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View Full Version : Is it "Na Li" or is it "Li Na"?


MasterTS
07-04-2006, 03:53 PM
The ESPN commentators keep calling her Li Na as if Li is her first name and Na is her last name.. but on the tournament draws and scores they list Li vs Cljisters etc...

Is this some asian spelling reverse rule or are the ESPN commentators idiots as always?

KBalla08
07-04-2006, 03:55 PM
same thing with yao ming in the nba, they write their last names 1st i think, so her last name is Li, but she writes it first... thats what ive learned here in houston having yao on the rockets lol

skip1969
07-04-2006, 03:58 PM
yeah, i agree. i'm no expert and i'm not chinese, but the surname is first, given name second. so yao ming is mr. yao and na li should be ms. na.

str33t
07-04-2006, 03:59 PM
its just because espn sucks :rolleyes:

skip1969
07-04-2006, 04:07 PM
hmmm . . . well, it's ms. na when you address her, i suppose. but she would write na li.

but yeah, espn still sucks.;)

Marat Safinator
07-04-2006, 04:11 PM
Na Li is the correct way.

pached
07-04-2006, 04:59 PM
Na Li is the correct western way to say it. East Asians put the surname (family name aka last name) before the given name (first name), so the commentators were trying to be politically correct when saying Li Na. They wouldn't say Ms. Na though. It would still be Ms. Li.

pound cat
07-04-2006, 05:28 PM
the next lesson willl be in the correct pronunciation of the Russian women's names as in Kuz NETsova, SharAH pova,

highsierra
07-04-2006, 05:30 PM
Li is a very common Chinese surname, it's as common as last names like Smith in English. Na is the given name.

I don't think the ESPN commentators were even aware what they're saying to be politically correct or otherwise. I guess Chinese would say western names in either order too, and in Chinese!

Buzzlightyear
07-04-2006, 05:32 PM
Agree with KBalla08. If you call Yao Ming as "Yao Ming", then you also should call Li Na as "Li Na". Yao and Li are their family name (surname) and the Chinese name format have their family name come first.

I think the western format (i.e family name come last) should be used only when they give themselves an English first name. So say for example if someday Yao Ming woke up and like to call himself John, then you can call him John Yao.

If you call them with their complete Chinese name, then you should use the Chinese format, i.e. Yao Ming. That's exactly what his name is pronouced in Chinese.

emcee
07-04-2006, 06:14 PM
The ESPN commentators keep calling her Li Na as if Li is her first name and Na is her last name.. but on the tournament draws and scores they list Li vs Cljisters etc...

Is this some asian spelling reverse rule or are the ESPN commentators idiots as always?

It seems you were the idiot! Great idea for a poll...that's a great way to find the answers!

MasterTS
07-04-2006, 06:16 PM
It seems you were the idiot! Great idea for a poll...that's a great way to find the answers!

I was the first person to place the vote, and my vote is correct. Who's the idiot now, fool.

Dan007
07-04-2006, 06:24 PM
The first name and the last name is the opposite in China, Korea, etc. In US we would call her Na Li, but in China they would call her Li Na

emcee
07-04-2006, 06:26 PM
I was the first person to place the vote, and my vote is correct. Who's the idiot now, fool.

Yeah you correctly noted that there was some "reverse Asian spelling rule". Well put. Then you had to start a poll to validate what you thought. It's just a dumb thing to do...to start a poll, like it's going to do anything.

cricri
07-04-2006, 06:28 PM
Even in some french-speaking coutries like mine, we put the Lastname before the Firstname. It's since i have been here in the U.S.that i have to do the opposite.

MasterTS
07-04-2006, 07:07 PM
Yeah you correctly noted that there was some "reverse Asian spelling rule". Well put. Then you had to start a poll to validate what you thought. It's just a dumb thing to do...to start a poll, like it's going to do anything.

Did it ever occur to you I made the poll and made it public to see who the idiots were on the board? LoL you being one of them .

SER
07-04-2006, 07:53 PM
it's the same with all those players....Peng Shaui, Sun Tian-Tian, Zheng Jie.....Chinese do that **** backwards I guess

Golden Retriever
07-05-2006, 05:25 AM
Whichever sounds better would do. Yao Ming just sounds a lot better than Ming Yao so Yao Ming it is, doesn't matter if it is upside down or inside out. For Na Li, I think Li Na sounds better so Li Na it is. By the way, Na Li means "what" in Japanese so calling her Na Li would get her into trouble in Japan. You don't want that do you?

Fedexeon
07-05-2006, 05:41 AM
Her name is Li Na. Not Na Li. Confirm bout this.

Nyl
07-05-2006, 05:47 AM
alrite, i'm chinese, i think i can put this thread into an end.

Na = first name and
Li = Last name

we call people by their last name FIRST and first name LAST ie. Li Na
in the case of Yao ming,

Ming = first name
Yao = last name

n we call him, Yao Ming, as the westerners SHOULD call him Ming Yao but they don't

equinox
07-05-2006, 05:47 AM
Why doesn't she smile?

emcee
07-05-2006, 09:01 AM
Did it ever occur to you I made the poll and made it public to see who the idiots were on the board? LoL you being one of them .

I'm an idiot because I think you're an idiot for making a poll? I didn't vote in your poll and I know all about the "reverse Asian spelling rule"...I AM Asian! But I won't argue with the "artist formerly known as twistserve".

Also, I like how it took you a day to come up with this excuse for your poll. As you idiots say..."LoL!"

emcee
07-05-2006, 09:02 AM
Whichever sounds better would do. Yao Ming just sounds a lot better than Ming Yao so Yao Ming it is, doesn't matter if it is upside down or inside out. For Na Li, I think Li Na sounds better so Li Na it is. By the way, Na Li means "what" in Japanese so calling her Na Li would get her into trouble in Japan. You don't want that do you?

Yeah, Retriever Golden, would you want people switching around YOUR first and last name by whatever "sounds better"?

malakas
07-05-2006, 09:04 AM
Did it ever occur to you I made the poll and made it public to see who the idiots were on the board? LoL you being one of them .

You honestly believe that if someone doens't happen to know the east-Asian order for names..is an idiot???
:rolleyes:

Golden Retriever
07-05-2006, 09:35 AM
Yeah, Retriever Golden, would you want people switching around YOUR first and last name by whatever "sounds better"?

I don't really mind.

mucat
07-05-2006, 10:21 AM
And we chinese have soup before and after meals....
arr....nevermind, ba ba black sheep.....

MasterTS
07-05-2006, 10:53 AM
....nevermind, ba ba black sheep.....

HAHAHAH...

ATXtennisaddict
07-05-2006, 11:36 AM
Her last name is Li. Her first name is Na.

In America, it's first/last where as in asia (chinese names), it's last/first...unless you have an english name, that always comes first regardless or where you are.

sureshs
07-05-2006, 12:06 PM
BTW, this first name/last name inversion is common in the southern parts of India too. It gets more complicated because the legal first name is often the father's legal last name, so there is no "surname" to carry over from generation to generation.

A.B -> father, who is known as B or Mr. B
B.C-> son/daughter, who is known as C or Mr/Ms C
C.D->grandson/granddaughter thru male C, known as D or Mr/Ms D
F.E->grandson/granddaughter thru female C, known as E or Mr/Ms E, where F is C's husband

However, the legal last name, which is the first name, is used only as a way to address the person. The first and last names are not inverted and used together. So, B would not be called Mr. B.A

MasterTS
07-05-2006, 12:07 PM
You honestly believe that if someone doens't happen to know the east-Asian order for names..is an idiot???
:rolleyes:

Are you asian?

malakas
07-05-2006, 12:13 PM
BTW, this first name/last name inversion is common in the southern parts of India too. It gets more complicated because the legal first name is often the father's legal last name, so there is no "surname" to carry over from generation to generation.

A.B -> father, who is known as B or Mr. B
B.C-> son/daughter, who is known as C or Mr/Ms C
C.D->grandson/granddaughter thru male C, known as D or Mr/Ms D
F.E->grandson/granddaughter thru female C, known as E or Mr/Ms E, where F is C's husband

However, the legal last name, which is the first name, is used only as a way to address the person. The first and last names are not inverted and used together. So, B would not be called Mr. B.A

That's nothing.I have read that in Moggolia the government had banned any surnames for hunderds of years.And now they try to create them again.
There are restaurants who make free DNA-tests to find the grand-grand children of known families.....:neutral:

malakas
07-05-2006, 12:14 PM
Are you asian?

my grandmother was from minor asia ..but what that has to do with anything??:confused:

MasterTS
07-05-2006, 12:19 PM
my grandmother was from minor asia ..but what that has to do with anything??:confused:

Plenty :)

norcal
07-05-2006, 12:19 PM
How come so many soccer players have only one name? And how come they use 'nil' for zero? And why does Rafa look so disinterested in his beard...err I mean 'girlfriend'?

So many questions so little time.

sureshs
07-05-2006, 12:22 PM
What is minor asia? I have heard of Asia Minor, which is Turkey.

Oh, to add more to this thread, check out Muslim naming conventions. X bin Y means X, son of Y. Then, there is the use of "al-". But I am no expert in this.

MasterTS
07-05-2006, 12:23 PM
my grandmother was from minor asia ..but what that has to do with anything??:confused:

How tall are you malakas?

malakas
07-05-2006, 12:32 PM
What is minor asia? I have heard of Asia Minor, which is Turkey.

Oh, to add more to this thread, check out Muslim naming conventions. X bin Y means X, son of Y. Then, there is the use of "al-". But I am no expert in this.

yeah..that's what I meant..But not Turkey.It's the Anatolia peninsula which is now the state of Turkey.But it was not always and not only Turks lived and live there.

malakas
07-05-2006, 12:33 PM
How tall are you malakas?

Whatd you care???;)
I don't say anything..if I don't hear your answers first!!:p

MasterTS
07-05-2006, 12:36 PM
Whatd you care???;)
I don't say anything..if I don't hear your answers first!!:p

Trying to figure out what type of tennis player you are. If you're tall you may have some good power but if you're real short you're probably real consistent. So how tall are you and how much do you weigh?

malakas
07-05-2006, 12:41 PM
Trying to figure out what type of tennis player you are. If you're tall you may have some good power but if you're real short you're probably real consistent. So how tall are you and how much do you weigh?

lol
IF that's what you trying to figure out..then I will be glad to inform you that I am a beginner and my game..well..my game..is what it is!!!:cool:
Everyone has to start from somewhere!!

th41291
07-05-2006, 12:42 PM
Ok. I'm Chinese, so I'm credible. :)

The tennis player is called Li Na, with Li being her family name.
The basketball player is called Yao Ming, with Yao being his family name.

Why would you ever start a poll? haha, what an idiot! (Sorry, just wondering about people's stupidity sometimes.)

mowcopian
07-05-2006, 04:21 PM
its just like football. with js park for man u. it is pronounced park ji sung.

iamke55
07-05-2006, 09:25 PM
I knew Americans were clueless about other countries, but wow...

MasterTS
01-21-2007, 04:40 PM
meo meo meo

scineram
01-21-2007, 05:00 PM
On scoreboards given names are shortened, like
M. Hingis
P. Schnyder
N. Li

lorenza
01-21-2007, 05:02 PM
On scoreboards given names are shortened, like
M. Hingis
P. Schnyder
N. Li


lol...:rolleyes:

Zets147
01-21-2007, 05:03 PM
Doubleeeeeeee

It's Li Na!

Zets147
01-21-2007, 05:05 PM
Trying to figure out what type of tennis player you are. If you're tall you may have some good power but if you're real short you're probably real consistent. So how tall are you and how much do you weigh?

I'm medium and I'm neither! lmao

Gilgamesh
01-21-2007, 05:28 PM
I have a friend with the same name.

It is Li Na. Chinese way is surname first.

For her English name, my friend just combines her name into Lina.

mhstennis100
01-21-2007, 05:45 PM
And Ichiro Suzuki, he plays baseball for the Mariners I think. Ichiro is the name on his uniform.

Forehand Forever
01-21-2007, 06:41 PM
Yeah, that's what I was about to say mhstennis. I voted ba ba black sheep because I had no idea and the commentators kept confusing me.

VikingSamurai
01-21-2007, 06:58 PM
Ichiro is his first name.. Alot of Japanese players use their first name or nickname for marketing reasons.. Like "Shinjo" who used to play for the Mets and then the Giants.. He came back to Japan to finish his career and has always used Shinjo for marketing reasons..

To clear it up a little. My daughter is half Japanese. She has a Japanese first name, and a western middle name and Surname (mine). She goes to a Japanese school. And they always say the Surname first, and then the first and middle names. (Although Japanese dont have middle names) So she is kinda unique like that..

boxingguy
01-21-2007, 07:11 PM
And Ichiro Suzuki, he plays baseball for the Mariners I think. Ichiro is the name on his uniform.

Ohhhh, man, what a great example to further confuse everyone!

Suzuki is his family name, Ichiro is his given name. In Japan, Ichiro was such a superstar that he went by just his given name. Like Cher and Madonna. That's why he puts his given name on his uniform, instead of his family name, like the other ballplayers (both in Japan and the U.S.) do. Ichiro is exceptional in more ways than one.

In Asian countries such as China, Korea, and Japan, the family name is said first, then the given name, e.g. Li Na, Lee Hyung-Taik, Kim Jong-Il, Sugiyama Ai, Watanabe Ken.

At this point it gets confusing, because when the names are said in a Western context, Japanese tend to adopt the Western way, Koreans sometimes do and sometimes don't, and Chinese tend to keep their native way.

When she plays in the U.S., Sugiyama Ai always becomes Ai Sugiyama, In U.S. newspapers, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo always becomes Shinzo Abe, and in movies in the U.S. Watanabe Ken becomes Ken Watanabe.

When he plays in the U.S., South Korean tennis player Lee Hyung-Taik becomes Hyung-Taik Lee, but South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il remain Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jong-Il in U.S. newspapers.

When she plays in the U.S., Chinese tennis player Li Na is still Li Na. Yao Ming is still Yao Ming in the NBA. In movies in the U.S. Chow Yun-Fat is known as Chow Yun-Fat, Zhang Ziyi is Zhang Ziyi, and Gong Li is still Gong Li.

So for those who are confused, you have plenty of reason to be!

rodd
01-21-2007, 07:24 PM
lol you guys are really cute,I cant believe you can talk about this for so long.

Tezuka Kunimitsu
01-21-2007, 08:06 PM
What is first is her surname or last name. So what ever is last would be her first name.

Ni gui xing? would be Li

Ni jiao shenme mingzi? would be Na

~Joe

lorenza
01-21-2007, 08:14 PM
What is first is her surname or last name. So what ever is last would be her first name.

Ni gui xing? would be Li

Ni jiao shenme mingzi? would be Na

~Joe

eh? this makes no sense whatsoever...

Tezuka Kunimitsu
01-21-2007, 08:20 PM
eh? this makes no sense whatsoever...

why not? Her surename is Li and her "first name" as in common name, would be Na...

~Joe

Tezuka Kunimitsu
01-21-2007, 08:22 PM
of course, I am comparing it to American name vs Chinese name.

American would be

Na Li

Chinese would be
Li Na

~Joe

lorenza
01-21-2007, 08:24 PM
of course, I am comparing it to American name vs Chinese name.

American would be

Na Li

Chinese would be
Li Na

~Joe

i understand the concept, but i think it was just your explanation that i didnt understand. i get it. thanks :D

Tezuka Kunimitsu
01-21-2007, 08:32 PM
i understand the concept, but i think it was just your explanation that i didnt understand. i get it. thanks :D

Hmm, yeah probably. I should of emphasized when I was comparing American to Chinese...in my head it all sounded good...lol It is good everything is cleared. Have a good night.

~Joe

BigServer1
01-21-2007, 10:18 PM
This poll was confusing as hell, and I voted incorrectly (forgive me). In China, they say the last name first to identify the family name. The first name isn't much more than an afterthought. The "idiot" ESPN commentators are correct.

elee3
01-21-2007, 10:26 PM
Of course their are lots of exceptions. In movies in the U.S., Li Gong
is usually credited as Gong Li!

So for those who are confused, you have plenty of reason to be!

I think Gong Li, Gong is her family name. I have never heard a native speaker call her Li Gong before unless she's an exception, but I don't think thats the case.

rfprse
01-21-2007, 10:47 PM
Their (Espn tennis commentators) idiocy is not in their trying to say the name as the native speaker would say but in their lack of knowledge that the same linguistic "policy" applies not just to the china but also to other countries in the eastern Asia.
What makes worse is their tone of their knowing something that any ordinary person wouldn't when they go on babbling "in china, bla bla,..." Gee, just wondering why all of sudden, they want to do this and only to the chinese players. I've never heard tennis analysts, for example, saying Hyung-Taik Lee as Lee Hyung-Taik even though it's the way the native speakers would. Just funny.

crazylevity
01-22-2007, 07:15 AM
I think Gong Li, Gong is her family name. I have never heard a native speaker call her Li Gong before unless she's an exception, but I don't think thats the case.

That is correct. 巩俐 is her name as written in Chinese, and Gong is the surname.

crazylevity
01-22-2007, 07:17 AM
as for the original topic...the name as written in Chinese is 李娜 (Lǐ Nà). Surname is Li.

boxingguy
01-22-2007, 07:22 AM
I think Gong Li, Gong is her family name. I have never heard a native speaker call her Li Gong before unless she's an exception, but I don't think thats the case.

Thanks! I'm obviously as confused as anyone else. So she's not an exception, I'll edit my post.

superbooga
01-22-2007, 08:55 AM
Generally, in Asia, things are ordered from most general -> most specific.

This is not only for names, but also for dates, addresses, etc.

In the United States:
1234 Someroad, Somecity, Somestate 4321

In Asia:
4321 Somestate, Somecity, Someroad 1234

sypl
01-22-2007, 11:51 AM
meo meo meo

Look what you've done. Why on earth did you drag this topic back up?

Zai Na Li, zai Na Li jian guo ni...

MasterTS
01-22-2007, 11:58 AM
Look what you've done. Why on earth did you drag this topic back up?

Zai Na Li, zai Na Li jian guo ni...

I'm a genius!

Golden Retriever
01-22-2007, 08:41 PM
Lee Bruce, Li Gong or Li anything sounds really lame. So for all the Li's and Lee's it is better to put the Li's first, regardless whether Li is the first name or last.

BTW she needs a nose job.

PeterSampras
01-23-2007, 08:05 AM
Who cares how to pronounce her name. She sucks.

StunLock
01-23-2007, 08:42 AM
01/02/03

What date is that in China, the US and Europe?

: O