The area I live in has a very large population of Chinese people. I also speak fluent Chinese as a second language (10+ years learning and also speak at home). For various reasons I regularly meet new people and may stay in contact with them for a period of time.
I personally find it hard remembering the name of Chinese people if they don't provide me with an English name. So if they introduce themselves as Steve Wang, in most cases I won't have trouble remembering Steve's name, but if someone introduces themselves as Wang Da Wei then I will usually forget. I have in certain cases had people say (in Chinese) "just call me Steve" because they will notice that I struggle to remember their name after asking a few times.
I think it's important to remember peoples names because it shows that you are interested in them and its a poor way to start a friendship if you can't remember their name or have to ask each time you meet.
So, my question is two-fold:
- Is it just me, or has it been shown that remembering names which come from a foreign language are more difficult to learn?
- Is this issue exacerbated in languages such as Japanese or Chinese where you need to have the name written down or each character described?