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Korean Names - their order
The order of Korean name's is presented in the reverse to the Western format. A Korean name would therefore be transcribed in the following order: surname, given name. There are often errors in transcriptions when the characters of the given name are written separately. Some Korean-Americans have adopted a Western name however they use their Korean one as a middle name.
There are thousands of Korean characters and the given name usually consists of two syllables taken from any of the thousands of these characters. The range of name's is therefore almost limitless. Naming traditions in Korea can include and represent all forms of nature and the environment or characteristics or even have mystical meanings. Many will reflect a specific period in history. The Western custom of naming a baby after another close member of the family would be unheard of as a custom or tradition in the Korean culture.
The given name in Korea is rarely used within the close-knit family circle. In Western culture children rarely address their parents by their given name - they are referred to as " Mom" or "Dad". This custom is also adhered to in Korea but the custom extends to the whole family. In a family of three brothers their siblings would use the address of 'second brother' for instance. In turn the parents of Korean children often give then a unique nickname within the family. Outside the family circle the nickname would not be normally used.
Korean surnames are family surnames. They are passed down from one generation to the next. Korean surnames convey the family's history and the deeds of their ancestors.
Selection of a name in Korea
Korean names are unique to each baby. Any duplication of a first name is purely coincidental. The following list of male and female Korean baby names are therefore only listed as examples and should not be duplicated thus honouring the customs of Korea.