Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hello, my name is....

Wei Jian Tong. This is our son's Mandarin name. The Chinese form names differently than Americans. Most noticeably, a Chinese name is written with the family name (surname or last name) first and the given name next, therefore "John Smith" as a Chinese name would be "Smith John". For instance, the basketball player who is commonly called Yao Ming would be addressed as "Mr. Yao", not "Mr. Ming".

Wei is his surname. Often children in Chinese orphanages are named after the orphanage, the region or the orphanage director. The director submitting Tong Tong's file is named Wei, so we suspect this in where his surname comes from.

Jian is his generational name. Jian means strong, healthy. In a two character given name, one of the two characters in the personal name is shared by all members of a generation. We've noticed that all of the boys referred recently from the the Tianjin Children's Welfare Institute share this generational name.

Tong is his first name. Tong means to connect or understand. Often the first name is repeated twice to form a nickname. His nickname in the orphanage is Tong Tong.

When generational names are used as part of a two-character given name, it is highly inappropriate and confusing to refer to someone by the first part of their given name only which will generally be their generation name. Instead, the entire given name should be used. In China our son would be called Jian Tong or Tong Tong.

When he comes home to us, his name will become......

Micah Jiantong Ladman

5 comments:

Doris & Dan said...

Congrats! Lovely name.

Keep smilin!

Mark, Rebecca and Sophia said...

Love the name!

Jay, Angela & Laney said...

Great name! Sorry that we didn't get to congratulate you in person on Friday. We are so excited for you!!!

Anonymous said...

I am over the top happy for you and Bruce and your new son! I am keeping up with you.
Your Friend,
Kelli C
From 1st Fridays

Cristy said...

Just wanted to stop by and say a HUGE congratulations on your handsome son! Love the name Micah and can't wait to meet him at First Friday!

Hoping for a quick LOA/TA for you!