I've heard from varying sources that Roronoa's name is pronounced two different ways and I was wondering what is the correct way to say it. I have heard it pronounced 'Zoro' in the manga but my bilingual (Japanese and English) friend says that it is pronounced 'Zolo.' So what is the correct way to pronounce his name?

What I'm trying to ask is, is his name Zoro or Zolo?

Also is Roronoa his first or last name?

  • 1
    Japanese makes no distinction between R and L in pronunciation. Both are equally correct (Zoro vs Zolo). – Madara's Ghost Nov 16 '13 at 20:34
  • @MadaraUchiha To be more precise, the pronunciations of ら (ra), り (ri), る (ru), れ (re), ろ (ro) lie somewhere in between the corresponding R & L sounds of English. – Masked Man Nov 17 '13 at 1:51
  • @Cyberson By the way, did you mean how to spell Zoro's name? – Masked Man Nov 17 '13 at 1:52
  • Its the same how Luffy's name is pronounced. Ruffi or Ruffy or Luffy. That's japanese for you my friend! :) – RainMaker Nov 17 '13 at 9:43
  • @Cyberson I had overlooked your last question about the first name and last name. Now I have answered that as well. – Masked Man Nov 21 '13 at 5:04

The pronunciation of the hiragana character ろ is the correct way to pronounce the ro in Roronoa Zoro's name. This pronunciation lies somewhere in between the English pronunciations of Ro and Lo (though closer to Ro). You can find an audio file with the pronunciation on this page at guidetojapanese.org.

The canonical Roman spelling for his name is Roronoa Zoro, since this is the spelling used on his bounty poster. In the English dub, 4kids changed his name to Zolo for some reason.

Zoro's bounty poster

His first name is Zoro, and last name is Roronoa. The Japanese place their family name before their first name.


Roar-oh-know-ah is the pronunciation of Roronoa

  • This doesn't really answer the question, which (despite the title) was about the character's surname. – senshin Nov 17 '13 at 5:59
  • 1
    @senshin You point is valid, but you got the details mixed up. His first name is Zoro, and last name is Roronoa. – Masked Man Nov 17 '13 at 6:26

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