Friday, December 5, 2008

How to Correctly File Hispanic Names

I know that community-based learning students don't like it when they are asked to file during their time in the community. However, their learning goals are to improve their Spanish and knowledge of Latino cultures. Filing information on clients with Hispanic names helps them with both. And imagine the impact of mis-filing for the organizations where our students work and and their clients.

That's why I was unhappy to learn that many SPAN 232 students did not do well on their exam section asking them to put some Hispanic names in alphabetical order.

I can imagine that some students feel that putting names into alphabetical order isn't important. It is! It is especially important in the organizations where they work because they are dealing with clients who may not have "accommodated" to the American system of using only one last name. And it is especially important for clients whose papers are so important for their legal status, medical information and other high-impact issues that require so much paperwork. Misfiling, or pulling the wrong file, can have very negative consequences.

So, let's see how much you know about putting Hispanic names in alphabetical order? Put these names in alphabetical order in a comment to this post. Answers will be posted next week!

Víctor Emilio Cázares Salazar
Laura Díaz-Brown
Carlos Lage Cordoniu
Carlos Enrique Cordoniu
Roberto Alvarez Quiñones
Irene del Río
María del Carmen Pucci

People with Hispanic last names


  1. While U.S. last names are usually in the form of [Andrew B. Wright (Name / Middle Name abbreviated/ Last Name)] Hispanic last names have many different forms

    a. Simple
    Marcos Campillo Fenoll (Name / 1st LN / 2nd LN)

    b. Simple with two names
    Marcos Javier Campillo Fenoll (Compound Name / 1LN / 2 LN)

    If you see only "Marcos Javier Campillo", you must know that JAVIER is a name, not last name in Spanish, and therefore, a second last name is missing.

    Now, last names can also be compound, as coming from two lineages (hyphenated) or coming from French influence with the structure "de la" "del" "de los"...(sign of a noble last names)

    a. María Pérez García-Treviño
    b. María Perez García de los Monteros

    So, there are many combinations you can find, but you should be able to know if one is a Hispanic Name or Last Name:

    1. Antonio / Pérez / Roca (simple version)
    2. Antonio Javier / Pérez / Roca (compound name)
    3. Antonio / Pérez / Roca de la Mota (compound second last name)
    4. Antonio Javier / Pérez / Roca de la Mota (compound name and compound 2nd last name)
    5. Antonio Javier / Pérez-García / Roca de la Mota (compound name, compound 1st LN, compound 2nd LN)

    There is a HUGE need to develop an understanding of what is a first name and last name in Spanish when encountering it. Some can be considered as names and last names, and therefore are the ones that can be confusing.

    :: Carlos Martín > Compound name or Martín is last name?::

    Practice, practice, practice by reading, reading, reading
    That is the best way to find new names and last names in Spanish.

  2. PS. First Names can also be compound by "del" "de la" etc...
    I.e. María de las Mercedes...

  3. Gracias, Marcos.


    Alvarez Quiñones, Roberto
    Cázares Salazar, Victor Emilio
    Cordoniu, Carlos Enrique
    del Río, Irene
    Díaz-Brown, Laura
    Lage Cordoniu, Carlos
    Pucci, María del Carmen

    Next semester will give SPAN 232 students these explanations + 2 activities to complete after class session.

  5. If there are 2 Diaz's whose goes first? Diaz? then Diaz-Brown?

  6. If two compound 1st ln and 2nd ln are the same then how do you file? First name or 2nd name? Aka same family.
    Fernando Julio Hernandez​ de La Cruz Lopez del Lucero

    Francine Janet Hernandez​ de La Cruz Lopez del Lucero