Hispanic full names are different from the American ones even if you see three words: in the US you have the first name – middle name – last name. In Hispanic countries you have a last name that comes from the father’s family name and the mother’s family name. Check out Hispanic authors’ family names: García Márquez, Pérez Reverte, Vargas Llosa, Vázquez Montalbán… When authors have only one last name, it’s because they chose not to have their full name as their pen name (Pablo Neruda, Isabel Allende, Jorge Borges…) but they are officially Isabel Allende Something etc. (Pablo Neruda’s pen name was an alias, his actual name was Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto).
When you refer to an Hispanic person by their last name only (i.e. not giving the first name), you use both family names. For example, in the case of the composer Francisco Gabilondo Soler, you would refer to his music as Gabilondo Soler’s music.
When you know an Hispanic person’s name, it’s much easier to track down their genealogy tree since their names always include the mother’s name – even if only the father’s name is transmitted to the children.
Thanks to Monique Palomares from the Spanish version of Mama Lisa’s World for sharing this! Feel free to share your country’s naming traditions in the comments below.
This article was posted on Sunday, May 23rd, 2010 at 9:57 am and is filed under Baby Naming, Customs and Traditions, Hispanic Traditions, Mama Lisa, Naming Customs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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