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    Adopting a new name?

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    gaffer
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    Adopting a new name?

    Post by gaffer on 13/07/16, 08:34 am

    A question for whose wife has joined them in the UK. (if there are any such members left) Neutral

    In the UK it is traditional although not mandatory for a wife to take the family name of her husband. In the case of a Chinese wife of course there is the added complication of her name being the "wrong way around" (family name > Given name). The question is what decision did you make? The options could be;

    Keep the Chinese name as is. (could cause confusion with forms etc)
    Change the order (Chinese given name> Chinese family name)
    Use husbands family name and Chinese given name
    Use husbands family name and Chinese given name plus Chinese family name. (like double barreled family name or middle name)

    If the name is changed is there any legal formality required ?

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    Re: Adopting a new name?

    Post by aeothoneoeth on 13/07/16, 09:38 am

    Hi Gaffer,

    My wife has been with me living in the UK for 9 years.

    We decided to keep my wife's name unchanged as it causes less problems with officialdom, and apart from the odd strange look when saying Mr & Mrs followed by both our names it has worked very well
    I did look into changing her name at the time and could not see any leagle problems as long as it is not done for fraudulent purposes.

    I think the main reason we did not change her name was that I had had enough of form filling after obtaining her visa.

    Douglas
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    gaffer
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    Re: Adopting a new name?

    Post by gaffer on 13/07/16, 10:34 am

    Thanks for responding Douglas. So you kept the Chinese format family name>given name? Presumably if you complete registration forms etc (even on line) it comes back in the opposite format? For example the bank would send her a letter addressed in English format given name>family name?
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    chinatyke
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    Re: Adopting a new name?

    Post by chinatyke on 13/07/16, 01:27 pm

    Douglas is right, anyone can adopt a different name providing it is not for fraudulent purposes. Women in Britain usually do it when they get married, ie they usually take their husband's surname. You can also do it "officially" by deed poll (a sworn declaration) at the local Registrar's office, but this isn't strictly necessary.
    My wife would still be known as her Chinese name Gan Jiaping if we came to live in Britain and we'd explain that GAN was her family name. I don't see any reason for changing names. I think banks would send letters addressed to Mrs Jiaping Gan which is acceptable.

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    Re: Adopting a new name?

    Post by Elephantbleu on 13/07/16, 03:55 pm

    We are married, and happily living in UK.
    For general "day to day" conversation, she uses her English adopted name of Fay.
    However for all more important stuff, like banks, driving licence, she uses her Chinese name in Latin characters.
    (You can just imagine the bank trying to copy her Chinese character name Smile

    So it's generally family name, followed by given name.

    As an example her college has her enrolled as given name, followed by family name, yet all her tutors address her as Fay.

    We have not yet had any problem with the reversal of given name - family name, as against family name - given name.

    Even air tickets for holidays have seen named both ways, so not sure it really matters 100&

    Graham Weifang

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    Re: Adopting a new name?

    Post by CPRSCC on 14/07/16, 12:29 pm

    We opted to go with the Australian tradition of the wife taking the husband's name. Partly because I felt that it was the right and traditional thing to do while she wanted to take on the Australian way.

    That seemed like a good idea at the time but Li retains Chinese citizenship and her ultimate identification document, which is her passport since her Chinese ID card means nothing here, has the effect that, for certain things her Chinese name is used.

    I find it amusing that her passport contains visa stickers made out in her married name. At various border/immigration checkpoints this has never even raised an eyebrow, so I assume that it's not uncommon.

    In day to day situations amongst non-Chinese she uses her given name and my surname, but to her Chinese friends she is known by her Chinese name. Her business card shows her given name and my surname, underneath which, in Chinese characters, is her Chinese name.

    If I were to do it over again I think that I wouldn't be quite so traditional. These days lots of women, not just Chinese, use their maiden names. Marriage is, after all, not in a name but, rather, in how two people feel about each other. Yet another attitude of mine that this remarkable woman has changed, not through dialogue, but through her actions.

    Elephantbleu
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    Re: Adopting a new name?

    Post by Elephantbleu on 14/07/16, 12:45 pm

    Fay and I have also decided, that when it's time for pregnant, then the child will have my surname, as our child would be born in UK.

    Gra
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    gaffer
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    Re: Adopting a new name?

    Post by gaffer on 14/07/16, 01:09 pm

    Good to have differing views. My wife's sister married a French Canadian where traditionally wives do not take their husband's family name. She decided to simply change hers around to given name>family name for convenience. I suggested the same for my wife but she seems in favour of keeping her Chinese name but swapped around and adding my family name. Both of her names are very short so sound like one name.

    I've noticed in China that friends rarely call each other by given name only. They usually use full names unless long, then they tend to repeat one (Wei becomes Weiwei)

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    Re: Adopting a new name?

    Post by Wesley143 on 14/12/17, 06:15 am

    I have bot married so no experience regarding wife. Laughing
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    dafu
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    Re: Adopting a new name?

    Post by dafu on 14/12/17, 08:19 am

    Ancestry is important to a Chinese person who retains her father's surname all her life. This tends to be used in full, even when referring to family members.

    My wife has retained her Chinese name in the traditional order. She owns a property here and the deeds and utility bills bear the Pinyin form of her Chinese name.

    In Hungary the surname comes first and married women are addressed by their Husband's surname and given name plus 'ne' (wife of). This is much how it used to be in the UK (Mrs + husband's personal name + husband's surname).
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    gaffer
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    Re: Adopting a new name?

    Post by gaffer on 14/12/17, 09:24 am

    In the UK it would be difficult and confusing to keep a Chinese name in traditional form. Legal and formal forms and registraions etc. all require completion in British format. Completing incorrectly would lead to difficulties in filing and searching, and in the case of legal forms may well prove to be illegal or not legally enforceable. After taking legal advice we opted to simply switch names to given and family so retaining the family name, although in some situations she sometimes adds her married name at the end. When her passport is required we simply add a note of explanation backed up with an HMRC letter.

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    Re: Adopting a new name?

    Post by CPRSCC on 14/12/17, 02:46 pm

    No such problems here.

    Well there weren't, until we recently embraced PC overload. I guess that Mr, Mrs, husband, wife will now all be replaced by some sexless title. Rolling Eyes
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    Re: Adopting a new name?

    Post by HSV068 on 15/12/17, 10:18 pm

    Think the name set up is up to the individual, officialdom here, lets say for drivers licence, reverse the Chinese name, so Lu Chunjin became, Chunjin Lu, we never changed because her ID passport, applications for visa's etc have all been in the Chinese way, surname first, on Jin's first trip we opened a bank account, the teller could not make head or tail of the Chinese name, so we said, Chunjin Mills, thinking after she has no other ID with that name, possibly causing confusion, we closed and reopened in her proper Chinese name, but the bank didn't like it. and closed the account LOL
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    Re: Adopting a new name?

    Post by dafu on 16/12/17, 08:13 am

    A Chinese passport clearly identifies the holder's surname and given names both in Chinese characters and English (actually PinYin):

    姓 / surname
    丁 / DING
    名 / Given names
    党董 / DANGDONG

    Most forms have similarly labelled fields so there should be no confusion as long as they are correctly filled up in English.
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    chinatyke
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    Re: Adopting a new name?

    Post by chinatyke on 16/12/17, 03:58 pm

    Love the Chinese name: Ding Dangdong! Hilarious. I might adopt that one! 丁党董 Lowcock, it has a certain ring to it.
    Happyt Christmas to you.

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