Cal Poly Pomona

Korean Names

Helpful Hints

What you have to know....

There are no Korean middle names. For example Kim Min Ho. "Min" is not a middle name but part of the first name. Min Ho is the first name.

There are no standard English alphabet forms for Korean names. Koreans put the English spelling in our names by ourselves. Sometimes there are various spellings for the same names. For example, some use Lee as their last name, and also Yi is commonly used. However, both of them are exactly same in Korean.

Last Name:

Almost 30% of the Korean population has Kim, Lee, or Park as its last name.

  • Kim
    Consonant "K" should be pronounced like "G". But it should not be soft form such as George. It should be like give.
  • Lee (Yi)
    Consonant "L" should be pronounced like y. Some spell "Yi" as their last names.
  • Park
    Consonant "P" should be pronounced like "B". But if they spell "b" then it sounds like "bark" which is a little bit strange. That's why they spell "Park" as their last names. But please pronounce it like "bark."
  • Choi (Choe)
    It should not be pronounced like Choice, but Choe. Logically Choe is correct to pronounce. Many Koreans who have got Choi as their last names expect to be called Choe.
  • Lim (Im)
    Ignore the first consonant "L". Just pronounce Lim like Im.
  • Bae
    It is hard to pronounce the vowel "ae". If you find "ae" in a first name or last name, do not panic. You can pronounce the vowel "ae" like Bat.
  • Si (Shi)
    "Shi" does makes more sense for Koreans. But some spell "Si" as their last names.
  • Kang
    It is like "Kim". It should be pronounced like "G". So "Gang" will be more correct. But Gang? It sounds like a criminal. So in the vowel "a" should be pronounced like "arm".
  • Oh
    It sounds like "to be surprise with something". But it is a last name. English speakers pronounce it like "ou". But do not pronounce "u". Just like "o-"
  • Sung. Chung (Jung), Chun (Jun)
    Focus on the vowel "u". When you pronounce these last names, you should be careful. "u" must be pronounced like sun. You can apply it to most of the following case;
    Consonant + u + n ----Sun
    Consonant + u + l ----Sun
    Y + u + n ----Sun
    Also you can find several exceptions later.
  • Do (Doh)
    You might wonder "hum do? Do what?" It is not a sort of verb. The vowel "o" should be pronounced like Doh.

First names - Male

  • Jung Hun (Jung Hoon)
    As explained above, a consonant + u + n should be pronounced like sun. But here is an exceptional case. Let's take a look at Hun. In this case you'd better pronounce it like noon. Sometimes Koreans spell it like Hoon too.

First name - Female.
You can find a lot of Eun, Mi, Kyoung, and etc.are in one of their first names.

  • Eun
    Eun should be pronounced like asylum.
  • Hee
    It should be pronounced like "he"
  • Kun
    Kun should be pronounced like asylum.

Do not be confused. Koreans never have middle names, just two syllabus first names. Few people have got single syllabus first name also.

You can learn more about Korean names at Wikipedia.

Last Names

Pronunciation

First Male Names

Pronunciation

First Female Names

Pronunciation

An (Ahn)

[ahn]

Chang-Ho

[changho]

Eun-A

[euna]

Bae

[beh]

Chang-Su

[changsu]

Eun-Hee

[eunhee]

Chi (Ji)

[ji]

Chang-Uk

[chang-uk]

Eun-Ju 

[eunju]

Cho (Jo)

[jo]

Dong-Min

[dongmin]

Eun_Jung

[eunjung]

Choi (Choe)

[choe]

Dong-Uk

[dong-uk]

Eun-Kyoung

[eunkyoung]

Chon (Jun)

[chon]

Du-Ho

[doho]

Eun-Mi

[eunmi]

Do

[do]

Hyun-Su

[hyeonsu]

Eun-Su

[eunsu]

Ha

[ha]

In-Ho

[inho]

Eun_Sun

[eunsun]

Hong

[hong]

Jang-Ho

[jangho]

Eun-Young

[eunyoung]

Jang (Chang)

[jang]

Ja-Hoon

[jahoon]

Hye-Su

[hiesu]

Kang

[gang]

Jong-Cheol (Jong-Chul)

[jongchul]

Hyun-Ja

[hyunja]

Ki

[ki]

Jong-Pil

[jongpil]

Hyun-Ju

[hyunju]

Kim

[kim]

Jong-Su

[jongsu]

Hyun-Jung

[hyunjung]

Ko

[ko]

Jung-Hee

[jeonghi]

Hyun-Young

[hiuniung]

Ku

[ku]

Jung-Hun (Jung-Hoon)

[jeonghun]

Jin-Sook
(Jing-Suk)

[jinsuk]

Kwon

[kwon]

Jung-Yeol

[jung yeol]

Kun-Sun

[keunsun]

Lee (Ye)

[liee]

Ki-Hoon
(Ki-Hun)

[kihun]

Kyoung-Mi

[kyungmi]

Lim

[im]

Kwang-Ho

[kuangho]

Min-Hee

[minhee]

Ma

[ma]

Man-Su

[mansu]

Min-Hoe

[minhoe]

Min

[min]

Min-Ho

[minho]

Min-Jung

[minjung]

Na (Nha)

[na]

Min-Ki

[minki]

Min-Young

[miyoung]

Nam

[nam]

Min-Kyu

[minkiu]

Mi-Kyoung

[mikyoung] 

Oh

[oh]

Min-Su

[minsu]

Mi-Sun

[misun]

Park (Pak, Bak)

[bak]

Sang-Ho

[sangho]

Mi-Young

[miyoung]

Roh (Noh)

[no]

Sang-Ki

[sangki]

Na-Young

[nayoung]

Ryu

[riu]

Sang-Kyu

[sangkiu]

Sang-Hee

[sang/hee]

Shim

[shim]

Sang-Min

[sangmin]

Sang-Mi

[sangmi]

Shin

[shin]

Suk-Chul

[sukchul]

So-Young

[soyoung]

Si (Shi)

[shi]

Sung-Uk

[sung-uk]

Sun-Hee

[sunhee]

Sohn

[shon]

Yong-Su

[youngsu]

Su-Jung

[sujung]

Song

[song]

Young-Ho

[young/ho]

Young-Hee (Yung-Hee)

[young-hee]

Sung (Seong)

[seong]

Young-Il

[young-il]

Young-Ja

[youngja]

[jang]

Young-Min

[youngmin]

Young-Mi

[youngmi]

Yu

[iu]

Young-Su

[youngsu]

Yun-Hee

[iunhee]

"-" means pronounce separately.

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updated June 22, 2005