When should you use someone's family name first? And is Kim a first name or a last name? The Asia Media Centre looks at naming conventions in Asia. Foreign Minister Kono Taro whom we would usually refer to in English as Taro Kono wants reporters to write Japanese names in the East Asian style, which is to put the family name before the given name. For those who are used to the western convention, the format has been known to cause confusion. In some countries, the family name is king, while in others, calling someone by their given name is the polite thing to do.
And, by backwards I mean: Family name first and First name last. Am I just ignorant? I believe there are alot of cultures where the surname is first.
The names of Chinese people have their own tradition and characteristics. Unlike westerners, the family name in China is put first, followed by the given name. Interestingly a feme covert does not use her husband's family name. The given name usually contains one or two Chinese characters but in order to avoid confusion, newly-born babies are now entitled to be given names of three characters.