So Kim, or “金” might be the most common last name in Korea. However, some Chinese people also have the last name Jin/金. To my knowledge, however, they don't seem to be related, as they have different origins. In any case, if that Chinese person were to move to Korea or adopt a Korean name, would they be called Keum or Kim? Or perhaps would they be able to go with either?

  • 1
    All of readings which you mentioned were borrowed from Chinese languages, in various times. Middle Chinese kim (*/kˠiɪm/ and other reconstructions) evolved to Modern Mandarin jīn /t͡ɕin⁵⁵/. Palatalization of [k] to [t͡ɕ] was recent change in 18th / 19th century.
    – Arfrever
    Mar 3 at 2:32

1 Answer 1


Usually, the original pronunciation (“Jin”) is respected and it’s not read with the Korean Hanja readings (“Kim”) unless it’s a name of a historic person. However, it could be, if he’d like to be called so.

You’d be interested in this video:

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.