When you first apply to join the forum, you will have to wait a while to be approved. Just be patient.

Once you are a member, don't forget to check the calendar(s) for session times. Sessions are held on different platforms, so be sure to find out where the session will take place:-

Speaking Practice

LEN English sessions:-

Listening Practice 24/7

English radio playlists:-

What is Your Surname or Family Name?

RafiaremaRafiarema Posts: 369 ✭✭✭
edited November 2015 in Home Life
Hi, I am From Indonesia, It is in South East Asia. My Name is Rafiuddin Rody and Rody is not my family name. Actually I do not have family name. Many Indonesians do not have family name.

Actually, some Indonesians do have family names, but not all of them. It all depends on their background.

For example family names in traditional Javanese and Sundanese (West Javanese) cultures are only used by royalties and noble families. The custom to give one's family name is not usual among Javanese commoners, in general they do not give much attention to one's parental lineage.

It is not uncommon for a Javanese to have only one word in their name, and even if they have more than one word in their name, it doesn't necessarily mean that the last word is their family name.

I am planning to continue my study in U.K and when I registered It's asked me to write my sure name which I don't have.

is It uncommon for you that someone doesn't have sure name?
Post edited by Lynne on


  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 30,452 mod
    I have just learned something new @Rafiarema! I didn't know that Indonesians don't always have a surname or family name. In Britain everyone does.

    In Nepal often the surname is that of the ethnic group the person belongs to. I have many Rai, Gurung and Sherpa friends. So in this case, their ethnicity is shown by the name. But Brahmin, Chhetri and Newar people also have surnames that don't belie their ethnic roots.
  • RafiaremaRafiarema Posts: 369 ✭✭✭
    @mheredge honestly I am rather confused when someone ask my sure name..lol
  • PawelZybulskijPawelZybulskij Posts: 22 ✭✭
    So how you fill "last name" line?
  • RafiaremaRafiarema Posts: 369 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2015
    @PawelZybulskij I would fill it with "N/A(not applicable)" for my surename.
    do you wanna know the funny thing is? when I fill my surename with N/A.
    I got a new name which is "Mr. N/A". lol
    that I got from university's replay.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 30,452 mod
    I think in your shoes I'd put my name as the surname and then just put a shortened version of the name as my first name. A friend of mine got fed up with people mistaking his first name (Satyan) for Satan, so he adopted the first three letters of his surname 'Raj' (Rajbandheri). You could try something like that @Rafiarema. Better than being called Mr NA!
  • RafiaremaRafiarema Posts: 369 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2015
    @mheredge I've thought about That actually but I'm afraid that would effect my other Identity cards.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 30,452 mod
    Or how about using your name twice? Maybe that wouldn't affect your existing ID cards @Rafiarema.
  • RafiaremaRafiarema Posts: 369 ✭✭✭
    @mheredge what if I put my whole name as my family name. @@ still confused.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 30,452 mod
    That might work @Rafiarema. In most places the family name is the most important way to identify you. The first name is less important.
  • LynneLynne Teach HomePosts: 9,840 mod
    @Rafiarema, I've never heard of this before either, but a quick Google has revealed it is a real issue for some people. Some of the immigration boards have suggestions, but I haven't found any official guidance.

    @april, have you got any ideas? Did you face a similar issue?
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 10,534 mod
    No, I don't have that issue because I have a surname, @Lynne .
    @Rafiarema , how about filling an application in Indonesia? Don't you have to fill both your name and your surname in an official application?
    Maybe you could ask Indonesian people who have been abroad for their study or business?
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 0 ✭✭
    in Egypt families are known by their family name for example me ..Nancy i am known for my family name when some body is searching for a bride he will take Nancy for her family ,,her father is from the Mekawii family and so on , some families cant handle with others and then you find fights and things like that . some villages includes only two families .
  • KhaliedKhalied EgyptPosts: 2,229 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm from Egypt my name every place is khalied love this name meaning the leader in Islamic khalied ibnwalled All mosliam know this leader my family is Megahed meaning struggle any enemy .
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 ✭✭✭
    hello @Rafiarema I didn't believe exist families without name.
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 0
    Hello Guys, in fact many people don't have surename, some months ago, I tried to send money to a Guy from China, But when I did the transference, I don't know what must to write in the line "second last name", because here in my country people use the two last names, and He told me that He doesn't has it...and the transference was not be complete without the second last name.... :), and the form is invalid with a empty space.
  • RafiaremaRafiarema Posts: 369 ✭✭✭
    @biso I didn't even know that sure name is important to many countries. LoL
    @april When I registered for IELTS test I was told to enter my last name as my sure name.
    @Lynne Yes. It is true teacher that This is a problem for me. LoL
  • LynneLynne Teach HomePosts: 9,840 mod
  • RafiaremaRafiarema Posts: 369 ✭✭✭
    @Lynne But It's not my family name. I'm rather confused
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 30,452 mod
    I have a neighbour who uses only one name. I'm never sure if this a surname or first name.
  • RafiaremaRafiarema Posts: 369 ✭✭✭
    @mheredge I consider myself lucky then. ^^
  • BubblyBubbly Nightingale Posts: 30,268 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Many people use first name only. But, in official documents surname is must. I usually use my first name in emails but sometimes, I will have to give full name just for formalities.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 30,452 mod
    I tend to use my first name almost exclusively when I'm here in Nepal. But apart from the immigration forms, I suppose I don't have many formalities to complete.
  • icha_15icha_15 Posts: 127 ✭✭
    Hi @Rafiarema : How are you?Nice knew you from Indonesia, I am from Malang also. So I think we have the same many things than others.
    Yes, I absolutely agree with you, generally in our country we don't put surname in the middle or the last of our name. Except some islands in Indonesia like North Sumatra maybe they will attach it.
    By the way, do you live in Malang?
  • diskvndiskvn Posts: 65 Inactive
    My family name is Bùi which is quite popular in Vietnam. Traditionally, in term of order, family name stands before our first name so It would be quite confused for foreigners working in or with people in my country. The most well-known surname is Nguyen, which is belong to our beloved former president. Therefore, for those who don't understand the order of a name would call all the people in a certain group with one name only
  • RafiaremaRafiarema Posts: 369 ✭✭✭
    @icha_15 ho oh mbak.
  • RafiaremaRafiarema Posts: 369 ✭✭✭
    @diskvn wow it's pretty confusing when all people are called with one name.
  • RafiaremaRafiarema Posts: 369 ✭✭✭
    @diskvn LoL.
  • LynneLynne Teach HomePosts: 9,840 mod
    :smile: - It must make getting social network accounts awkward. Nguyen100000000 ;)
  • kindgnicekindgnice LEO Motivator!!! Posts: 7,781 mod
    @Rafiarema: I guess surname, last name and family names are all same. ;)
This discussion has been closed.