Sat, Jun 13, 2009 - Page 2 News List

New citizens to be allowed to use Romanized names

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The legislature yesterday passed an amendment to the Name Act (姓名條例) requiring foreigners to register a Chinese name after being naturalized.

But, in addition to their Chinese names, the amendment stipulates that naturalized foreigners can register the Romanization of their original names in the household registration database.


Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Kuo Su-chun (郭素春), who proposed the bill, said the new regulation was expected to help household registration offices effectively identify foreigners or stateless refugees when they apply for naturalization.

Registration of transliterated names can be confusing, she said.


“The current Name Act allows Aborigines to register a Romanization of their traditional names so as to ensure the uniqueness of their culture. Foreigners and stateless people should enjoy similar treatment,” Kuo said.

“Including their foreign names [in Romanization] can help maintain social order as well as safeguard their dignity,” she said.


During the review of the bill on May 25, Vice Minister of the Interior Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) had reservations about Kuo’s proposal, saying that allowing foreigners to register their names in Romanization contradicted how Taiwanese people use their own names.

Chien said the government would have to allocate additional funds for changing its household registration system to accommodate the new regulation.

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