It's unfortunate that the most common Vietnamese last name is so hard to pronounce! Why couldn't it have been Tran or Pham? Even without the accent marks "Nguyen" is challenging for an English speaker to figure out. I totally get it! I've heard many versions over the years, some better than others.
  1. "Win"
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    Sounds the best and probably closest to the actual pronunciation as there isn't a hard N sound. (Also, if I married a guy with Nguyen for a last name I could get this T-shirt ➡️) Unfortunately, this could lead to confusion with Winn and Wynn.
  2. "Nuh-Win"
    This is the one I chose for introducing myself to people, including patients. I don't LOVE love it, but the "Nuh" part indicates my name begins with an N. I figured this would be easier for patients to look me up. This was true on the East Coast, but now I'm at a hospital with ~100 doctors with my last name, so most people know how to spell it. It's so common that it's a challenge for the nurses to find which "Dr. Nguyen" I am in the computer when they are documenting. Haha! 😝
  3. "Noo-Yen"
    Meh. But not like nails on a chalkboard bad.
  4. "Nuh-Guy-In"
    Honestly, it's not bad in terms of sounding it out. But I don't like to be called "guy."
  5. "Nuh-Goo-Yen"
    No. The WORST. Sure, I can see how "gu" could be pronounced "goo," but I don't have to like it! It's like I'm gooey Japanese currency. 🚫