Jo Julia

by | Jul 23, 2010 | 5 comments

I chose that profile name because 1) Koreans place the last name first, and 2) “Cho” is actually pronounced “Jo” in Korean.

Dan hated the English pronunciation of “Cho.” He said it sounded so “chinky.”
He told me how everyone mispronounced it which seemed surprising to me- how hard could it be? C H O . I had been Pirritano before so I was looking forward to the shorter, easier name.
It’s a lot of work changing your name, and the social security office in downtown Brooklyn where I’d gone is probably worse than the one I visited yesterday in Hackensack, NJ.
So, after all that work, Dan tells me he wants to change his last name…to Hayworth. Daniel Hayworth. Gotta love him. He was trying to make it in the music industry- he didn’t want the stereotype of being a nerdy Asian guy who played a classical instrument.
No way, I told him- I’ve just changed my name.
Well, I’ve found over the past six years, he was right. People are constantly mispronouncing my name. “Mrs. Chew?”
“Julia Chow?”
Later he thought about just changing it to Jo- as it is pronounced in the proper Korean.
Maybe Jo is easier. Julia Jo. Jo Julia.


July 23, 2010


  1. Lydia W

    I hate the BK Social Security office too. Name changing sucks. And just as I went to post my name came up as Lydia W. It should be Lydia S.

  2. Susan C

    I can totally relate to this post! 🙂 so funny. made me smile.

  3. Joe

    It's the same with Park. In Korea, it's prononunced Bak. You'll see in phone books with names Park, Pak and Bak. Of course, with my family, it was with our first name, too. SeHo for Sam and SunHo for me. Our teachers would read it like it was spelled, but it's really SayHo and SoonHo.

  4. Joseph

    You'd be amazed how many people mess up the same way with my first name…

  5. allie701

    Here's what i don't understand. Since the original name in Korean is in characters which have to be transferred to the letters in English that match the Korean sound, why not choose the letters in English that match that sound? I could never figure out why Chinese place names would be written in English with X's when we never say. Why not write the word phonetically and be done with it?


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