Tán (Mandarin Chinese)
Tam (Cantonese Chinese and Hakka Chinese)
Tham (Hokkien Chinese and Teochew Chinese)
Tom, Thom (Toisanese Chinese)
|Meaning||to talk (archaic variant of 谈)|
|Region of origin||China|
|Language(s) of origin||Chinese|
Tan is the pinyin romanization of the Chinese surname 譚. In a 2006 study of the 100 most common Chinese surnames, Tan was found to be the 67th most common. It is also used in Korea, although very rarely.
The surname 陳 (pronounced Chén in Mandarin), is also sometimes transliterated as Tan based on its Hokkien pronunciation, particularly among South-East Asian Chinese.
Two origins have been suggested for the Tan surname:
- The surname came from the ancient State of Tan which was located in the western part of what is now Shandong Province. During the Spring and Autumn Period, this state was conquered by the neighbouring State of Qi. The court changed their surname to Tan in remembrance of their defeated homeland, and later prospered in Hunan Province.
- The surname came from the less common surname 談, another with the same pronunciation in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese Chinese. In order to avoid the revenge of their enemies, the clan leaders changed it to 譚.
A study by geneticist Yuan Yida has found that people with either of the two Tan surnames are especially concentrated in Hunan Province which would tend to support these accounts. This does not mean that they are the most common surnames in that province.
Romanisation and pronunciation
- In Cantonese Chinese, it is romanised as Taam4 in Jyutping and Tàahm in Cantonese Yale. It is romanised as Tam in Hong Kong and Macao.
- In Toisanese Chinese, it may be romanised as Tom, Thom, Hom, Ham or Hum.
- In Hokkien Chinese, Teochew Chinese and Hainanese Chinese, it is romanised as Thâm in POJ.
- In Vietnamese, it is romanised as Đàm.
- In Malaysia and Singapore, it is sometime romanised as Tham.
Prominent people with the surname 譚
- Alan Tam (譚詠麟)
- Tam Bing Man (譚炳文)
- Tam Kung (譚公)
- Patrick Tam Kar Ming (譚家明)
- Patrick Tam Yiu Man (譚耀文)
- Roman Tam (譚百先, stage name 羅文)
- Tam Yiu-chung (譚耀宗)
- Jason Tom (譚志豪)
Prominent people with the surname 陳, who transliterate as Tan
- Chade-Meng Tan (陳一鳴)
- Lucio Tan (陳永栽)
- Mely G. Tan (陳玉蘭)
- Mike Tan
- Kelvin Tan (陳偉聯)
- Steven Tan
- Shaun Tan
- List of common Chinese surnames
- Chinese surname
- Chinese given name
- Generation name
- Chinese clan
- Chinese compound surname
- Vietnamese name
- "谭 (譚)". nciku. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
- China Renews Top 100 Surnames, Li Still the Biggest , People's Daily Online (English), 11 January 2006
- In Search of Your Asian Roots: Genealogical Research on Chinese Surnames by Sheau-yueh J Chao, published by Clearfield Co, Baltimore 2000.
- A Practical English-Chinese Pronouncing Dictionary: English, Chinese Characters, Romanized Mandarin and Cantonese by Janey Chen, Tuttle Publishing, Hong Kong 1992.