First name, last name around the world

I’d like to quickly mention this article on internationalization of people names:

People who create web forms, databases, or ontologies in English-speaking countries are often unaware how different people’s names can be in other countries. They build their forms or databases in a way that assumes too much on the part of foreign users.

I’m going to explore some of the potential issues in a series of blog posts.

So far there are only two articles, but reading is already interesting enough. The first article, for example, demonstrates how the “first name, last name” doesn’t work in many countries. Brazilian Orkut users know that well: the lack of a middle name features makes it hard to find people.

Then the author list a series of Wikipedia articles on the structure of people names in many cultures. Have I ever said Wikipedia always surprises me? The article on Portuguese names (written in English) is great, for example.


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