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The Name Game | 名字的习俗

My name is Melissa Gillis. I teach English in a high school in South Carolina . Roberto Vega is one of my students. In another class, I have a student named Alfredo Marino. They are both from El Salvador. Last month, the teachers had Parents’ Night at the high school. I met Alfredo and Roberto’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Marino. The two boys have the same mother and father! They are brothers but have different last names.

In many Latin American countries, people have two “last” (family) names. The first family name comes from the father. The second family name comes from the mother. The boys are actually Roberto Marino Vega and Alfredo Marino Vega. “Marino” comes from their father and “Vega” comes from their mother.

When the boys started school in the United States, they wrote their names on a form. In the space for “last name,” they wrote “Marino Vega”. But in the United States, people are not used to double last names. A woman looked at Alfredo’s form. She understood that Marino was his first family name, his father’s name. She crossed out “Vega”. From that day on, his last name for school was Marino. Another person looked at Roberto’s form. This person decided that Roberto’s last name was “Vega”, and crossed out “Marino”. Suddenly, the brothers had different last names!

 

 

 

我叫米丽莎•吉利斯,在南卡罗莱纳州的一所中学教英语。罗伯托•维加是我教的一个学生,在另一个班上有个学生名叫阿尔弗雷多•马里诺。他们都来自萨尔瓦多。在上个月学校举办的教师与家长见面会上,我遇到了阿尔弗雷多和罗伯托两个人的父母,马里诺夫妇。这两个男孩居然是同一对父母所生,两人是兄弟,却有着不同的姓。

在很多拉丁美洲国家,人们都有两个“姓氏”。第一个姓来自父亲一方,而第二个则来自母亲一方。这两个男孩儿的名字应该是罗伯托•马里诺•维加和阿尔弗雷多•马里诺•维加。“马里诺”是父亲的姓,“维加”是母亲的姓。

当他俩在美国的学校报名入学时要填表格,在“姓氏”一栏里他们写的是“马里诺•维加”。但在美国人们并不习惯这种双姓,一位女老师看到阿尔弗雷多的表格,知道“马里诺”是他的第一个姓,也就是他父亲的名字,于是就把“维加”划掉了。从那天开始,他在学校的姓就成了“马里诺”。而另一个人看了罗伯托的表格,以为他的姓是“维加”,便去掉了“马里诺”。这一下两个亲兄弟就有了不同的姓氏!

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