I'm in the middle of doing a translation project for a website that has UI elements for filling out forms. The pre-programmed UI has 「ファーストネーム」, but I would think 「名」or「名前」 would make more sense. Which variant sounds more natural in this case?

  • Who are the users that will be filling out this form? What does ファーストネーム mean in the context of this UI? I suspect it means "given name" as opposed to "surname or family name". If so, remember that this only makes sense for users from cultures where the given name comes first -- which is not Japan. In the context of official forms, I'm used to seeing 名【な・めい】 for given name and 姓【せい】 for family name. Commented Dec 17, 2019 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


In web forms, you can use single-kanji 姓【せい】 ("last/family name") and 名 【めい】("first/given name"). We normally say 名字 and (下の)名前 ("(given) name", literally "bottom name") in most situations, but these are too colloquial in web forms.

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