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Ian_Lee

Shared last names

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Ian_Lee

Han Chinese, Vietnamese and Koreans share common last names. I always wonder if their ancestors are related by blood.

Unlike most Japanese who didn't acquire last names until the 19th Century, Vietnamese and Koreans had already acquired their Chinese last names in their early history.

In fact, Koreans care about their last names and their hometowns more than most Chinese do. Their family trees could trace back to centuries ago. Moreover, they had the strange custom/law that couple with the same last name could not get married (It seems that it has not been abolished yet).

So is Korea's Yi related to China's Li by blood? Or is Vietnam's Nguyen related to China's Ruan by blood?

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TSkillet

I'm almost sure that the Vietnamese Tran and the Chinese Chen are related - since my current girlfriend is last named Tran (and Vietnamese) - and over at her house, I've heard her mom speak Vietnamese - it's quite similar to Cantonese at times (not that I can understand any though - it's just familar sounding).

Wouldn't it make more sense that the Korean Lee and the Chinese Li were related though?

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skylee
Wouldn't it make more sense that the Korean Lee and the Chinese Li were related though?

In Korean 李 is pronounced as "Yi" and written as "OI".

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Ian_Lee

Lee/Yi/Rhee are all Korean equivalent of Chinese Li.

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Ian_Lee

Even though two Kims may stir a uproar if they get married in Korea (I pity if such taboo still exists since there are much fewer last names in Korea than in China), I personally know about a family feud after two Chans got married.

Is it okay for two Nguyens or two Phams to get married in Vietnam?

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Quest

I remember reading somewhere that koreans only acquired last names rather recently, I believe this site explains it better:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_name

Koreans only have 250 family names.. and the majority of them are Kims.. and they still enforce that law... poor koreans.

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Quest

"There are around a dozen two-syllable surnames include:

Hwangbo (황보; 皇甫)

Seon-u (선우; 鮮于)

Jegal (제갈; 諸葛)

Seomun (서문; 西門)

Dokgo (독고; 獨孤)

Sagong (사공; 司空)

Namgung (남궁; 南宮)

"

interesting lol, these two syllable surnames disappeared in China and are still found in Korea.

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skylee
Lee/Yi/Rhee are all Korean equivalent of Chinese Li.

Could someone tell me why the korean surname 李 is romanized as "Lee" when in fact it is pronounced as "yi" or "ee"? I've asked this at the thorntree but no one seemed to know.

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39degN

stuff may help

http://www.northeast.com.cn/dbynews/dbygk/hanguo/jzzd.htm

http://www.portnet.ne.jp/~berry/zino/pongoan.htm

http://www.prc.net.cn/dkxs/li/l8-11.htm

韩国的姓氏

据韩国有关文献记载,朝鲜民族起用姓氏源于跟中国有所往来以后。高句丽为公元l世纪,百济为公元4世纪,新罗为公元6世纪始起用姓氏。有文献记载,高句丽有乙、礼、松、周、渊、乙支等20余种姓氏,百济有真、解沙、燕、国、木、扶余、司马等20余种姓;新罗有朴、昔、金、李、崔、郑、孙、张等10余种姓氏。

朝鲜民族自起用姓氏时期开始,姓氏便有明显的阶级性。其阶级性的表现之一在于,用姓氏被视为特权。起初,只有上层阶级的人或经常与中国有往来的人才用姓氏,一般老百姓只有名而不能用姓。国王将姓氏作为恩典对有功之人或被国王赏识的臣民赐姓。表现之二在于随着时代的发展,低阶层的入虽然可以使用姓氏,但统治者人为地给不同的姓氏赋予尊卑色彩。即,有些姓氏被认为是“尊姓”,只有贵人才配使用;其余姓氏被认为是“卑姓”,供昔通百姓使用。比如:高句丽的“高”姓、新罗的“金”、“朴”.“昔”姓,高丽时期的“崔”、“金”、“李”姓作为“尊姓”,为王公贵族所使用。

到了李朝时期,随着家族观念的强化,为了便于区别宗族关系,开始大量使用姓氏。这一时期的姓氏分为许多类。据《世宗实录》记载,李朝初期各地的姓氏大致可以分为“土姓”、“加属姓”、“属姓”、“亡姓”、“次姓”、“次吏姓”、“续姓”、“入续姓”、“入姓”、“来姓”、“来京姓”、“投化姓”、“向国入姓”、“赐姓”、“天降姓”、“百姓”、“入镇姓”和“戎戎姓”等20余类。“土姓”为地方固有的姓;“亡姓”为已消失的姓,“入姓”、“来姓”为从其他地方或从外国引入的姓;“属姓”、“次姓”、“次吏姓”、“续姓”、“入续姓”为社会地位较低的人所使用的姓氏;“天降姓”和“赐姓”为天子或国王所赐予的姓。

李朝时期,朝鲜民族的姓氏比较多,有的文献记载是277种,有的文献记载是496种。到了现代,朝鲜民族姓氏数目发生了变化。据有的学者统计为250余种,其中以“金”、“朴”、“李”、“崔”为代表。

朝鲜民族姓氏以单姓为主,也有少量复姓,比如“南宫”、“皇甫”、“司空”、“鲜于”、“诸葛”、“西门”、“独孤”、“东方”等姓。

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nnt

Vietnamese and Chinese last names are related though not necessarily by blood.

After 1000 and more years as a Chinese province, the Vietnamese have adopted Chinese last names. Throughout the last thousand years, many Chinese immigrants have also settled in Vietnam and become assimilated, and kept their last names (pronounced Vietnamese way).

For example Lê quý Ly (Li2 ji2 Li2 黎季犛) who seized the throne in 1400 from the Trần 陳 (1225-1400) was a descendant of a Chinese from Zhe4 Jiang1 浙江 . His first ancestor was a Hồ (Hu2 胡) and came to Vietnam during the Chinese Five Dynasties period (907-960), another of his ancestor was adopted by a Lê (黎) family, so changed his last name to Lê (Li2 黎). When Lê quý Ly became emperor, he changed his last name back to Hồ (Hu2 胡)...

In 1407, the Ming invaded Vietnam and captured Hồ quý Ly 胡季犛 and his sons. The prisoners were killed as "rebels" except two of them who were spared because they knew the technique of making cannons (and eventually became high-ranking officials in Ming's court).

The founder of the Lý (Li2 李) dynasty in Vietnam (1009-1225) was Lý Công Uẩn (Li2 Gong1 Yun4 李公藴). He was born not far from present day Hanoi, and was adopted at the age of three by a monk whose last name was Lý (Li2 李). Curiously enough, some Chinese sources claim he was a Chinese from Fu2 Jian4 福建...

But what is more interesting (and verified...) is what happened later... In 1225, the Trần (Chen2 陳) seized the throne from the Lý (Li2 李), killed all the members of the Lý family, and force all people whose last name was Lý to change their last name into Nguyễn (Ruan2 阮)...

But the story did not end there...One of the Lý princes Lý Long Tường (Li2 Long2 Xiang2 李龍詳) managed to escape, and went to... Korea and settled there. He was the ancestor of the Korean Lee family from Hua2 Shan1 (花山李氏, Korea) as you can read here :

http://www.aa.tufs.ac.jp/~ymio/com_10.html

(even if you don't know japanese, you may guess the meaning from the common words...)

The family record (家谱) of the Lee family from Hua2 Shan1 contains 32 generations, beginning with Lý Công Uẩn, including the 7 Vietnamese Lý emperors and the following generations in Korea...In 1994, one member of the Lee family visited Vietnam and gave one copy of the family record as a present...

(to be continued...)

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Ian_Lee

Nnt:

In Korea, the names of every city/province are composed in Chinese characters with the exception of Seoul.

Is that the case with Vietnam too? It sounds like the ancient capital Hue is not composed in Chinese characters.

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nnt
Nnt:

In Korea' date=' the names of every city/province are composed in Chinese characters with the exception of Seoul.

Is that the case with Vietnam too? It sounds like the ancient capital Hue is not composed in Chinese characters.[/quote']

Huế is another pronunciation of Hóa (Hua4 化) from Thuận Hóa(顺 化) the ancient and full name of the city.

Many towns in the South have names which come from minorities' languages : PleiKu, Kontum, Darlac, Buon Me Thuot, etc...

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nnt
Even though two Kims may stir a uproar if they get married in Korea (I pity if such taboo still exists since there are much fewer last names in Korea than in China)' date=' I personally know about a family feud after two Chans got married.

Is it okay for two Nguyens or two Phams to get married in Vietnam?[/quote']

No problem if the kinship is not too close...

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skylee
In Korea, the names of every city/province are composed in Chinese characters with the exception of Seoul.

Isn't Seoul = 首都?

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skylee

nnt, thanks for the very interesting story. Too bad the Lýs did not become the emperor in Korea. THAT would be even more interesting. :wink:

Could someone tell me why the korean surname 李 is romanized as "Lee" when in fact it is pronounced as "yi" or "ee"?

Anyone?

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Ian_Lee

Seoul is the only city in Korea (North and South) that cannot be written by Hanmun (Chinese) but Hangul (Korean alphabets).

Its origin comes from:

http://travel.lycos.com/destinations/location.asp?pid=2542

Few cities are as aptly named as Seoul, which comes from the Korean "sorabol," meaning "the center of everything."

When Gyeongju was the capital of the Silla Kingdom, it was also known as Sorabol by that time.

In the new shopping mall built on the previous Lee Theater in HK, there is also a Korean restaurant called Sorabol.

Interestingly when PRC established diplomatic relationship with ROK in 1992, Seoul government requested Beijing to stop calling Seoul with its previous name "Hancheng" -- Castle of Han.

But until today Mainland, Taiwan and HK still call Seoul as Hancheng officially and unofficially.

Old habits die hard.

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Quest

What was the origin of "Hancheng" 汉城 then? Where did that name come from?

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skylee

Read this -

History of Seoul

The history of Seoul can be traced back as far as 18 BC. In that year the newly established kingdom of Baekje built its capital in the Seoul area. During the time when the three kingdoms fought for hegemony in Korea, Seoul was often the site where disputes were carried out. It was thought that only the kingdom who controls the area around Seoul is able to control the whole of the peninsula. This was the reason why in the 11th century the ruler of the Goryeo Dynasty built a palace in Seoul, which was referred to as the Southern Capital. This city was renamed from Hanyang (漢陽) to Hanseong (漢城) when it became the capital of the Joseon Dynasty in 1394. It was renamed Gyeongseong (京城 -- Keijo in Japanese) during the Japanese Colonial Period, and finally given the name Seoul after the 1945 liberation. The word seoul means "capital" in Korean; it has no Hanja and can only be written in Hangul.

The name apparently has to do with the river that runs through the place - Hangang (漢江).

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nnt
Could someone tell me why the korean surname 李 is romanized as "Lee" when in fact it is pronounced as "yi" or "ee"?

Anyone?

From this link:

www.nii.ac.jp/publications/CJK-WS/2-11Lee.pdf

you can read:

Korean language has the 'initial law' which pronounces differently from its original pronunciation in the case of starting personal names (forenames or

surnames) with ‘ㄴ' or ’ㄹ'. When starting with ‘ㄴ' or ’ㄹ', mostly ‘ㄹ’ is recorded by ‘ㅇ', or ’ㄴ' by ’ㅇ'.

The original pronunciation of family name “李” is“리(lee)”. Actually, it is pronounced as “이(yi)” because of “The Initial Law.”

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skylee

No I can't read it (the acrobat reader in this machine does not support korean or japanese fonts and I am not allowed to download anything.)

But I have found something which is interesting but very confusing here -

... another rule of Southern Korean phonology, one that deletes both /n/ and /l/ immediately preceding the vowel /i/ and its semi-vowel counterpart /j/. That is why the common family name 李 (hangul 이, formerly 리) is pronounced in Southern Korean dialects, and why it is variously romanized Lee, Li, Yi, Yee, Ri, Ree, and Rhee. So the embassy spokesman was referring to the fact that word-initial /l/ is pronounced [n] except before /i/ and /j/, where it is not pronounced at all.

So when "ㄹ/L" appears in the initial position it becomes "ㄴ/N", but if it is followed by an "|/I" it becomes silent (i.e. "ㅇ"). Since Korean no longer use Chinese characters, and the hangul they write has to reflect how they speak, so 李 has turned from "리" to "이". Am I right?

But if there is such a rule, why don't they just write "리" in hangul? Wouldn't people know the rule and automatically pronounce it as "yi"?

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