On 4 March 2011 00:54, Adam Walker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I'm in need of some information about naming practices in Romance speaking
> countries.
> I'm pretty familiar with Spanish (Given, [other given], Father's family,
> Mother's family) and Protuguese (Given, [other given], Mother's family,
> Father's family) customs (though I understand there is some degree of
> variation).  And I know that Romanian practice is Family, Given, [other
> given].
> I had always assumed that French names worked like English ones with one or
> more given names followed by a single family name, but a Romanian friend
> insists that French names work like Romanian names with the family
> preceeding the given.  Can you set me straight Christophe?  Adn did France
> ever have the custom of giving the child both the father's and the mother's
> family name?
It's rather complicated in France. When speaking, or writing names in
informal situations, the order is Given, [other given], Family. In formal
situations, however, it's usual to switch to Family, Given, [other given]
order. This includes official documents like birth certificates. I think my
diplomas also have the Family, Given name order. Also, it's considered
normal to use the Family, Given name order (followed by the address) on
envelopes to indicate the recipient of a letter. So both orders are used,
just not in the same situations. And the usual word order is Given, Family.

Also, I'm not aware of it ever being the custom to give a child both the
father's and mother's family name. I also know that it's officially
disallowed: a child cannot have a family name different from both their
father's and their mother's. However, what *is* allowed is for people
marrying to use a different name. Officially, when people marry in France,
they still keep their family name (women too). And officially, their birth
name is still their only legal name (unless they changed it by legal
request). However, they also gain a right to use their own family name
and/or their partner's family name, alone or in combination. Traditionally,
women then simply start using the family name of their husband, which is
also used then with the children. However, they can also use it after their
own family name, or before it, or just keep using their maiden name. Men
have exactly the same rights. So sometimes married people will agree on
using some kind of mixed family name, and that name will be used by the
children as well.
Those alternatives are rare, but the law allows it (in the Netherlands those
possibilities also exist, but here they are used more often).

> I am trying to settle on naming customs for C-a and had just about decided
> on Spanish-style customs when I realized this may be a peculiarity of the
> Iberian penninsula which I don't really need/want to introduce into C-a.
> Adam the confused

I have to check one day how I handled naming conventions in Narbonese. AFAIK
it might have been a combination of Spanish and French customs... Let me
check my notes...
Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.