How to pronounce Vietnamese name Duong

How to Pronounce the Vietnamese Name Dương

Pronounced like zoo-ung in north, or yoo-ung in south.

If you live in a large North American or English city, there is a good chance you’ve had a colleague or classmate name Dương. There is also a good chance that you’ve mispronounced their name!

Dương is not pronounced with a “d”. It is pronounced like zoo-ung in North Vietnam, and like yoo-ung in South Vietnam. The letter “d” in Vietnamese, as well as “r” and “gi”, have all devolved into the lazy ‘zzz’ sound. Read more about the wacky Vietnamese consonants here.

Many of the Dươngs in Hollywood are likely to have come to the USA as South Vietnamese refugees. Therefore, many famous people named Dương prefer the “y”-version of Dương — but you should ask before attempting to pronounce their name.

Number of People with the Vietnamese Name Dương

Dương is the 14th most popular family name in Vietnam, with approximately 1% of the population claiming the name (~1 million people). It means the ocean in modern Vietnamese, and can also be used as a first-name for both males and females.

The name is very popular in other Asian countries like South Korea and Mainland China, where it is pronounced like “Yang”. In Mainland China, it is the 6th most popular family name.

  • Chinese 杨 – Yang
  • Korean 양 – Yang

History of the Vietnamese Surname Dương

According to Chinese scholars, the is name claimed to have originated around 1040 BC, from an ancient Yang Kingdom (now Hongdong, Shanxi Province), whereupon the residents of the Yang kingdom took the place-name as their family name. An early record of the name is attributed to King Zhou Kang, who named one of his sons “Yang Hou”.

Famous People Named Dương

Anh Dương is a French-born actress and artist most famous for her roles in My Best Friend’s Wedding and Scent of a Woman.

Porter Duong [sic] is a California-born actress with a recurring role on the US hit TV-show “This Is Us”. She also had an appearance on Silicon Valley.

Throughout history, there have been a few Vietnamese rulers and noblemen named Dương, including: Dương Vân Nga, the empress dowager of the Đinh dynasty and empress of the Early Lê dynasty; Dương Tam Kha, a King under Chinese rule, who proceeded the Vietnamese Ngô Dynasty; and Dương Nhật Lễ, the emperor of Đại Việt (North Vietnam) from 1369 to 1370.

Fired for Mispronouncing a Name

There has been a rash of American workers fired for mispronouncing peoples’ names, mostly Caucasian people working in academia or other ultra-left-wing institutions (e.g., Christopher Trogan from Fordham University). Far-Left adherents call it a micro-aggression, i.e. they think mispronouncing a name is akin to violence.

Unfortunately, Vietnamese names are almost impossible to pronounce without careful study of Vietnamese consonants, vowels, and the 6 tones. Therefore, you are a left-wing person who is Caucasion, and you interactive with a Vietnamese individual, you may have a lot of home-work to do in order not to get fired!

See our list of the 14 most common Vietnamese surnames, including audio, to help you learn the correct Vietnamese pronunciations, as well as pages dedicated to Ngô, Ng, Nguyễn, and Trần

One caveat is that these lessons are for the Northern Vietnamese pronunciations of names, which differ slightly from the South Vietnamese versions. So, consider interrogating your Vietnamese colleagues about whether they prefer the Northern or Southern versions before attempting to properly pronounce their name (which itself could be a very sensitive topic, so tread carefully).

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