It's a short and easy to pronounce name, word. The combination of the letters/sounds/syllables "TA" and "NI" can bee seen in varous languages: Romance languages (like Italian, that has "Tani"), Altaic languages (like Hungarian: "Tan"), Persian, Semitic (like Arabic: "Al-Tani"), Japanese ("Tani").
In Romance languages
- The Italian (Toscana) surname "Tani"
In Italian the family name Tani is not so much popular. It is used in some area of Centre (Toscana and Rome) and Northern Italy (Ferrara). It is the genitive form of the name "Tano" (originally Gaetano): "Tani", as alternative to "Di Tano". Tani and Di Tano therfore have the same meaning. Famous Tani people:
- Angelo Tani, Florentine merchant, representant of the De' Medici family in Bruges (Angelo Tani commissioned the Last Judgment of Hans Memling now in the Art Museum of Danzig, Poland);
- Nicolo Tani, from Borgo San Sepolcro (Arezzo), active in Veneto, writer of commedies (La cognata, Padova, Mejetti, 1583, a "historical" commedy at the time of the attempt of Filippo Strozzi to return to Florence) and language books (Avvertimenti sopra le regole toscane con la formazione dei verbi e variazione delle voci, Venezia, Rapano, 1550)
- Sante Tani, frome Arezzo (Tuscany), doctor in Law, catholic, antifascist fighter, killed in the prison by the Fascist Police after long tortures on 15 June 1944 (http://memoria.provincia.ar.it/biografie/sante_tani.asp);
- Luigi Tani (Rome), theatre actor and writer (http://www.anticafestadisangiovanni.org/artisti.php)
- Cinzia Tani (Rome), journalist and book writer
- A particularly interisting story on the Ladino origin of a Tani surname
As a child, Lazaro Baruj used to scratch his head. His father used to tease him: "Tanyi Lazarico.., tanyi". The word "tanyir" in ladino means "to play", the citar or the guitar so Lazaro's father refered to the particular way his son scratched his head as if he was playing a string instrument on his scull. When Lázaro and his brothers (Alberto and Moises) emigrated to The Philippines, they needed a new name to escape from Turkey (apparently the military service was cxompulsive at that time and it was war time). The difference between "Tanyi" and "Tani" was not a big and the latter sounded more like a japanese name, so the locals could easily pronouce it without problems. A child's nickname became then the surname of the new immigrants and their descendants.
By Lázaro D. Salem (April 2011). Source: My mother Clara Tani de Salem, since I was a little boy.