S-Space College of Education (사범대학) Center for Educational Research (교육종합연구원) SNU Journal of Education Research SNU Journal of Education Research vol.06 (1996)
Foreign First Names in Korea
- Lie, Kwang-Sook
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 교육종합연구원
- SNU Journal of Education Research, Vol.6, pp. 52-59
- In Korea it is customary to give a newborn child only one single first name. Several first names are not officially allowed. First names consist mainly of two Korean syllables which are reproduced with Chinese characters: for example, Kwang Sook. The two characters of the first name belong together and are used as a whole. Korean surnames and first names are often made up of three syllables: Lie Kwang Sook. There are few fundamental restrictions when choosing a first name. Surnames and names of places are usually not allowed. Parents', grandparents' and near relatives' first names are not to be used for newborn children. The first name of prominent people in areas such as politics, arts, literature, sport and science etc. are also avoided if possible. Thus the identification of an individual with the first name is very important. Specific Chinese characters which are extremely difficult in structure and pronunciation are officially not recommended.