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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.
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