Korean Names

Traditional Korean names typically consist of only one syllable, due in part to the Korean Naming Laws of 1812. There is no middle name in the Western sense. The three most common family names are often written and pronounced as “Kim” (김), “Lee” (이), and “Park” (박). Unlike English style, Surname comes first, followed by First name. First names can be started from single letter such as “박봄” and “김범”. The most common style for first name would be the one with two letters, such as “이민호” and “이승기”. Rarely, some people have more than three letters as you can find it from “박산다라”.

Many Koreans have their given names made of a generational name syllable and an individually distinct syllable, while this practice is declining in the younger generations. Married men and women usually keep their full personal names, and children inherit the father’s family name.

Korean names can be either sino-Korean names which have adapted from Chinese letters (e.g. 장은경: 張恩京) or pure-Korean names (e.g. 朴봄).
Why don’t you give yourself one cool Korean name? It will facilitate your Korean learning!

– Ashley Jang (Korean language teacher)

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