What do Koreans call Genghis Khan? That pronunciation/spelling seems quite Anglicised to me.

  • 1
    As background, Mongolians sometimes spell his name in English as "Chinggis Khaan" or even drop the "K".
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented May 21, 2017 at 0:44

3 Answers 3


The name is 칭기즈 칸 chinggijeu kan.

Where does it come from?

The name is likely a direct transliteration from Genghis Khan's Mongolian name. According to Wikipedia, the name is pronounced as [t͡ʃʰiŋɡɪs xaːŋ] (IPA) in Mongolian, where Genghis is pretty much pronounced the same as the Korean transliteration except the final s became a , which is also not uncommon among Korean transliterations. The Khan's kh is most closely imitated by the 히읗 in 흐 ( [xɯ] as opposed to [hɯ] ), pronounced as ⟨x⟩ in IPA, but apparently 흐안 would sound very awkward, so the next closest, , is used instead. Arguably is even closer an imitation, which is why some languages use han rather than kan.

Why does it sound anglicized?

Apparently the English name is also a transliteration. The English pronunciation is /ˈdʒɛŋɡɪs ˈkɑːn/, which if transliterated into Korean, would be more like 쟁기즈 칸, hence the Korean name is evidently more similar to the Mongolian than to the English.


칭기즈 칸

Korea most likely received word of Mongols and their Khans from Chinese, rather than directly. Thus, pronunciation is based on rendering of Middle Mongolian original in Chinese and Chinese characters and then Korean Hanja, 成吉思汗.


Apparently Khan names in the past were not always what they are now, consider:

이 ‘황금의 칸’은 《고려사절요(高麗史節要)》에는 ‘금행(金幸)’이라는 이름으로 등장한다. ‘금(金)’은 누구나 아는 것처럼 ‘황금’이고, ‘행(幸)’은 앞에서 ‘도리행’의 경우에 살펴보았듯이, 옛날 한자음은 ‘캉’, 즉 ‘칸(汗=군주)’이다. 금행은 《고려사》에는 ‘우리나라 평주승 금행(今幸)’이라고 기록되어 있다. 그의 아들 함보(函普)가 바로 후일 금(金)나라를 여는 아골타의 조상이다.


If someone is confident to parse this text, please edit.

  • 1
    What do you mean by "Korea most likely received word of Mongols and their Khans from Chinese?
    – user7
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 10:59
  • I would say it was more likely that Koreans received word of Genghis Khan from the Jurchens. I'm not sure if you consider them Chinese, but they are Tungustic people rather than Han Chinese. At the time of Genghis Khan the Korean peninsula was occupied by the Jin 金 Empire in the north, rather than the Song 宋 Empire (dynasty), which was forced to the south due to military inferiority. Also, if it were indeed based on Hanja pronunciation, it would have been 성길사한 instead. Or do you mean that it was transliterated from Chinese?
    – busukxuan
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 0:09
  • Actually, it would be Khitans who made several military campaigns into Goryeo at the time, recall Liao and later Jin shared border with Goryeo and the earlier got pushed around quite a bit by the horde. Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 11:25
  • @qarma Well, one of the two, but I thought the Jurchens would be more likely, since it was the Jin's era when the great Khan became famous in those lands that are now northern China.
    – busukxuan
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 15:09
  • What does the quote have to do with the question? I really don't understand why you decided to include that quote and what you mean by "Apparently Khan names in the past were not always what they are now". What are they now and what were they?
    – user7
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 16:00

"징기스 칸", "징기즈 칸", "칭기스 칸", "칭기즈 칸" 등으로 발음합니다.

하지만, 대부분 "징기스 칸"으로 발음합니다.

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