Kim Jong-Un (or Kim Jong-Eun) is the current dictator of North Korea. Koreans (like most Asians) write their names opposite to us, with the last name first. That means that Kim Jong-Un’s last name is “Kim”. Kim is the most common surname in Korea . . . it is as common as John as a first name in the United States or Mohammed in the United Kingdom.
We all know how to pronounce Kim, but what about that weird first name? Most people pronounce it like two distinct words: Jong . . . Un (with the “un” being pronounced a variety of ways – mostly wrongly). The “un” part is actually “eun” which doesn’t really have a counterpart in English being something like a cross between “err” and “uhh”.
But “Jong-Un” is actually pronounced as a two-syllable single word rhyming with “Tongan” (a person from Tonga). If we wrote it more plainly in English using our own conventions, the great dictator would be Jongin Kim. So next time you are discussing the great leaps forward in relations between the US, South Korea, and North Korea under President Trump, you can say Kim Jong Un correctly!