What does Tan mean after a name in Japan?
If you have close relationship with someone older, you are supposed to say sempai (先輩) at the end of his name. E.g. Ken sempai. It is quite common to add San at the end of the company name to show a respect for the company.
If you have heard san, sama, kun and chan before, then you know that in Japan, you just simply do not call people by their names! Or you would be very rude. Indeed, to address someone or speak about someone, you need to use the “Japanese honorific title”.
Chan ( ちゃん) is a form of san used to refer to children and female family members, close friends and lovers. The change from san to chan is a kind of “baby talk” in Japanese where “sh” sounds are turned into “ch” sounds, such as chitchai for chiisai, “small”.
It’s cultural. “-san”, along with “-dono”, “-kun”, “-chan”, “-sama” and others, are all suffixes that are added after certain people’s names by certain people. They’re used based on your social relationship with this person. For example, if someone is higher than you in a hierarchy, you might use “-sama” with them.
San is the most commonly used respectful title placed someone’s first or last name, regardless of their gender or marital status. Sama is a more formal respectful title — use it after the family names of your clients, customers, or those to whom respect is due.
Using “San” expresses one’s caring for others. Therefore, it is recommended to use “San” in any type of situations. “Kun(君)” is usually used for boys, especially the younger ones. On the contrary, “Chan” is for girls. So very close friends use “Chan” to call each other even if they are boys.
–Sama (さま), the more formal version of san. Usually used to refer to customers who are deserving of the utmost respect status in Japan, people of higher rank, or somebody you admire.
“San,” “kun,” and “chan” are added to the ends of names and occupation titles to convey varying degrees of intimacy and respect in the Japanese language. They are used very often and it is considered impolite if you use the terms incorrectly.
Tan (たん) is an even more cute or affectionate variant of -chan. It evokes a small child’s mispronunciation of that form of address, or baby talk – similar to how, for example, a speaker of English might use “widdle” instead of “little” when speaking to a baby.