Read 3356 times

Help me name my child
« on: March 26, 2019, 08:37:15 am »
Quick question for those of you with children born in Korea - how did you go about naming your children? About to have my first, and the wife's insisting it take her (Korean) family name.

Just wondering what others have done, as I have no idea.

Thanks in advance!


Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2019, 08:55:14 am »
In both Korean and western culture a child takes its father's surname.

I think you opened this thread not to help you choose a child's name but get second opinions as to your wife's perhaps unreasonable request.


Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2019, 09:04:12 am »
On korean birth certificate give korean name using your wife’s family name.
On English birth certificate give English name with your last name, important for crba to have your last name. Assuming you’re American but true for other countries as well.


  • Colburnnn
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1182

    • August 10, 2015, 05:52:37 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2019, 09:36:30 am »
Quick question for those of you with children born in Korea - how did you go about naming your children? About to have my first, and the wife's insisting it take her (Korean) family name.

Just wondering what others have done, as I have no idea.

Thanks in advance!

Why is she insisting on her family name?

In Korean culture, the child maintains the fathers name. Just like western culture.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 10:03:40 am by Colburnnn »
Haven't you got some pictures of birds to be jacking off to, son?

Colburnnn: Complains a lot, very sassy. Has a loudmouth.


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4780

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Cairo, Egypt (formerly Seoul)
Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2019, 10:00:11 am »
If she insists on that, you should insist on something unpronounceable in Korean...

Alvin for a boy, or Valerie for a girl.

Insist they are names important to your family linage.

:)


Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2019, 10:03:47 am »
my kid took my family name.  got her a us passport and then got her name written out in korean for her korean id.  if you decide to give your kid an english name, make sure you get a passport from your home country first.   korea has a set amount of characters they use for names and if it's too long they won't do it unless your kid has the other country's passport.

that's what happened with me.  anyway, since my kid is a dual citizen, i just want all of her documents to match up no matter which country she lives in.  and colburnnn is right.  even in korea the kids take the father's name. 


Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2019, 10:12:28 am »
my kid took my family name.  got her a us passport and then got her name written out in korean for her korean id.  if you decide to give your kid an english name, make sure you get a passport from your home country first.   korea has a set amount of characters they use for names and if it's too long they won't do it unless your kid has the other country's passport.

that's what happened with me.  anyway, since my kid is a dual citizen, i just want all of her documents to match up no matter which country she lives in.  and colburnnn is right.  even in korea the kids take the father's name.

This for sure. We did the same for our daughter. Our daughter got her US citizenship and passport first, then after that we registered the birth with the GU office, whereby they are then forced to use her only real name on all documents (family registry documents, Korea passport, etc.) I think there was a small fine because the process made us late on registering, but it was minimal.


  • leaponover
  • Expert Waygook

    • 746

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2019, 10:15:15 am »
Quick question for those of you with children born in Korea - how did you go about naming your children? About to have my first, and the wife's insisting it take her (Korean) family name.

Just wondering what others have done, as I have no idea.

Thanks in advance!

Did you ask your wife why she wants to go against the traditional method of the baby having the father's surname?  I'd want that reason first before I debate it with her.


  • zola
  • The Legend

    • 2917

    • September 30, 2012, 06:56:11 am
    • Korea
Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2019, 10:44:13 am »
my kid took my family name.  got her a us passport and then got her name written out in korean for her korean id.  if you decide to give your kid an english name, make sure you get a passport from your home country first.   korea has a set amount of characters they use for names and if it's too long they won't do it unless your kid has the other country's passport.

I believe this has changed. I had heard there was a limit of 7-8 syllables and I was ready to have a fight. My kid has 13 syllables total. The staff at the office made a phone call and it was fine. Never been any problem .He is registered with his full name everywhere with everything.

I have heard some mixed race couples want to give the kid a Korean family name as they think he/she will have an easier time fitting in if they aren't immediately signaled as a foreigner with a non-Korean family name.
Kpip! - Martin 2018


Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2019, 10:44:27 am »
Did you ask your wife why she wants to go against the traditional method of the baby having the father's surname?  I'd want that reason first before I debate it with her.

Yes, indeed. She feels the child will be open to ridicule if it takes a foreign family name (mine is simple enough, only two syllables).

Any thoughts/experience on this?


Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2019, 11:17:06 am »
my kid took my family name.  got her a us passport and then got her name written out in korean for her korean id.  if you decide to give your kid an english name, make sure you get a passport from your home country first.   korea has a set amount of characters they use for names and if it's too long they won't do it unless your kid has the other country's passport.

I believe this has changed. I had heard there was a limit of 7-8 syllables and I was ready to have a fight. My kid has 13 syllables total. The staff at the office made a phone call and it was fine. Never been any problem .He is registered with his full name everywhere with everything.

I have heard some mixed race couples want to give the kid a Korean family name as they think he/she will have an easier time fitting in if they aren't immediately signaled as a foreigner with a non-Korean family name.

if they changed it, i don't know.  it was last august when they told me i had to get the us passport first.  be nice if it is changed though.  that extra step seems unnecessary when they are just going to do it anyway


  • zola
  • The Legend

    • 2917

    • September 30, 2012, 06:56:11 am
    • Korea
Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2019, 11:25:49 am »
my kid took my family name.  got her a us passport and then got her name written out in korean for her korean id.  if you decide to give your kid an english name, make sure you get a passport from your home country first.   korea has a set amount of characters they use for names and if it's too long they won't do it unless your kid has the other country's passport.

I believe this has changed. I had heard there was a limit of 7-8 syllables and I was ready to have a fight. My kid has 13 syllables total. The staff at the office made a phone call and it was fine. Never been any problem .He is registered with his full name everywhere with everything.

I have heard some mixed race couples want to give the kid a Korean family name as they think he/she will have an easier time fitting in if they aren't immediately signaled as a foreigner with a non-Korean family name.

if they changed it, i don't know.  it was last august when they told me i had to get the us passport first.  be nice if it is changed though.  that extra step seems unnecessary when they are just going to do it anyway

I did this in May 2017, so if you've had your experience since then, I guess they haven't changed it across the board. Probably, as is usually the case in Korea, it depends on where you live and who you talk to and if they can be assed doing a bit of extra work.
Kpip! - Martin 2018


  • Colburnnn
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1182

    • August 10, 2015, 05:52:37 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2019, 11:41:03 am »
Did you ask your wife why she wants to go against the traditional method of the baby having the father's surname?  I'd want that reason first before I debate it with her.

Yes, indeed. She feels the child will be open to ridicule if it takes a foreign family name (mine is simple enough, only two syllables).

Any thoughts/experience on this?

I would have thought that your son/daughters face might be a giveaway about being mixed race. Not the name.

Even if they have a Korean family name, that plan is out the window on the first day of school. I don't see how this is an argument.
Haven't you got some pictures of birds to be jacking off to, son?

Colburnnn: Complains a lot, very sassy. Has a loudmouth.


Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2019, 11:58:13 am »
Did you ask your wife why she wants to go against the traditional method of the baby having the father's surname?  I'd want that reason first before I debate it with her.

Yes, indeed. She feels the child will be open to ridicule if it takes a foreign family name (mine is simple enough, only two syllables).

Any thoughts/experience on this?

I would have thought that your son/daughters face might be a giveaway about being mixed race. Not the name.

Even if they have a Korean family name, that plan is out the window on the first day of school. I don't see how this is an argument.
Haha, true that! I'll put it to the wife and she what she says. The way these things usually go, one of us will be sleeping on the couch tonight :laugh:


Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2019, 12:27:35 pm »
my kid took my family name.  got her a us passport and then got her name written out in korean for her korean id.  if you decide to give your kid an english name, make sure you get a passport from your home country first.   korea has a set amount of characters they use for names and if it's too long they won't do it unless your kid has the other country's passport.

I believe this has changed. I had heard there was a limit of 7-8 syllables and I was ready to have a fight. My kid has 13 syllables total. The staff at the office made a phone call and it was fine. Never been any problem .He is registered with his full name everywhere with everything.

I have heard some mixed race couples want to give the kid a Korean family name as they think he/she will have an easier time fitting in if they aren't immediately signaled as a foreigner with a non-Korean family name.

if they changed it, i don't know.  it was last august when they told me i had to get the us passport first.  be nice if it is changed though.  that extra step seems unnecessary when they are just going to do it anyway

I did this in May 2017, so if you've had your experience since then, I guess they haven't changed it across the board. Probably, as is usually the case in Korea, it depends on where you live and who you talk to and if they can be assed doing a bit of extra work.

I did this but two months ago, and after initially being told the same (we need to get the american passport first), they eventually relented and gave us the name.    With the middle name, mine was eight syllables total. 



  • Lazio
  • Expert Waygook

    • 537

    • January 27, 2018, 03:56:10 pm
    • Gyeongi-do
Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2019, 02:33:37 pm »
I wanted to make my son's life easier so we gave him a 2 syllable first name that works in Korean and back home too. Pronounced exactly the same way etc., not some butchered Konglish. It isn't a "Korean" name.
He has his mother's family name in Korea. Again, to make him fit in etc. And he has my last name on all the foreign documents. I think this is the best way, hence we did it like this.
Others might have a different opinion on this one.


  • leaponover
  • Expert Waygook

    • 746

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2019, 02:43:37 pm »
Did you ask your wife why she wants to go against the traditional method of the baby having the father's surname?  I'd want that reason first before I debate it with her.

Yes, indeed. She feels the child will be open to ridicule if it takes a foreign family name (mine is simple enough, only two syllables).

Any thoughts/experience on this?

I don't have any experience, but I surmised that may be the reason.  In my opinion, that only holds weight if you have planned to make Korea your home.  If that's the case, I might be inclined to agree with your wife.  We all know the multicultural resistance that is Korea and to me a child's well being is more important than some naming tradition.  I suppose you are going to get a one-sided response here, it's a shame you don't have an outlet to ask Koreans married to Westerners on their opinion.  I wish you luck with your decision and coming to terms with it.  I think everyone can agree what's best for the child is the best answer.  What that is can still be debated though.


  • leaponover
  • Expert Waygook

    • 746

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2019, 02:47:21 pm »
Did you ask your wife why she wants to go against the traditional method of the baby having the father's surname?  I'd want that reason first before I debate it with her.

Yes, indeed. She feels the child will be open to ridicule if it takes a foreign family name (mine is simple enough, only two syllables).

Any thoughts/experience on this?

I would have thought that your son/daughters face might be a giveaway about being mixed race. Not the name.

Even if they have a Korean family name, that plan is out the window on the first day of school. I don't see how this is an argument.

Not always a guarantee....I've seen plenty of mixed race kids where it's hard to tell the difference.  Korean adults might be able to tell right away, but I doubt children will be all that savvy to it initially.  You never know and in Korea people don't mind other's guessing and they try to avoid confirmation.


  • leaponover
  • Expert Waygook

    • 746

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2019, 02:49:59 pm »
I wanted to make my son's life easier so we gave him a 2 syllable first name that works in Korean and back home too. Pronounced exactly the same way etc., not some butchered Konglish. It isn't a "Korean" name.
He has his mother's family name in Korea. Again, to make him fit in etc. And he has my last name on all the foreign documents. I think this is the best way, hence we did it like this.
Others might have a different opinion on this one.

Seems like an intelligent and rational way to handle it.  What are you doing on these boards?  :P


  • Colburnnn
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1182

    • August 10, 2015, 05:52:37 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Help me name my child
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2019, 02:55:15 pm »
Did you ask your wife why she wants to go against the traditional method of the baby having the father's surname?  I'd want that reason first before I debate it with her.

Yes, indeed. She feels the child will be open to ridicule if it takes a foreign family name (mine is simple enough, only two syllables).

Any thoughts/experience on this?

I would have thought that your son/daughters face might be a giveaway about being mixed race. Not the name.

Even if they have a Korean family name, that plan is out the window on the first day of school. I don't see how this is an argument.

Not always a guarantee....I've seen plenty of mixed race kids where it's hard to tell the difference.  Korean adults might be able to tell right away, but I doubt children will be all that savvy to it initially.  You never know and in Korea people don't mind other's guessing and they try to avoid confirmation.

I guess that might be true in some circumstances. I presume OP is western? (correct me if I'm wrong) But usually with a Western and Korean it is obvious. Maybe SE Asia and Korean I could understand your point more.

If you think it would change a lot by giving your child a Korean last name, and give him/her a better life here, then yeah of course its a good idea. I fail to see how it would, maybe you can provide some examples. Steven Smith and Steven Park. That changes anything?? Not so sure.
Haven't you got some pictures of birds to be jacking off to, son?

Colburnnn: Complains a lot, very sassy. Has a loudmouth.