I find it fascinating how international fans of K-pop bands still pronounce the names of their favorite members wrongly – although they claim to love them beyond what so ever. Seriously? Have you never bothered looking up how your bias’ name is pronounced? Of course I had difficulties at first too, but I watched one or two videos and listened to how the members called each other and then I had it in a couple of minutes. There is no real excuse for not figuring out their proper names’ pronunciation as YouTube is full of video material of K-pop idols.
The most wrongly pronounced name is of course the most worldwide famous Korean K-pop singer Psy. I guess mainly in non-English speaking countries it is difficult: it is /sai/ not /psai/! Where does the /p/ come from? Come on guys – do you also say /psaico/ (psycho) or /psaicadelic/ (psychedelic)?? Course not! The teachers of Talk To Me In Korean once in a while try to help international fans by up-loading supporting videos. I myself checked if I pronounced Super Junior‘s Ryeowook’s name correctly, because it is one of the very few tricky K-pop names out there.
EXO members to me don’t have the most difficult names: Chen, Tao, Suho or Kris don’t give you nightmares; on the other hand, Xiumin and Chanyeol may trouble you sometimes. I understand that – as their fandom is quite large – there is a bigger need to make sure every fan can pronounce their names right. So, now there is absolutely no excuse anymore for not being a pro in K-pop names.