[!] A quick crashcurse: “Seo” or “Suh”?
Hello everyone! I really want to clear a topic, that has been wandering through NCTzen’s and especially Johnny stans’ mind for quite a while already, to avoid further confusion. Many people have wondered about Johnny’s family name and the correct way to spell it and I want to help you out on that. As basis I’m gonna use the knowledge I’ve learned after studying Korean for a whole year at University now and also being a 4th-semester-student in English Phonetics and Phonology.
Let’s first look at the Hangul of Johnny’s last name: 서
I’m gonna break it down step by step for those who are not able to read Hangul. The first letter, the consonant “ㅅ” is the “shiot” and is pronounced as a “s”. Now, let’s take a look at the following vowel, which is the most important thing here when it comes to the question of how to pronounce Johnny’s name. Here we have “ ㅓ”, which gets pronounced as “eo”. The official transcribtion of this vowel is also “eo”, so in this case it’s totally acceptable to transcribe Johnny’s last name as “Seo”!
This way of spelling is also used in NCT’s offical VLIVE account:
Personally, it’s the best way for me to transcribe it. If you use “Suh”, the vowel gets pronounced as a long “uuuu” because of the “h” that follows. In English language, the “h” is usually used as a “long accent” to mark a long or a short vowel. And phonetically speaking, Johnny’s last name is not “Suh” but “Seo”, so here’s my catch and also my reason why I rather stick to “Seo”. Please note, that this is just my personal opinion and that there is no right or wrong in this case!! So if you gonna use “Suh” it’s also totally acceptable, especially because of the last reason I’m gonna address.
Now, let’s take a look of how Johnny transcribes his name himself to make things a bit easier~ Johnny’s official birthname is “John Suh” and he also signs his last name that way:
I think we can close this whole chapter by saying that both ways of spelling his name are totally appropriate! Please keep this in mind, they are both fully acceptable and acknowledged transcribtions so please don’t call out any fans for writing his name “wrong” if they chose either one of the options.
Thank you a lot!!♡