Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off your first two months of Unlimited. Subscribe for just £35.99 £24.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply.

Find out more

Korean Nicknames

Koreans give actors nicknames that are more familiar to them than the actors’ actual names.
nickname

Today we learned how to write our names in Hangeul. To write our names in Hangeul, we can find the letters that correspond to the phonemes. Try writing your name in Hangeul. Remember that Hangeul is written in syllabic blocks.

Korean people use the same process when writing foreign actor names in Hangeul. However sometimes Koreans give actors nicknames that are more familiar to them than the actors’ actual names.

The most famous example of this is ‘석호필’ (seok-ho-pil). This is Michael Scofield, Wentworth Miller’s character on the TV show “Prison Break.” ‘석호필’ sounds similar to the pronunciation of the character’s last name “Scofield.”

Another example is Chris Hemsworth, the actor who played Thor in “The Avengers.” Korean fans nicknamed him “햄식 (hemsik),” which sounds similar to “Hemsworth.”

The nickname for American actor Jake Gyllenhal (‘제이크 질렌할’) is ‘재익’ (Jae-ik). ‘제이크’ (Jake) and ‘재익’ (Jae-ik) sound very similar, and the latter is a more familiar spelling to Koreans. There are many examples of witty Hangeul nicknames for other actors.

Do you have any close Korean friends? It would be interesting to ask them what your name would be “localized” to in Korean.

This article is from the free online

The Korean Alphabet: An Introduction to Hangeul

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now