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French Language/Compound given names

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QUESTION: Dear Caro,

I have a question about compound given names in France (such as Jean-Pierre). If someone was called Jean-Pierre, would they always be adressed as Jean-Pierre, or would they ever just be adressed as Jean?

I know this isn't strictly a language question, but I wasn't sure who else I should ask -- I hope you don't mind!

Thanks!

ANSWER: Hi Minnie, or Bella?

I mentionned briefly this point in my previous answer.
In the case of compund names, people are addressed with the whole name. Jean-Pierre is Jean-Pierre. He may be called Jean but it is a kind of nick name.

I hope this helps

Cheers

Caro

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Caro,

Thank you, I did read through your other question (which made me think it would be okay to ask this of you even though it is more cultural than language-based), but I am not Bella, and her question was not really relevant enough to what I was asking!

So, as I understand you, it is okay to call Jean-Pierre Jean as a nickname? And how commonly does that happen? Is it something only Jean-Pierre's family and close friends would do?

Thanks.

Answer
Hello Minnie,

Thank you for your reply. Sorry for my misunderstanding, I thought you were Bella, since you both asked me question on names the same day.

Yes you can call Jean-Pierre Jean if you are a relative or a friend, have an informal relationship. Sometimes, people who has a compound name simplify it. A friend of mine is named 'Jean-Robert' and he insists that we should call him "Jean", even in a professional environment. So I guess it depends on the person named with a compound name.

Sometimes the name is reduced : Jean-Baptiste become J.B., François-Xavier F.X, Jean-Pierre J.P.
A famous footballer Jean-Pierre Papin is nicknamed J.P.P.


I hope this helps

cheers

Caro

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Caro

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Hello! I'm a French native speaker living in France. If you need someone to proof-read your translations and essays or need help on French grammar, pronounciation, French traditions, or cultural aspects do not hesitate to contact me, I'd be glad to help you. I'm in the Top 50 experts of the year in 2011 and 2012. Tank you dear questionners!

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French is my first language (mother tongue). I studied linguistics when I was at university.

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I passed a master of British literature

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