How to enter Chinese names in data fields?

+3 votes
Data doctoring a pre-1500 profile, Xiu-1, Emperor Liu Xiu, I'm confused about the name fields. If the surname is entered into the LNAB field, and the given name entered into the first name field, the name appears backward. The only way to make it show correctly is to put the given name in the LNAB field. That is what has been done on this profile. Is that the correct way to do it?
WikiTree profile: Xiu Liu
in Policy and Style by Stephanie Ward G2G6 Mach 8 (88.1k points)

2 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer

I have been working on this for Korean names and have come up with a guide that is within current policies.  It helps to standardize the names for Korean and could be used for Chinese names, too.   The key is entering the Given Name and Family Name in these fields correctly and only in one language.  Put variations in the Biography at the beginning.  It worked for the entire Joseon Dynasty.

by G. Moore G2G6 Mach 3 (34.7k points)
selected by Stephanie Ward

The Korean naming conventions don't really work for Chinese. I tried many possible ways of entering names of my wife's Chinese family (some in the US, some in China) and found no good solution. The best I could come up with was to use the alphabet to spell names of people in America (see Wu-chi Liu-103) and to use Chinese characters for people who lived in China (柳-3 Liu Yazi). In both cases, I used the "nickname" field to enter full Chinese names, for example 柳无忌 for Liu-3 (Wu-chi Liu) and 柳亚子 for his father, 柳-3 (Liu Yazi). I tried to follow the Korean naming conventions otherwise (for example, using Chinese for people who lived in China, alphabet for people who lived in English-speaking countries and adding alternate versions of names in the biography in Chinese and English). The display of Chinese names will never come out quite right with the current Wikitree data fields. Using Chinese characters is important even for people living in English-speaking countries because alphabetic spellings of the same Chinese names vary (e.g., Gao or Gaw) and different Chinese names can have the same English spelling (e.g., Liu 柳 and Liu 刘). Is there a better solution?

+4 votes
I would think that is the wrong thing to do, reversing the names in the fields in order to display them in the proper order. Because it confuses surname/family name with given names in the database (and search engines, etc.)

Unfortunately, WikiTree was originally designed with only western naming conventions in mind. This causes problems when trying to accommodate other cultures and naming conventions.

I would think it shouldn't be too difficult to add a feature to support reversing the displayed names based on an optional checkbox. But you never know what other problems one might encounter when trying to add new features.
by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (537k points)
Since it is already done, I guess the best I can do is add a note in the bio.

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