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  • Vietnamese Names

    Ok...Lou, Phieu, Altus...one of y'all school me on this...how do Vietnamese names work. For example, Nguyễn Văn Tín, I don't see the family name Hieu in there. I know some cultures use the family name first. How does that work?
    There are no stupid questions,but there are alot of inquisitive idiots. -Hankwill

    "A special breed of man will sacrifice everything for the security and freedom of so many unthankful others"
    - Ron Piper

  • #2
    In Vietnam the family name comes first, followed by the middle name, then the first name. Usually using the first name only comes with greater familiarity.

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    • #3
      Miss Saigon,
      I don't see Don call out your name
      Lou, Phieu, Altus...one of y'all school me on this
      But, I have to say you did a good job in explaining this to him.
      I guess he does not need any of the three of us in this matter anymore now.

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      • #4
        Don744. What she means is: Never address a Vietnamese by their family name (the 'first' name), unless you are either intimately known to that individual, or are in a clear position of authority, and in neither case, in a situation which will give offense.

        example: A senior general is clearly upset with Nguyen Van Tin. He would address him as "General Tin".

        Same situation, in a closed room, where the senior general really wants to ream General Tin's butt. The offending junior would be addressed as "General Nguyen" or merely "Nguyen" to get the point across. In the latter case, he expects a grudge to be held.

        I believe it follows Southeast Asian custom, rather than East Asian usage.
        dit: Lirelou

        Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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        • #5
          So how would you address a good friend? Which name would you use?

          Cheers,
          Dan.
          So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise and make them miserable.

          Aldous Huxley: Ends and Means (1937)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lirelou View Post
            Same situation, in a closed room, where the senior general really wants to ream General Tin's butt. The offending junior would be addressed as "General Nguyen" or merely "Nguyen" to get the point across. In the latter case, he expects a grudge to be held.
            Lou, an American Senior General would do like as you say to a Vietnamese Junior General. A Vietnamese Senior General would rather spell out the Junior General's full name and say "General Nguyen Van Tin" and never just "General Nguyen".

            But, wait a minute, am I being displayed here in a ridiculous manner?!
            Last edited by Phieu; 07 Oct 12, 15:32.

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            • #7
              So how does Hieu fit into Nguyen? I'm an easily confused individual.
              There are no stupid questions,but there are alot of inquisitive idiots. -Hankwill

              "A special breed of man will sacrifice everything for the security and freedom of so many unthankful others"
              - Ron Piper

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              • #8
                Lou, you should have left it at Miss Saigon's simple explanation.
                Now, you have made it more confusing for Don ...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by don744 View Post
                  So how does Hieu fit into Nguyen? I'm an easily confused individual.
                  Nguyễn is the family name (which in Vietnamese comes first). Hiếu is the first name, or given name (which in Vietnamese comes last).

                  You are not the only one easily confused over these name things. To this day I'm still not sure why we have Uncle Hồ, Uncle Tôn, President Ngô, but President Thiệu and General Giáp.

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                  • #10
                    Perhaps because Ho was a nomme de guerre and not the Nguyen clan name?

                    Phieu, because family name and 'first' name mean different things to Westerners.
                    dit: Lirelou

                    Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by don744 View Post
                      So how does Hieu fit into Nguyen? I'm an easily confused individual.
                      It is that fashionable head swag you wear. It makes it difficult to think about anything except how to accessorize with it on


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                      • #12
                        I think your response does not help much this time around. Au contraire, it makes Don more perplexe for sure!
                        Perhaps, a Vietnamese model donning a nón lá would be more à propos and more enlightning?
                        Last edited by Phieu; 07 Oct 12, 21:08.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Miss Saigon View Post
                          It is that fashionable head swag you wear. It makes it difficult to think about anything except how to accessorize with it on


                          and the nose-ring is intriguing.............

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                          • #14
                            You have introduced an additional perplexity inducing element, Cham!

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                            • #15
                              Don, You mean you haven't read "The Dega"? This and other proper etiquette and tradition was very well explained

                              I'm gonna need a new Longaberger for all these cookies

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