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I know that there are incorrect or poorly romanized Korean family names like Kim, Lee, Park, Choi, ect., that are pronounced by most people in English the way they are spelt with using Latin letters, and using basic rules of pronunciation with English, specifically Canadian or American English in my case. And then there are given names like Jungkook, or Ryeowook that are horribly romanized when focusing on pronunciation. When someone looks at these names they instantly think to pronounce it the way it is spelt. And that is my problem, I prefer to pronounce names the way they are meant to be pronounced even when speaking English. I do not believe that given names are butchered as badly as family names, so pronouncing them with their proper and correct pronunciation does not seem dd. But family names are different, it feels weird to pronounce them incorrectly, but people are so judgmental and unopen to foreign names that they could not bother to pronounce them correctly, and if someone else pronounced Kim as (Gim) or Lee as (Ie or E) they would call them crazy or weird. And this usually doesn't apply to someone with an English name, even if their family name is Choi or Park, because the pronunciation would be different than if they used their Korean name, and stuck with original pronunciation. I do not believe Korean has many, if any, sounds or letters than English does not or can not adapt to, so I don't understand the big stigma around pronouncing foreign names and words correctly. It seems to be considered normal to pronounce, let's say a French or Italian word correctly, but when it comes to anything East Asian, it's a no-go for most people, and I mean words that we haven't adapted and use as our own, specifically NAMES. So, should I pronounce names correctly, names that we have not adapted and names of people who have not pronounced their name differently while speaking English, or with the choppy romanization that we call correct, or "close enough"? And yes, I understand that not everyone can pronounce everything form one language or another, just like how some Koreans couldn't say my name (Erin) because of the r, which would sound more like a cross between a r and an l in Korean, because of the character that crosses the sounds of rs and ls instead. And for some annoying reason, that seems okay to me. It seems normal and proper. But that's because they don't have distinct sounds and equivalents to our r and l. But English does have all these letters and sounds that should be able to pronounce a majority of Korean names while speaking English. And I don't mean we should have a full accent when saying a foreign name, because of course we have our own accents, but I mean using common sense and not changing the entire sound of a name when we obviously have the letters and sounds required to pronounce it correctly, and even if they are spelt different than the way they are said, it's English an there are tons of words with silent letters, and that break the rules of grammar. I suppose it's whoever decided to start writing 김 as Kim and 이 as Lee's fault for making this annoying pronunciation issue.

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    please break your question into paragraphs for easier reading – user17915 May 10 at 0:35
  • As for Lee, you may refer to this. – Klmo May 11 at 5:59
  • They will thank you if you call them with proper pronunciation, but why don't you ask them, "How can I call you?" admitting the differences? In fact, the current Roman. rules do not reflect the whole pronunciation but have exceptions for personal names. – Klmo May 11 at 6:09
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I suppose it's whoever decided to start writing 김 as Kim and 이 as Lee's fault for making this annoying pronunciation issue.

Possibly! But Romanisation of Korean isn't easy. There's no one-to-one mapping between Roman letters and Korean sounds; Different languages that use the Roman alphabet pronounce the letters differently, and within those languages, different accents pronounce the letters differently. The Roman alphabet is never going to be the right tool for the job of writing Korean, so the methods for doing it will always involve compromise.

'Kim' for '김' isn't perfect, but how would you do it better? 'Gim' isn't necessarily better; some English speakers will pronounce the 'ㄱ' too softly; a French speaker might think it's pronounced like a 'j'. And many English accents will pronounce the 'i' as a dipthong anyway; many Americans might pronounce 'Kim' more like 'Keeyum'.

people are so judgmental and unopen to foreign names

As you say, you have to be aware of what people's attitudes are in your culture. Where I live (the UK), the trend is towards being more aware of and faithful to original national names and pronunciations; At least we don't talk about Peking or Burma any more.

and if someone else pronounced Kim as (Gim) or Lee as (Ie or E) they would call them crazy or weird.

Sometimes, a foreign name gets adopted into a new language in a way that it takes on its own identity within the new language. I think 'Lee' is such an example; because it's similar to an existing English name, the two have merged in English.

I do not believe Korean has many, if any, sounds or letters than English does not or can not adapt to, so I don't understand the big stigma around pronouncing foreign names and words correctly.

Anyone can learn, but there can be quite a lot to learn. Even the average person who is actively learning Korean takes some time to understand exactly what the sounds are.

It seems to be considered normal to pronounce, let's say a French or Italian word correctly

I don't agree there! People might think they're making an effort, but I'm sure UK or American versions of French and Italian words are often significantly altered. An example of a mangled non-Korean name is that of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Boehner.

Overall, I think you have to take a balanced approach. The available Romanisations of Korean all have their drawbacks, and people who haven't studied Korean can't be expected to know how those Romanisations map to actual pronunciations. Nevertheless, if someone is speaking the name of a close friend in a rather too 'transformed' way, there's no harm in teaching them the more 'native' pronunciation too and seeing if they prefer that.

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