What is the preferred way to handle Korean names in Wikitree?

+4 votes
117 views
What is the preferred way to handle Korean names in Wikitree?  The last name appears first.  There are multiple versions of Kim Il Song and other North Korean leaders in Wikitree.  See [[Category:North Korea]]
WikiTree profile: Kim Kim
in Policy and Style by G. Moore G2G6 Mach 3 (34.7k points)

In my opinion, the "Last" Name at Birth means the family name or surname (simplified version). Based on my limited knowledge of Asian naming conventions, the correct "LNAB" for the referenced profiles would be Kim.

However, before you make any changes, G., perhaps WikiTree membership needs to have a serious discussion regarding the names of our name fields!

And we definitely need some naming standards for surname-first cultures if we expect to grow WikiTree in those regions.

I agree with Lindy. If the surname comes first you would put it in the LNAB field. In the biography you would put it in the order they would in Korea. It would be nice to have a Naming Conventions page for Korea so that you could link to it on the profiles. The G2G is a good place to start that conversation.

2 Answers

+3 votes
The fields on WikiTree were designed and named by people for whom "last name" is synonymous with "surname" and "family name". The best we can do is to consider the intent rather than the labeling when filling out the name fields.

(This is the first thing I complained about on G2G, too: https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/560211/can-we-stop-using-last-name-and-first-name)
by J Palotay G2G6 Mach 6 (61.4k points)
+1 vote

I came up with a draft policy for Korean names in Wikitree.  I would welcome any comments.  See [[Space:Korean Naming Convention in Wikitree]]

by G. Moore G2G6 Mach 3 (34.7k points)
I've edited the page to replace some positional labels with the appropriate non-positional terms.

("Korean first name" is a prime example why positional terms should be avoided: do you mean the name that comes first in Korean, or the name that corresponds in Korean with the English concept of a first name?)
Thank you.   This makes more sense with the changes that you made.   The Wikipedia article that I used to create this page had an American English slant to it that needed to be corrected.
One question: when you say "the hyphen is important to avoid database errors", are you talking about the "are you sure?" message that comes up if there's a space between elements in the "Proper First Name" box? If so, that's not a database error, that's just WT trying to enforce its US-centric world-view. You can safely tell it to save anyway. However, using a hyphen does avoid this particular annoyance, so perhaps re-word the freespace page: "Using a hyphen instead of a space avoids triggering an annoying "are you sure?" message."
The hyphen is indeed a standard transliteration practice.

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