Even worse is if you try to apply for a bank account in China as a foreigner. Their systems are designed for 2-4 character logogram names, so if you are using a 15-30 character alpha numeric name, then good luck. My English name attached to my bank account has gone through a half dozen permutations over the years, with spaces, without spaces, in the wrong order, etc. I've given up trying to fix it and now am content with a name that is not quite my name, but is close enough to pass passport checks when I go to the bank.
Félicité Jean-David François Laurent => FELICITEJEANDAVIDFRANCO
Linking different bank cards on one app was impossible for example because my name was butchered in different was by the system and mismatched.
I'm never able to enter systems who ask for name as part of authentification, it's impossible to remember how my name was altered for each thing I registered.
As additional fun, many app or services are not accessible or crash if you are not a Chinese citizen with Chinese id, even if you have a long term resident permit.
Administrative life in China just sucks in general if you don't fit the norm. It really made me think using name as part of any authentification/login process is harmful because it's never gonna be handled well by programs. Let me login with my passport number and phone number for example, they are designed to be handled by such systems.
People named Null also have a hard time: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160325-the-names-that-brea...
Strong type systems do help.
I have recently had a problem where my Internet line stopped working. Customer service called me and told me it's because my name has a hyphen and their system can't process hyphens. When I talked with them more, it sounds like China Telecom's IT department made some kind of system change that made hyphens impossible to process in names. That sucked, not sure why they would do that when it was perfectly fine before. There may or may not have been a good reason for it from their side, I obviously didn't get to talk with anyone in their IT department about it. So now my China Telecom account has my name all mashed up with no spaces and no hyphens. But banks I'm still OK for some reason.
I'm curious why some people have certain experiences that I don't share. We're all using the same service and system. I'm waiting one day for some Chinese bank IT employee to finally write up a really weird debugging story and submit it to HN for discussion. It would be good to know what's up.
Or... it could be a bank employee's user error too, I suppose.
Initially, when I applied for a bank account under the name of "Jack Middle Chen," they listed my name as "Jackmiddlechen." Just one name, like Cher. Chinese names don't have spaces so it made sense, but this of course made it impossible for me to pay online, where they require family and surnames separately.
So I went back and asked them to differentiate between my first, middle and last names, so they added spaces, without changing the order. So my name became "Jack Middle Chen," where "Jack" was my last name and "Middle Chen" was my first name.
So I went back and asked them to change the order, because it's obviously wrong. So they changed my name to "Chen Middle Jack." Where Chen is now my correct family name, but my new first name is now "Middle Jack."
So I went back and asked them to change my first name to "Jack" because "Middle" is my middle name. But of course, Chinese don't have middle names so they don't have a field for that. So my first name then became "Jack Middle." Which is fine.
The issue is that my names now all had spaces. Chinese names don't have spaces, as mentioned, so to separate my alpha numeric names, they literally had to insert the space character into my name. So when I try to shop online, my name doesn't match because my official registered name has several space character somewhere in there, encoded in a weird way.
So at this point, I go back and try to clarify what my name actually is in their records. I tell them just to make it look exactly like my passport. So now my name is "JACK MIDDLE CHEN," all caps. I still have no idea what my first name and last name is but I've given up shopping online with this card, and since it matches my passport exactly, I can use it at the bank, which is good enough for me.
*Name altered for anonymity
No. You can choose a Chinese name (or have one chosen for you) to make life easier for your Chinese friends and colleagues, but your bank account etc. will use your real name.
The name on your bank account is likely to be on of the below, depending on which bank you use, and what type of day the teller is having:
And you need to know what it is, because without the correct name it's impossible to receive inbound bank transfers, or to link your bank card with WeChat/AliPay. Your name is not usually printed on your bank card, which you are given as soon as you open the account.
A daily use of ateji is for abbreviations for country:
仏 fu, 仏蘭西, France
英 ei from 英吉利, England
米 from 亜米利加, America
露 from 露西亞, Russia
One that uses katakana:
ソ from ソビエト連邦, Soviet Union
Usage: 米ドル bei doru, US dollar, 英国 United Kingdom
米 is used for America because 亜 was already an abbreviation for 亜細亜, Asia.
Successfully have name in latin characters with bank (CCB & CMB & Citi) and it links to Wepay and Alipay.
Done Chinese name. Work permit has Chinese name (Hanzi) and that's linked to passport. Can be used to open an account (CB).
Though it's so much easier now than a decade ago.
Taiwan and the other Chinese speaking places is where all the weird romanizations come from.
If you're Chinese and find yourself in the West, you spell your name in Pinyin. You don't have to invent a new name unless you want to (I know a Chinese person who did this, but it was for social reasons, not necessity.)
On the flip side, you definitely should invent a new name if you're from the West and want to live in China for a extended period of time, or you'll find that life can be very painful. Sometimes you can even find a direct translation, e.g. David => 大卫 (Da Wei).
I rarely used mine while living in Beijing for 10 years.
I'm from a country with the Cyrillic alphabet, and somewhere in 2012 or so they decided to change the romanization rules. When I renewed my passport, I became e.g. VASILII MAIAKOVSKII instead of VASILIY MAYAKOVSKY. Endless grief in China. There is literally no way to certify you are you if your passport number has changed (never ever happens with Chinese ID) and your name has changed (never ever happens with Chinese names). In the end, it was so much trouble that I had to change the passport again and supply a special letter to the Consul asking to romanize my name in the old way.
I have a German friend with Ö in their name which is sometimes written by Chinese staff as "O", but in some German documents it's transcribed as "OE" so he has one bank account with O and one with OE, and of course it never works right. Also, almost no Chinese system would allow to input Ö, and a few times it changes it to "Ö"...
They're in the 1996 Bible and 2009 Presbyterian Hymnal. In order to print those texts, the church uses inline JPGs or Private Use Area codes with special fonts.
There's more in the Hakka Bible and hymnal, which I plan to study more this weekend.
Is this an area you work in or is it a hobby project?
They also need a font. I tried to find the original, but in the end just asked Andrew West from BabelStone Han to redraw the characters for me.
It's a hobby project. Finding characters was a side effect of trying to scrape data for Pingtype https://pingtype.github.io (my Chinese learning program). When I tried to scrape characters from the Taiwanese Bible, I found inline JPGs and thought "that can't be right..." which led me down a rabbit hole ending here, exchanging emails with Richard Cook, Ken Lunde and John Jenkins (the world experts).
If you have access to a Chinese-language paper library, please try to help take photos of some characters. Search "please contact" on the BabelStone list for some urgent ones. For example, "U+F2DD Alternative character for Db (Dubnium)" and "U+F2E2 Alternative character for Rf (Rutherfordium)" could be easily found on a periodic table, I guess.
I wrote Alphanym to help encourage an interface pattern which preserves the natural diversity found in people's names, and to hopefully help mitigate technical issues like these.
For storing names, I'd suggest two very long Unicode string fields. At least 1024 characters or greater (some names actually get that long). One field being a full name field, the other being a "betanym" field (the name used anywhere you'd use a persons "first name" normally). Use the full name in billing/idiomatic contexts, and the betanym when addressing customers directly (or if you need a shorter name for UI reasons).
The full-stack UI is there to encourage user feedback, because names are surprisingly ambiguous. Though in more lax contexts like ML/NER, direct API calls without feedback may be adequate.
>Is this 'just' the front end part (in quotes because it's such a hairy issue, I imagine you have lots and lots of 'special case' code)?
There's surprisingly little special case code on the backend, because it primarily relies on ML to generate name interpretations. So most of the special casing is embedded in the ML models. However I am introducing more special case code to refine the ML models with a cleaner dataset.
Using names is ridiculously complex in the general case, seeing as it's a proper subset of NLP. So the API relies on user feedback, which is stored by Alphanym so it can offer more accurate interpretations in subsequent requests. The `name-uncertain` field allows clients to bypass the confirmation if the API has encountered the name before, so at no point does the system assume anyone's name. Yet most of the time people will only have to fill out a single form field.
Edit: nevermind, it works now. Maybe I was too impatient before.
I've had a lot of trouble over the years, especially when my name needs to match in two places (like getting TSA pre -- I had to sit down with a TSA agent to figure out exactly what to type where when buying airline tickets so it would match and give me precheck).
Similar issue with drivers licenses.
$ echo 张𬎆| iconv -f utf-8 -t gb18030 | iconv -f gb18030 -t utf-8
If I could receive some money each time I teach people how to write it I would be rich by now :) and my name is only mildly unusual. So, future parents of this world, think carefully before naming your children.
I meant, in the above case, why can't he make an appointment using his identity number from his Resident Identity Card? http://www.wiki-zero.co/index.php?q=aHR0cHM6Ly9lbi53aWtpcGVk...
Sometimes I simply get Pler
Sometimes I get things like Pl#&!π¥er on my packages.
My god man, if you can't be done in Unicode, you'll have to live in a hut somewhere as 'the internets does not want you'. Might be an interesting idea for those who truly want off the grid, as they can't be 'on' the grid in the first place!
You can't describe yourself as "my mothers oldest son" if I have no idea who your mother is. Or rather you can, but thats literally meaningless. How do these people even get someones attention? Is it always "hey you!", since you can't ask your mothers sisters oldest cousin to pass the meat at the camp fire if you have non family memebers present.
If your community is small enough (100 people) it could easily be applied to every type of relationship, at the exclusion of individual name.
Also note that in many languages there is or used to be a dedicated word for very specific relationship to someone, with different word if the relationship is via the mother, the father, etc.
Sister of mother
Sister of father
Elder brother of father
Younger brother of father
Wife of elder brother of father
Wife of younger brother of father
Brother of mother
Wife of brother of mother
Son of brother
Daughter of brother
Son of sister
Daughter of sister
Husband of sister
Wife of younger brother
Wife of elder brother
Sister of wife
Brother of wife
Husband of sister of wife
Wife of brother of wife
Brother of father of husband or wife
Sister of father of husband or wife
Wife of son of brother
Wife of son of sister
Husband of daughter of brother
Husband of daughter of sister
In English, most of these are Uncle, Aunt, Cousin, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, nephew, niece.
- 叔母さん and 伯母さん both read おばさん (obasan) and mean, respectively, younger sister of father or mother and elder sister of father or mother.
- 叔父さん and 伯父さん both read おじさん (ojisan) and mean, respectively, younger brother of father or mother and elder brother of father or mother.
- お母さん and お義母さん both read おかあさん (okaasan) and mean, respectively, mother and mother in law.
There are many more different terms for various fine distinctions of relatedness, but I only know those I had a need to use, and when I asked a Chinese friend for help, he told me that he can't remember all of them either.
Did he change it legally? I don’t know, but for the spirit of the linked list, it probably doesn’t matter: He says his name is now something else, and so it is, and I doubt it’s in the Unicode tables!
These problems are rarer these days, but Americans have had 50 years to get it right, the Chinese started much more recently. The cause of the problems are the same in both cases. The system designers are oblivious to or ignore cultures outside their own.
> Truly, I live in dark times! / An artless word is foolish. A smooth forehead / Points to insensitivity. / He who laughs / Has not yet received / The terrible news.
> What times are these, in which / A conversation about trees is almost a crime / For in doing so we maintain our silence about so much wrongdoing! / And he who walks quietly across the street, / Passes out of the reach of his friends / Who are in danger?
-- Berthold Brecht, ‘To Those Who Follow in Our Wake’
> Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it. It seems to me nonsense, in a period like our own, to think that one can avoid writing of such subjects. Everyone writes of them in one guise or another. It is simply a question of which side one takes and what approach one follows.
-- George Orwell, "Why I Write"
Why would you on the other hand not pay attention? Because you or nobody you love has been put in a camp, for example? Because you're with those who ignore the millions of people who did resist totalitarianism and were murdered, as if those never existed, while giving the time of the day to those who build on their corpses and call it culture or the nature of the people?
Imagine an alternate universe where the Nazis hadn't "won the war", but never started one, and had "just" done what they did "internally", while militarizing without attacking. Few would have even raised a brow, nobody would have done anything, and after 20-30 years of that, nobody even capable of forming an opinion would be left alive in Germany. And then people would just say "awww, that's just how they are, that's how they like to treat each other". In that alternative universe, there would also be people for whom that would not be enough, who wouldn't stop with acceptance of totalitarianism, who don't want uglyness to not be called uglyness anymore, they want to see it considered beauty. In short, you're being among the worst in a reality where hardly anyone is good.
The very idea that you have to think about logistics before naming your baby is ridiculous.
I don't know if it's possible for a child born in China, to two Chinese nationals, to have a non-Chinese name on their birth certificate.
But I'm surprised you think this is ridiculous. What happens in the UK if you want to name your child:
- With only Chinese characters? or
- With regular alphabetic characters (A-Z) but also including some ancient English characters like wynn (ƿ) that have unicode code points but are not easy to type?
Open the document in the wrong application, and the text will be interspeded with ∆ and °, or ® and▯in the places of all the non-English characters, with no obvious way to fix the encoding.
The most robust solution would be that each document-showing application had a dialog showing how the text is displayed in all the supported codesets at once, allowing the user to choose the right one. Instead, we get config options buried deep in the menu, showing endless lists of cryptic options, forcing the user to try then one by one. It's frustrating to know that the correct configuration is one click away, but having no idea which one is the right option.
Mmmmmhhh... That gives me an idea for an app...
It got much better in the last years as UTF-8 gained wider adoption. The problems are mostly with legacy systems in government. (Cannot comment on that since my name fits in ASCII.)
Using desktop applications is still a nightmare, where opening any document from the internet or navigating to a foreign page is hit or miss.
Also, the main frustration is not that it happens often; it's that when you encounter it, fixing it may involve studying the whole software stack to find out where the setting is switched or at what point in the toolchain the format was mishandled.
It also often happens with pages in Chinese or Japanese. But then you bring another problem: when a document is shown as a list full of ▯▯▯▯▯▯,▯▯-.▯▯▯, there's no way to tell if the problem is with the encoding or the fonts, and no obvious way to know which font should be installed and what part of the software stack is the one responsible.
The whole field of displaying documents to end users could benefit from some user-centered design to build tools that helped users to fix these situations, based on some common heuristics to solve the most frequent problems.
I don't know, maybe it's me who's doing something wrong and turn to using only a small subset of software tools, properly configured?
But I do need to process documents from many origins using a variety of different tools; I've never found a good programable multimedia editor that satisfies all my needs (something like emacs but with WYSIWIG capabilities).
I've known a few people called Zoë (enough now that I still know the alt-0235 short-code for it on windows), and inevitably on their licenses the omit the diaeresis above their name.
It's really a version of Falsehoods Programmers Believe about Names writ-large, by government.
One argument people mentioned (though I have no idea whether it has any validity) is that if you have the diacritic on the birth certificate then it's easy to drop it later, or not use it in practice, but the other direction would be harder to justify.
As an aside, one can indeed simply change one's name whenever one likes and start going by a new name, so long as it's not for fradulent purposes. One is advised to get some kind of documentary name-changing paperwork, and getting a passport etc in your new name will require that paperwork.
Aside: The inverse problem is also funny: when you have a Latin name, it's hard to tell how it's supposed to be pronounced. When one wants to transliterate it into Cyryllic, one would wish to preserve pronounciation. This causes some names to be transliterated in many different ways, depending on the transliterator's opinion of the correct pronunciation of the original name.
And of course choosing the standard Cyrillic-alphabet language
For example, the (quite common) name Юрий has been transliterated as Yuriy, Yurij, Yurii, Yuri, Juriy, Jurij or even other options.
Also, you can't transliterate from Cyrillic, you can transliterate from a particular language, since any phonetic transliterations will be slightly different between, for example, Russian and Ukrainian - even ISO 9 accounts for that, so a sequence of letters without context can't be sufficient for transliteration, the exact same sequence of cyrillic letters may have to be transliterated differently depending on its language.
There are situations in which you have to transliterate, rather than transcribe, because you don't know what language it is. For example, it's a name in a list of names of people from different places.