Variations in Chinese names can make it difficult to establish the identity of a claimant
— especially one for survivor or auxiliary benefits.
Traditional Chinese names are made up of three characters —first the family surname,
second and third the given names of the individual. The surname remains constant but
a person can have as many given names as he wishes. Two at birth, one at marriage
and other “milk” names (i.e., nicknames, business names). Some individuals use their
third names as surnames in the U.S. and some reverse the order of their names. Differences
in customs and dialects also cause confusion in names.
Chinese name in Mandarin dialect — Wo
Cantonese dialect — Ng
Toishan dialect — Eng
Married women may use their maiden names and add “Shee” (the equivalent of “Mrs.”).