not particularly concerned with the content not matching identically: it's more that any editor wishing to update the content will have to duplicate their work in two places, as I did. It's poor data hygiene to store the same information in multiple places, and not Wikipedia best practices.
It might be beneficial to summarize the articles Chinese ancestral surname and Chinese clan name in the Xing and Shi sections of this article, and use Template:Main (as you already have done) to link to the standalone articles from the section headings. There are probably a large number of incoming links (especially to Chinese surname#Xing) which should ideally be redirected to Chinese ancestral surname or Chinese clan name as appropriate. Such an effort may qualify as a single-run semiautomated mass edit request. Thank you for your contributions in this topic area 🤍. Folly Mox (talk) 20:19, 25 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Folly Mox I already fixed all of the redirects, but hard links to Chinese surname#Xing and Chinese surname#Shi are ones I don't know how to fix. Would you be able to do it with a single-run semiautomated mass edit request? Immanuelle 💗 (please tag me) 20:27, 25 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Immanuelle: I'd like to wait a little bit to see if any other editors have input before we move forward. This talk page has 149 watchers, and so far only the two of us have been active in this discussion. It's only been a day, and this article Chinese surname has over 18,000 incoming links. It's not possible to see from that report how many of the incoming links specifically target the sections #Xing and #Shi, but my guess is that they comprise a significant proportion, and I don't think without the input of others — or at least waiting a few more days — we'll be able to claim we've achieved consensus for the decision that the information should live in the standalone articles rather than sections of this page, even though it may seem obvious to us.
That said, assuming nobody objects and also nobody with WP:AWB permissions who watches this page performs the mass change themselves, I do volunteer to talk to the bot people on our behalf to set up the mass change job. Folly Mox (talk) 22:05, 25 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Still not sure why there are these two articles. Could be argued that they are WP:REDUNDANTFORK and that they be merged/redirected back to the main article. Hzh (talk) 23:15, 3 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have redirected those, anyone who wants to recreate these articles please make sure that there is new content in those articles. If the intent is to split, then a summary should be left in the main article (see WP:CORRECTSPLIT), although I think significantly reducing the content by leaving only a summary here would be damaging to this article. Hzh (talk) 09:46, 25 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposal to make changes to a protected template regarding Chinese surnames[edit]

Problem statement: Confusing presentation of the two types of Chinese surname in Template:Infobox royalty calls for the code to be changed, which requires consensus.

Topic area background: There used to be two types of Chinese surname: 姓 (xing, aristocratic clan name; applied to ancestral temple groups) and 氏 (shi, lineage name; grew around geographic locations). The distinction was lost early. Xing fell out of use, but the term xing adopted the general meaning "surname". For early figures, it's important to distinguish these two kinds of surnames. For everyone else, xing in the infobox denotes "family name".

Specific template issue: Template:Infobox royalty therefore has two primary modes in this regard:

Green tickY only xing has a value, displays link to Chinese surname with the text Family Name.

Red XN xing and shi both have a value, display link to Chinese surname without appropriate section anchors, with text roughly reversed from what is correct (i.e. xing is called Family Name and shi is called Clan Name).
(This is confusing enough that when I encountered it for the first time, as someone familiar with the topic material, I had to go read the Chinese version of the article on zh-wiki to figure out what the infobox was trying to convey.)

Proposal: Add logic to Template:Infobox royalty such that when both types of surnames have a value:

For these displayed terms, see Chinese surname. As to why the lineage name is held in a parameter named clan_name, it is because the term "clan" is not well-defined in English in the field of Chinese anthropology, and often refers to neither of these concepts.

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


tl;dr: Infoboxes specifying separate 姓 and 氏 do it confusingly, which we can address by adding logic to the code.
Background: Early Chinese aristocracy had separate 姓 and 氏, as this article details well. Many of our articles on these people call Template:Infobox royalty. The parameter used to hold 姓 is called family_name; the parameter used to hold 氏 is called clan_name. The display text for these fields is, respectively, Family name and Clan name. Both display texts link to this article, with no anchors to either section Chinese surname#Xing or Chinese surname#Shi. Arbitrary example: Xiong Yong.
Issue: Our article defines 姓 as ancestral clan name (emphasis added), and 氏 as lineage name. This is correct, but confusingly implies the reverse reading of the displayed text in the infoboxes.
Many instances of Template:Infobox royalty only pass values to the family_name parameter, since the distinction between the two kinds of surnames dissolved early. See list of articles where clan_name has no value (128 articles), and list of articles where the parameter clan_name is not even named in the template call (61 articles). So there are 189 articles where we do want family_name to display Family name, and link to Chinese surname with no section anchor.
Proposal: add conditional logic to Template:Infobox royalty where both family_name and clan_name are passed a value, such that in those cases the displayed text for family_name reads Ancestral clan and the displayed text for clan_name reads Branch lineage. Optionally, we can also change their link targets to the #Xing and #Shi anchors at this article.
Open to other wordings for the display text, but I feel "name" is redundant in both cases. The word "clan" usually translates to 宗族 or similar in Chinese, which is a concept that postdates the biographies in question, so I typically use ancestral temple surname or ancestral temple kinship group to translate 姓 in early Chinese topics, but I think ancestral clan makes sense both in this article and in the infobox. One article that contains correct representation for both kinds of surname is Qin Shi Huang, but it achieves that effect by overloading the full_name parameter, which is not scalable.

Folly Mox (talk) 06:26, 30 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Folly Mox (talk) 03:27, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This seems like a solution searching for a problem. What's wrong with having one template with one surname field named surname and just filling it in correctly?
|surname= Bob ({{lang|zh|巴}}, ''[[xing (surname)|xing]]'')<br>Dole ({{lang|zh|豆}}, ''[[shi (surname)|shi]]'')
Why does anything fuzade need to be done just to (badly) accommodate separate classes of surnames that no one really understands terribly well even within Chinese culture and that no one actually used beyond figures so far back in time they were largely made up anyway? In any case, g-d no, don't use random even-worse translations of the idea into English. Just call them both surnames and distinguish them as xing and shi like this article currently does. Have a linkthrough to a full article for people who want to (try to) understand it better. — LlywelynII 09:41, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's actually what the articles do where 姓and 氏 are defined in a way that makes sense (like Qin Shi Huang): they just overload one field and fix the infobox display that way. The problem exists for pages where the two parameters are already passed values in the template call, like Xiong Yong, which I think is for all aristocrats from the Western Zhou through the Warring States apart from the royals. I had some examples in the collapsed proposal but cut them out of the rewrite. I'm not sure how many articles have both parameters with values: that was the query I forgot to request when I was trying to get a sense for the scope of the problem. It's probably not more than a few hundred, so I could fix them all manually if necessary. Folly Mox (talk) 14:45, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@LlywelynII: I'd like to give some pushback to your characterisation of ancestral clan for 姓 and branch lineage for 氏 as random [and] even-worse, since those are the terms used in the article to which this talkpage is attached, Chinese surname, which is linked from the infobox as an explainer. Why not use the same terms in the infobox as we do in the article explaining them, instead of reversing them confusingly?
I'm sympathetic to the argument that the distinction is not well understood even in modern China, but I don't agree that it's a reason not to try to distinguish them in a way that's at least internally consistent. I'll reiterate that the impetus for this proposal was an experience I had where, despite having background knowledge regarding the 姓–氏 distinction, our infobox presented the information so badly that I left the website to understand wtf it was trying to convey. It's a niche problem, but it's not not a problem. Folly Mox (talk) 17:00, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It doesn't though. It has those terms as the beginning of an extended gloss but the bolded actual names are xing and shi. That's what the field should use if there are fields, which, again, there shouldn't be. They can just go into the surname section. My own opinion, which you obviously disagree with or you wouldn't've offered the proposal at all. xD — LlywelynII 02:21, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]