A user on an Internet message board wanted to know: “How do foreign K-Pop idols get their Korean names?” That is a very interesting question, and another user came through with a response that was pretty on the nose.
K-Pop fan Alexis Kam summed it up pretty nicely when they said:
If they’re foreign by nationality (like American, Australian, etc) but ethnically Korean, chances are that their parents gave them a Korean middle name. Either that or their Korean parent(s) or grandparents give them a Korean name.
For example, they said, former Pristin member Kyla used her middle name Sol Hee (솔희).
What if the idol isn’t Korean ethnically? Well, they had an explanation for that too!
If they’re Chinese by ethnicity, then you can translate the characters to Korean. This is because Korean has Hanja(漢字), which is Chinese characters. So if you have a Chinese name, you can translate it to a Korean pronunciation and to Hangeul.(한글)
In this case, Seventeen member The8 is named Xu Ming Hao (徐明浩) but when translated using hangeul it would become Seo Myung Ho (서명호).
Pretty interesting, right? Did you learn something new today?