m a r k a n d e y a

More name confusion…

Posted by Brian on March 24, 2006

As if the situation regarding presenting Korean names to the west wasn’t confusing enough (family name first or family name last? is it Choi or Cho-ee?), we get this latest development:

The relative scarcity of surnames in Korea will lead to a change in the way Korean national football players will be identified on their jerseys. Thus the Manchester United striker currently wearing a shirt that reads J S PARK will instead be identified as JISUNG.

“There are many players in the nation with the same last name, and distinguishing among them can be difficult,” the Korean Football Association said Tuesday. The current system “also makes it difficult to increase international name recognition, so we have decided to change it.” In the case of the national squad put up against Angola on March 1, Kim and Lee accounted for 12 out of 23 players, more than half. Three players — Kim Do-hun, Kim Doo-hyun and Kim Dong-hyun ? in the national team are identified as D H KIM.

Are there any other countries or teams in the world that put their players’ first names on the back their jerseys? And won’t 99% of casual sports fans just assume that the name on the back of Korea’s jerseys is, in fact, the players last name?

Sorry, but I just don’t see how this will in any way reduce whatever confusion there is when it comes to the names of Korean athletes.

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3 Responses to “More name confusion…”

  1. EFL Geek said

    Actually I don’t care about sports but I can see how this new system would make it easier to differentiate the different players. Of course since the custom is to display family names most people will assume that family names are on the back, but at least they will not be looking at 12 kims and lees on the same team.

  2. This is why Koreans use Chinese characters for their “real names”…

    Lee, Li, Ree, Rhee, Yi… ?

    My wife’s family name is sometimes spelled “全”, sometimes “전”, sometimes “Jeon”. Sometimes it means “before”, sometimes “perfect”, sometimes “Complete”.

    Like the high-priced Consultants say, “It Depends.”

  3. Scott said

    Ichiro wears his first name on his Seattle Mariners jersey. Maybe they were inspired by him.

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