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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
01-13-2010, 10:44 PM
Originally Posted by jurgenheph View Post
Raises the broader question of what is the real last name?

Many asian names are Last First.

So was Sulu his first or last name?
Sulu was his surname (i.e. last name), his given (i.e. first) name is Hikaru.

Anyway, just because the Asian languages follow the [surname] [given name] format, doesn't mean that format stays the same when you convert it to English. When writing it in English, you use the [given name] [surname] format. Would be pretty ridiculous to be calling Harry Kim "Kim Harry" instead.

Incidentally, you'll often find that native Chinese with a relatively minimal knowledge of English and who only have a phonetic translation of their name in English will in fact write it out in English with the surname first. My grandmother does this, for example.