Cal Poly Pomona

Asian name pronunciation guide

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona has a diverse student population. (See the Institutional Research and Planning's Student Statistical Reports.) This web site has been developed to help the campus community more accurately pronounce some common Asian first and last names.

Native speakers who were/are Cal Poly Pomona students provided all sound samples (in .wav format) for Cambodian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese names.

Explore Names by Language: Helpful hints, phonetic pronunciations, and/or sound samples spoken by native speakers

Search our Name Lists

Below is a focused Google search that will only search the Cal Poly Pomona Pronunciation Guide site. You may find it useful if you wish to look up the pronunciation of a name but are not sure which language to explore.

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Other Online Name Pronunciation Resources

Malaysian Names Pronunciation Guide
from Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand

Wikipedia has articles on naming conventions in many languages not covered here (although not much information on pronunciation):


This project began in Spring 1998 and was updated during Summer 2000. We will continue developing it as time and resources permit. It's far from finished and hardly perfect, but we hope that it helps! This site was developed by Dr. Susan Kullmann, former Interim Director of Instructional & Information Technology Learning, and 1997-1998 student technology consultants Jing Chin and Sam Tran; originally, it included the Cambodian, Cantonese, Chinese/Mandarin, Filipino, and Vietnamese name pronunciation guides. During Summer 2000, student technology assistant Keiko Suzuki and Dr. Kullmann updated the site to include Indonesian, Japanese, Korean and Thai name pronunciation guides. Thanks to the campus Office of Diversity and Compliance and The International Center for their support of this project.

What happened to the flags?

This page once prominently displayed the flags of many of the countries where these languages are spoken. We have removed them: Countries are not languages. Each of the countries that once had flags on this page has minority language communities, and the languages that we cover are minority, and in some cases majority, languages in many other regions, including here in southern California. Knowing the language of a person's name tells nothing about that person's national allegiances, and we do not want to imply otherwise.