Table of Contents
The order in which the components of personal names is written varies globally, and assumptions about element order will give processing issues and create data quality problems.
In Anglo-Saxon countries the order is
first given name[ ]second given name[ ]...[ ]surname or family name
John Eustace Frederick Bull
This order varies by country, region and culture.
In France, Italy and French-speaking Belgium the name be written with the given names following the surname, sometimes with a comma as seperator, sometimes without:
In Hungary, Japan and Korea names are usually written with the surname first:
When a name contains punctuation, this can be used as a clue to the compositional order:
In some cultures there a clear differences between given names and family names which allow them to be identified. In Iceland, for example, a patronymic will end in -sen or -dottír. In some countries only those given names on an apporived list may be given, and they must be unique from surnames in use.
However, in most cases post-processing cannot identifying with certainty which name(s) are given, which are surnames, which are other personal name components. Names such as:
are composed to elements which can be either given names or surnames, or both.
Practical International Data Management Online. A free resource from GRC Data Intelligence. For comments, questions or feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org