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Roman-letter names on Taiwan passports

Who can and cannot be a dual national, as well as the joys and frustrations accompanying that status. Includes ROC Passport and Military Conscription issues
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Roman-letter names on Taiwan passports

Postby Zla'od » 04 Mar 2016, 12:21

A few questions for anybody who has a Taiwan passport (or whose family member does):

1. On the romanized (pinyin) name, does anybody NOT have a comma after the family name? (e.g. "Chen Hui-mei" vs. "Chen, Hui-mei"). All the examples I've seen have this format, and I'm wondering if this is a rule.

2. On the romanized (pinyin) name, does anybody NOT have a hyphen in their personal name, assuming it is two characters? (e.g. "Chen Huimei" instead of "Chen Hui-mei")

3. This section is called a "foreign" name, but seems always to be a romanized version of the Chinese-character name. Does anybody have any other kind of name in this space? I mean on the same line as the Chinese-character name, not in the "also known as" space below. In other words, is it a rule that there must be a direct pinyinization (using whatever system) of the Chinese-character name? For example, perhaps some naturalized foreigners have their "original" names there.

4. I understand that romanized / pinyin names can follow any system--including hanyu pinyin, Wade-Giles, or even non-Mandarin systems such as POJ (for Taiwanese). For that matter, they can be completely ad hoc / homegrown, following no known system. Is this right? Are they no restrictions, or does it all come down to the personal judgement of the people in the passport office?

Thanks!
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Re: Roman-letter names on Taiwan passports

Postby smatto » 04 Mar 2016, 13:52

Hi Zla'od,

I have a Taiwanese passport and based on mine:

1. Yes, mine does have a comma after the family name

2. My Chinese name has been spelt with a hyphen (though I should also note, I was born overseas and my other passport also has my Chinese name with hyphen as my middle name)

3. My passport has a "Also known as" section, to which my English name (per my other passport) is written here (however my Chinese middle name appears to be missing on this passport)?

4. I can't really help you with this one because I don't know but I can say that my Chinese name spelt in pinyin does not appear to be consistent spelling with how those words would be spelt now, so I am unsure where my parents got it from... For example, one of my characters is 雨 (as in "rain") which I think is technically spelt as "Yu" but my passport has it as "Yeu"

Hope that helps in some way!
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Re: Roman-letter names on Taiwan passports

Postby kaikai34 » 04 Mar 2016, 22:11

1. Mine has a comma.
2. I don't have a romanized Chinese name. It's my English name, same as in my US passport.
3. I don't have this section. I believe I used to have one on my Hua Chiao (overseas) passport, but once I got my ID card and switched passports, I no longer had that section.
4. I'm guessing there aren't any restrictions. Just make sure your ticket is spelled the same way. My wife's passport is Shieh, although Hsieh is a more common spelling with the occasional Xie. Once we had a ticket or a visa with Hsieh and instead of returning the ticket and incurring a fine (I think), we went to the passport agency and got an AKA page added with both forms of the spelling.
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Re: Roman-letter names on Taiwan passports

Postby Chris » 04 Mar 2016, 22:29

1. Using a comma is common in official documents, lists, and other places where the purpose is to facilitate alphabetization. A comma should not be used in a name that's in sentence, such as "I met a man named Huang, Jing-wen when I visited the night market." (An exception is "My name is Bond, James Bond." But that's a clarification, not a normal mention of a name.)

2. Most people in Taiwan romanize their names with the old Wade-Giles system, which includes a hyphen.

4. You can choose to romanize your name how you please, I understand. If you don't choose one, the government may choose one for you, but I don't know which system they default to. (Hopefully not the dreaded Tongyong!)
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Re: Roman-letter names on Taiwan passports

Postby hsinhai78 » 04 Mar 2016, 23:40

Chris wrote: (Hopefully not the dreaded Tongyong!)


Oh, be prepared for the glory of Tongyong to come back, all thanks to President "Cai Ingwun" of "Jhonghua Minguo".
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Re: Roman-letter names on Taiwan passports

Postby Chris » 05 Mar 2016, 02:00

hsinhai78 wrote:
Chris wrote: (Hopefully not the dreaded Tongyong!)


Oh, be prepared for the glory of Tongyong to come back, all thanks to President "Cai Ingwun" of "Jhonghua Minguo".

God I hope not.
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Re: Roman-letter names on Taiwan passports

Postby Zla'od » 05 Mar 2016, 07:56

Thanks to all of you! Is there anybody out there who does NOT have the comma or the hyphen?

Kaikai34, do you mean to say that your "English" (not romanized Chinese) name is on the same line as your Chinese-character name? (not one line below it?) I assume it doesn't use a hyphen... Is it in the format "Family name, comma, personal name"?

The commas are, no doubt, intended to clarify which name-element is the family name. Unfortunately, they imply that the name-order ought to be reversed. For example, "Chen, Hui-mei" suggests that her name is really "Hui-mei Chen" rather than "Chen Hui-mei" (regardless of how she feels about reversing the order). A better system would be to place the surname in all-caps.

There used to be rules against using hanyu pinyin (mainly directed at x's and q's), but this policy may have changed by now. The interesting problem is, if ANY pinyinization is okay, then what prevents our friend Chen Hui-mei from rendering her name as "Bob QWERTY" or any other random sequence of roman characters? In other words, a back-door name change.
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Re: Roman-letter names on Taiwan passports

Postby darth_guy » 05 Mar 2016, 14:19

Comma always (can confirm from two Taiwanese passports), hyphen for Chinese romanized names. Any romanization is allowed and even a totally different English name, including different family name. Romanization may be any method including made up.
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Re: Roman-letter names on Taiwan passports

Postby kaikai34 » 05 Mar 2016, 16:06

Zla'od wrote:Thanks to all of you! Is there anybody out there who does NOT have the comma or the hyphen?

Kaikai34, do you mean to say that your "English" (not romanized Chinese) name is on the same line as your Chinese-character name? (not one line below it?) I assume it doesn't use a hyphen... Is it in the format "Family name, comma, personal name"?

The commas are, no doubt, intended to clarify which name-element is the family name. Unfortunately, they imply that the name-order ought to be reversed. For example, "Chen, Hui-mei" suggests that her name is really "Hui-mei Chen" rather than "Chen Hui-mei" (regardless of how she feels about reversing the order). A better system would be to place the surname in all-caps.

There used to be rules against using hanyu pinyin (mainly directed at x's and q's), but this policy may have changed by now. The interesting problem is, if ANY pinyinization is okay, then what prevents our friend Chen Hui-mei from rendering her name as "Bob QWERTY" or any other random sequence of roman characters? In other words, a back-door name change.



Yes, my English name (although my middle name is my Chinese name) is on the same line as my Chinese character name. Comma, no hyphen. Last name, First Middle

I think it's gotta at least sound a little close to the Chinese pronunciation. Like Chun Hwei May could maybe pass but Bob Qwerty obviously wouldn't.
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