Yunmay: An Explanation

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As some of you know, a couple of years ago I changed my username from toejam to yunmay. Originally I got a lot of complaints about this change, since toejam is easily remembered and yunmay is...well, not. I've also been getting a lot of questions about the Chinese and Korean translations I've put on my home page. So here are all the answers:

What is "yunmay", anyway?

Yunmay is my Chinese name. Actually, the whole thing would be pronounced "Lay YunMay" in Cantonese, Lay being Lee, my family name, and YunMay being my personal name. My father says that Yun means happy and May means beautiful. So while it may not be memorable, YunMay is a pretty nice name to have.

Chinese and Korean Translations

I've put both the Chinese and Korean translations above. The Chinese is first. I did this using a hangul alphabet type thing, so the Yun part I had to construct myself (that is why it may look a little lopsided). Apparently this character isn't used much in Korea.

You say "potato"...

Because Korean is an alphabetic language, I could have written the Korean pronunciation of the Chinese characters for Lee/Lay and May (I'll say more about "yun" in a minute...), or I could have written the Chinese pronunciation in Korean. I compromised: I wrote Lee/Lay as "ee", which is the Korean spelling of the first character. But then I wrote the YunMay part as a Chinese person would say it. A Korean would read the last character as "Mee."

Now here is the tricky part. Until this past summer, I thought that Koreans didn't use the "yun" character, since none of the Koreans I had met knew what that character meant. But this summer while I was in Seoul, studying at Ewha University, one of my professors told me that although the character is rarely use, Koreans do have a pronunciation for it. That pronunciation is "hin", which, coupled with "mee" or "may" sounds pretty ugly. So for now I'll leave my name the way it is on my homepage. When I originally constructed this page, more than two years ago, I didn't know what I was getting into!

An apology

I didn't really think much about this hybrid of Chinese and Korean pronunciation at the time I wrote these characters. I do answer better to the YunMay pronunciation, however. Plus I think it sounds better. But I guess its a little confusing.

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Last updated November 5, 1997 by Jennifer May Lee <>