Names

Korean names are usually three syllables that can be written in HanJa or HanGul characters.   The family name comes first and is normally one HanGul syllable or HanJa character.  The given name is listed last and is generally two HanGul syllables or HanJa characters.

There are rare exceptions to the most common pattern of three syllable names (one syllable family name with a two syllable given name).  Some family names are two syllables, and some given names are just one syllable.    There is also a small but growing trend of pure Korean given names that don’t have HanJa representations.

Children receive the family name of their father.  When a woman gets married in Korea, she does not change her name.  She keeps her family name, which is recorded in her husband’s family registry.  Her children are given her husband’s family name.

Table 2.1 Examples of Korean Names

HanJa

HanGul

Pronunciation

Name

李明花

이명화

Lee MyungHwa

Family: Lee

Given: MyeongHwa

Meaning: bright-

         flower

朴琪

박기현

Pak GiHyeon

Family: Pak

Given: GiHyeon

Meaning: jade-clear

김하늘

Kim HaNeol

Family: Kim

Given: HaNeol

Meaning: heaven

Note:
The pure Korean given name “HaNeol” has no HanJa representation, so it is
only written with HanGul Korean letters.

 

Family Names

Given Names

 

115 thoughts on “Names

    • Sure, I can help. Why do you want a Korean name?

      If you want your name written in Korean so that it sounds just like a Korean name, then it could be:

      Suhana Razali = 수하나 라자리

      Suhana (수하나) sounds good in Korean — it is almost like a Korean name already… 🙂

      Koreans put their one-syllable family name first, of course. Su is a Korean family name:
      HanJa (Chinese Characters) for “Su” = 水
      Hangul (Korean Characters) for “Su” = 수

      A given name comes next and is usually two syllables. HaNa (하나) is a girls name in Korean:
      HanJa (Chinese Characters) for “Hana” = 夏娜
      Hangul (Korean Characters) for “Hana” = 하나

      There are other possible HanJa for 수하나, and picking different HanJa can give the name another meaning, too. With the examples above, 水(su) means water and 夏娜 (HaNa) means summer (or great) beauty (or elegance).

      http://koreangenealogy.org/book/names/family-names/
      http://koreangenealogy.org/book/names/given-names/

    • Are you taking a Chinese name and picking the closest sounding Korean name?

      Jin – 진 (陳) is a Korean family name/surname that is the most similar to 陈. When this character is not used as a surname it has many other meanings, such as to display or exhibit.
      SeoEun – 서은 (舒恩) is a given name that is close to SooYeon (수연). Seo means to open up or be comfortable and Eun means kindness, mercy, or charity. To get the meaning for SooYeon instead of SeoEun (if you want a more exact match that sounds more like a Korean name, since SooYeon is a popular Korean name), you can choose any of the HanJa characters in this list that match 수 and 연
      http://koreangenealogy.org/book/names/given-names/
      Here are the meanings:
      http://hanjadic.bravender.us/%EC%88%98
      http://hanjadic.bravender.us/%EC%97%B0

      • Thank you very much! And yea, I was using the name that sounds closest to my Chinese name.

        So, does Jin – 진 have an actual meaning when it’s a surname?

        • Jin 진(陳) could mean to display or exhibit when it isn’t used as a surname. If you choose the following HanJa for SooYeon: 秀妍 then your Korean name would be 陳秀妍 and could mean “displays/exhibits (Jin 陳) elegant/flowering (Soo 秀) beauty (Yeon 妍)”.

  1. I want a korean name but it’s hard composing one…my chinese name is 李思丽- 李 is my family name and the second character means wise kind of and the third means beautiful. Li si li is how you would pronounce it…I want something different but similar…it’s so hard to track down the romanization and Hangul of a character TT_TT. All I know is that my family name is 이. This is so hard.

    • How about 李美娜 (이미나 Lee MiNa). Mi is beautiful and Na is elegant/graceful. Another character for Na that is used in that Korean name is 螺, which means a spiral shell. If you want to keep the same sound as the Korean name MiNa but use an original HanJa character for Na, 娜 (Na) also means beautiful. Here are some other options for Na: http://hanjadic.bravender.us/%EB%82%98

  2. Hi, my chinese name is 陈爱珍。So, my korean name is Jin Ae-Jin right?
    Does my name sounds weird and rare in korean?

  3. 안녕! i’m having trouble creating my name could you help me pls?

    My name: Sheene Michaela
    nickname: Mikee

    감사합니다!!
    🙂

  4. Hello! I would also like to have a korean name but I would like to have one that sounds good (having a nice meaning would be a plus too) and one that is not too weird? My name is Hajar (하잘 sounds kinda weird) My korean friends proposed to leave the 하 and get one like 하영, 하은… But I’m not sure? 도와주세요~ Thank you!

    • Some Korean girl names similar to Hajar include: Hea-Jung, Hye-jung, 현주 Hyun-Ju, Hyun-Jae, Hyun-Jung, Hae-Ryung, He-Ran 히란, Young-Ja… Hae-Jung (해정) seems the closest. There are a lot of possible meanings for Hae ( 害 海 海 亥 解 奚 該 偕 楷 諧 咳 垓 孩 懈 瀣 蟹 邂 駭 骸 咍 ) and Jung ( 丁 頂 停 井 正 政 定 貞 精 情 靜 静 淨 庭 亭 訂 廷 程 征 整 汀 玎 町 呈 桯 珵 姃 偵 湞 幀 楨 禎 珽 挺 綎 鼎 晶 晸 柾 鉦 淀 錠 鋌 鄭 靖 靚 鋥 炡 釘 渟 婷 涏 爭 頁 旌 檉 瀞 睛 碇 穽 艇 諪 酊 霆 埩 妌 梃 胜 ).

  5. Hi ! Like the other people I have been trying to find my korean name too. Could you have any ideas for the name ? Erika means flower in german and I would like to have just one syllable korean name. Doeas that make any sense ? 😀 Thank you already and write it in hangul so it’s easier to know how to pronounce it ^^

  6. hey i was wondering if you could make a full Korean name with how i would write it in south Korea? oh and i need a family surname as well as the 2 syllable give name thanks so much gomawo

  7. Good day Admin!
    I was wondering if you could give me a korean name too? My name is Gem and i also have another nickname “Aine” but i rarely use it. I would like to have a korean name that has same meaning as gem or jewel. I’ve researched one and came up with Jin Kyeong but my korean friend said, it’s not that new already so it would be great if you could give me something fresh. (^ u ^)/ Thanks admin.

    • Some syllables you could combine are:

      Jin = Precious/Treasure/Jewel
      Joo = Jewel
      Myung = Bright/Clear (HanJa character = sun & moon combined)
      Hwan = Shiny/Bright
      Ae = treasure/love
      Kyeong = Bright
      Ok = Gem/Jade/Pearl
      Mi = Beautiful
      Young = Prosperity or Color of Jade/Eternal
      Soo = treasure

      Some good ones:
      SooJin
      MiYoung

  8. Hello! I am an author and am currently writing a story that takes place in historical Korea. I am having trouble creating names for all the characters. Do you have any recommendations for a website I could use or a naming scheme to help me in creating the names?

  9. Hi my name in Chinese is 梁靖恩, can you help me to make it sounds korean? (: cos I’m having problem translating my name.

  10. 안녕하세요 ^^
    My name is Annetta but some of my friends call me Ann, it means “God has favored me”. I’m confused to find a korean name that has a close meaning with my name. I’ve tried google translate but it didn’t come out well for a girl name. Close meaning or close pronouncation would be nice. 좋은 한국어 이름을 만들어 주세요. 감사합니다 ^^

  11. Hi can you help me with a korean name? My English name is Celine which I assumed would be 슬린? And my native name is Minh Anh, my last name is Tran. Minh Anh does sound like Min Ah but I don’t really like Min Ah. I want a name based on Celine. Thank you!

  12. Hi! Can you help me create my korean name? My korean friend give me a korean name 박충실 where it is mean “loyality”. But how we know that’s name for boy or girl? Thanks for your help! 🙂

  13. Can you help me create a korean name ? My family name is liew and guven name is caron. (Pronunce as karen) can you help me create a meaning ful one ? Thanks 🙂

  14. Hello, my Korean friend gave me the name 하민, the only problem is I have no clue as to what it means. He won’t tell me either, is it possible for you to tell me the meaning?

  15. Hi I have Korean name 김유진. I create the name with my friends. May I know what is my HanJa name and the meaning for my name?

  16. Hi, lovely article 🙂 I was wondering if someone could help me find some male indigenous (i.e. names which do not have Hanja meaning, just Hangul). I know many for female – Ahreum, Nari, Meari, Sarang, etc. but I struggle to find some for males. If anyone has suggestions, I’d be thankful for your help ^^

  17. Hi… I like this article. I wanna have korean name too. My name is Santi Tiara. Tiara is my family name. In chinese , my fam name is Thio that from Zhang fam name. Can you make a korean name for me ? With fam name. Thank you so much. I am a female .[^^]

  18. I’m Jude Vinnarasi Elizabeth. Can you help me to get my korean name? Here Elizabeth is my Last Name(i inherited my mom’s name as last name). Vinnarasi means queen of heaven. It’s the name of mother mary. People call me ‘vinsy’ and ‘jude’ too. I want a name related to my original name. Can you help me?
    Thanks in Advance!

  19. Hi!
    My korean name is 박 라희.
    Can you tell me if it has a meaning?
    and how can i write it with Hanja?

    Thank you so much <3

  20. I want korean name and chinese name too.My name is Su Shune Lei Naing.Naing is my father’s name.I like Park Chanyeol.Give me Korean and Chinese names.
    Su means price
    Shune Lei means bright

  21. I want korean name and chinese name too.My name is Su Shune Lei Naing.Naing is my father’s name.
    Su means price
    Shune Lei means bright
    Naing means win
    Give me korean and chinese names.
    I like Park Chanyeol.

  22. Hello.. I want a korean name but it’s too hard to figure out.. My chinese name is Hong Li Mei or Hong Lee Mei.. I don’t know what is the hanja for it though.. Please help me find my korean name! My family name is Hong..

  23. Hello! I am in the process of learning Korean and am planning on visiting Korea in the near future. I want a Korean name, if you could please help me! My first name is Julia (Joo-lee-a) and my last name is Rosenkrantz (Rose-en-kran-ts). I know that my first name is 줄리아 . But I would like to know my full name.
    It doesn’t have to be my actual name. Just one that either sounds close to my first name but my last name could be something different (obviously):)
    Could you please help me??

  24. 안녕하세요 ^^
    I want to knowing the meaning behind my name (I made it by myself cause I like it), I already changed it from 한현애 (I made it used birthday’s rule) to 박하현 and now I think I want to change it to 박애현 ><
    My real name is Talitha (stand for a girl) Eq (stand for first) Ganiswari (stand for rich of voices)
    I want to have a proper Korean name which have a deep meaning and beautiful too, the one which come from both Hanja and Hangeul is good too, so then I can used it as my real Korean name, in case later I can visit Korea ㅋㅋㅋ 🙂
    Thankyou for your help, 부탁합니다!

  25. Hi there!

    My name is 李佩霖 and I was going through your table of names. Figured that my Korean name is Lee Pae Rim. Is there any meaning behind my given name in Korean?

    My korean name sounds kinda weird. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you!

  26. 안녕하세요
    I want to know my name meaning.
    My Korean name is Suri
    Is that name so weird and meaningless?Thanks for your help

  27. Hello~ I find this very interesting. My name is hard to change to Korean. Do you have a suggestion? I was thinking Na Zhu Wa but it sounds weird and I don’t know if those words exist in Korean.

  28. hello admin, I would make a dojang with my full name, but it written in Korean style (with Hangul letter also)
    could you please to convert my full name into Korean name ?
    my full name is Nisya Amalia Agusti

    감사합니다 !!

  29. Hello! I have studied Korean and Chinese for a while now and would like to have a name in each of these languages. I decided my Korean name will be 남진우 or 남준수 (준수 makes me think of the singer 김준수 haha.) I’m a guy but I don’t mind if my name could be for either gender or if it means something like beautiful. But anything that sounds beautiful or profound or means elegant sounds good too, (But I’m open minded about the characters to use.) I also want one whose hanja could be directly used in Chinese, if you know how to select a name like that too I would be so happy. Will you please help me chose some good hanja for these two names?? Thanks so much!!

  30. Also I see people in the comments mentioning they used their birthday to select a name. What does that mean? I found this interesting.

  31. hi, my name is jazz kaarla, and i know jazz in korean is jaejeu right? how can i write kaarla in korean are what are the meanings? can you help pls…

  32. Can you help me?
    My name is Elaine and I have a middle name it’s really long but it’s about love so I thought 리애 RiAe would be appropriate? What are your thoughts?

    My last name means War Help but I’m not quite sure how to translate that kkkkkk 감가합니다

    • 하나 is Hana. It is a beautiful name in Korean. Joy can be written “조이” to sound like “Joy”, or you could translate Joy to the word “기쁨” (GiPPeum) to mean joy. If you want to combine the two into one name, you could do something like “HanHi” 한희. 희 can mean joy, so HanHi can be “korean joy” or “one joy”, etc. Search for 한희 and you can find some famous Koreans with that name…

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