If my name is Alfonso (first name) Barrera Ramirez (last name) what would I write when they ask for family name?

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Barrera Ramirez, perhaps with a hyphen to show it is one name: Barrera-Ramirez.

If you aren't from the US, how would you answer in your home country? That's probably the way to answer in the US, too.

  • Yes indeed, a hyphen would be appropriate. – Gene Dela Rosa Apr 1 '15 at 5:52
  • Why is a hyphen appropriate? It is perfectly possible to have one or more middle names that are not hyphenated with the family name. If this is one of those cases then "Ramirez" is the family name. – Marv Mills Apr 1 '15 at 8:24
  • 1
    @MarvMills No, hispanophones have TWO LAST NAMES, one from each parent. You must give both. – tchrist Apr 3 '15 at 2:58

"Family name" is simply a modern (some might derisively say politically correct) term for last name that recognizes cultures in which the family name traditionally comes first.

Among cultures that put their family name first, Asian cultures are probably the most familiar in the United States. But our media still usually Westernizes Asian names. For example, news reports will give the name of the Japanese Prime Minister as Shinzo Abe rather than the more correct Abe Shinzo.

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