China Proposes Combining Surnames

June 12, 2007 at 6:27 pm | Posted in China, 語言, 语言, Language, News, 新聞, 新闻, 中国, 中國 | 4 Comments

June 12 2007 BBC News

Chinese officials are considering measures to expand the number of surnames in the country in order to prevent confusion, state media says.

At the moment around 85% of China’s 1.3bn residents share around 100 surnames, a survey in April by the Ministry of Public Security found.

The most popular name, Wang, is shared by some 93 million people.

Now the ministry wants to give parents the option of combining both surnames for their children, China Daily said.

“If a father’s family name is Zhou, and the mother, Zhu, the baby could have four options for the surname: Zhou, Zhu, Zhouzhu or Zhuzhou,” the newspaper said.

This could create around 1.28m new surnames, said Guan Xihua, a household registration officer with the Beijing public security bureau.

The prevalence of some surnames caused problems in daily life and more of them would reduce repetition, she said.

In addition to Wang, some 92 million people are called Li, while another 88 million are called Zhang, the survey in April found.

More than 100,000 people share China’s most popular name, Wang Tao, another report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences found.

The ministry is now circulating a new draft regulation, that would allow couples to go for the doubled option, to police departments around the country for their comments, the daily said.

I don’t think this idea’s going to fly. Chinese people put a lot of pride and importance in their last names. It seems unlikely they would go around adding a character here and there. The Chinese culture has already suffered a lot under the CCP’s rule, I didn’t think it was possible for them to mess it up some more.



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  1. double surnames are going make us sound Japanese. It’s not going to fly at all in China but maybe in Taiwan

  2. most chinese scholars agree taiwan is the last holdout for genuine traditional chinese culture. therefore, something as asinine as combing surnames would never happen in taiwan.

  3. Nice to know but it has happened in some rare cases in Taiwan Province.

  4. hmmm, i believe your’re referring to the 皇民化運動 during the late 1930s up until the early 1940s, which took place in taiwan, ryukyu, hokaido, korea, AND china’s donbei provinces (manchuria).

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