Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Personal names at Beijing: two steps forward, one step backwards

Holding the Olympics Games in East Asia has had one small effect on spreading an understanding of global differences in personal name patterns. As East Asians write their name in a different order to us Anglo-Saxons, participant names are being written, for some countries, in the correct order, and with the family name shown in upper case:

WU Minxia
Stephanie RICE

It seems however, that this recognition is fairly limited: not all countries have had their personal name patterns recognised. And, with all that money spent, not a sign of a diacritical mark anywhere. A wasted opportunity to be truly global.