Home > News > Hangeul Romanization needs fixing
9:54 | 17/06/2012 | 14

Hangeul Romanization needs fixing

/ korea times file experts shun it, users confused, government sits on handsby do je haethe current romanization system for hangeul (korean script) has been in use.

Hangeul Romanization needs fixing

A road sign near Kyunghee University in Seoul spells the name of a nearby subway station as “Hoegi”, honoring the governmentenforced Romanization system. The spelling does not properly reflect the actual pronunciation of the word, a shortcoming cited by some Korea specialists on a new Romanization format adopted in 2000. / Korea Times file

Experts shun it, users confused, government sits on handsBy Do Je-haeThe current Romanization system for Hangeul (Korean script) has been in use for more than 10 years, but people still find it confusing. Moreover, Hangeul experts shun it and prefer using an older system. Although the government knows this, it refutes calls to fix the system, citing a variety of reasons. Seoul has, so far, paid little or no attention to voices that criticize the scheme originally introduced by the culture ministry during Kim Dae-jung’s administration (1998-2003).Despite governmental promotion of the Romanization system, the older McCune-Reischauer system, adopted at the beginning of the 20th century, still maintains its position as the preferred method of Romanizing Korean in some key areas of academia and publishing. The Korea Times contacted several foreign experts on Korea about the issue. Most were still use the older system and are in favor of some form of revision.”I do not use the new Romanization system at all, and prefer the old one – that is, McCune-Reischauer”, said Vladimir Tikhonov, a professor of Korean and East Asian Studies at the University of Oslo, Norway. “The new Romanization just does not work for foreigners, it only misleads them. Neither our university library nor any public library here in Norway which I know, uses the current governmental system”, Tikhonov said. “I think that the best thing to do for the next government will be to acknowledge the mistake their predecessors made, and return to a simplified (without diacritics) version of McCune-Reischauer system”.Some foreign scholars working in Korea share similar views.”Like many foreigners, I do not like the new system for several reasons: 1) the use of “eo” for ㅓ is cumbersome; 2) initial g, d, b, j for ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ and ㅈ look bad; 3) the new system was forced on people undemocratically; and North Korea still uses a close variant of the old system (before the change in 2000, both Koreas used almost the same system)”, said Robert Fouser, professor of the Department of Korean Language Education at Seoul National University. “I use the new system when I write for publications in Korea, but the old system when I write for publications overseas. Publications usually specify the system, and most overseas require the old system”, he added. He suggested the government revert to the old system, but asks specialists (Koreans and foreigners) to work together to solve the problem of the breve and the apostrophe.The McCune-Reischauer preference can also be seen on the Internet. For example, many Youtube recordings of K-Pop hits display captions in older Romanized versions.But the government’s position is that the transfer to the new system, albeit flawed, has taken root particularly in public institutions and as the standard text for road signs.Recently, the National Institute of the Korean Language (NIKL) announced key policy goals for the next two years during a media briefing. However, absent from the announcement, was how to address the remaining confusion over the Revised Romanization, particularly in light of the rising demand for Korean education outside the country triggered by the “hallyu” (Korean Wave) boom. The hallyu boom has led to a surge of interest in learning Hangeul particularly in Japan, China and some Southeast Asian nations like Vietnam and Nepal.One of NIKL’s core responsibilities is to oversee policies for Romanizing Korean, but the agency does not yet have solid data, i.e. surveys or studies, to access how widespread use of the new system is in key areas, including academia, media and the publishing industries here and abroad.When the subject of the Romanization controversy emerged during the media briefing, the NIKL was unprepared to offer a clear direction ahead. Both the NIKL and the culture ministry are not looking to alter the current Romanization in the near future.”We will keep our ears open to the opinions of those users of the Romanized Korean in various sectors of society”, said Min Hyun-sik, director general of the NIKL during the press conference in Insa-dong in downtown Seoul.Such a lukewarm response resembles the one previously given by Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik during a Korea Times interview last month.”This is not just a matter of changing the Romanization system. Going back and forth on such major policies could hurt how Korea’s global stature”, Choe said. “If we were to revert to the old system, this would cause more confusion”. The top cultural policymaker was apprehensive about the immense costs that could be incurred from a policy flip-flop on Romanization. More than $260 million was spent changing road signs across the nation following the introduction of the new system.

WINNER Reveals What It Really Feels Like to Be a YG Trainee

WINNER Reveals What It Really Feels Like to Be a YG Trainee

A road sign near Kyunghee University in Seoul spells the name of a nearby subway station as “Hoegi”, honoring the governmentenforced Romanization system. The spelling does not properly reflect the actual pronunciation of the word, a shortcoming cited by some Korea specialists on a new Romanization format adopted in 2000. / Korea Times file Experts […]

Libraries offer special lectures on humanities

Libraries offer special lectures on humanities

A road sign near Kyunghee University in Seoul spells the name of a nearby subway station as “Hoegi”, honoring the governmentenforced Romanization system. The spelling does not properly reflect the actual pronunciation of the word, a shortcoming cited by some Korea specialists on a new Romanization format adopted in 2000. / Korea Times file Experts […]

Follow the Makgeolli Wanderers into charms of tradition

Follow the Makgeolli Wanderers into charms of tradition

A road sign near Kyunghee University in Seoul spells the name of a nearby subway station as “Hoegi”, honoring the governmentenforced Romanization system. The spelling does not properly reflect the actual pronunciation of the word, a shortcoming cited by some Korea specialists on a new Romanization format adopted in 2000. / Korea Times file Experts […]

Sean is made internal director at YG Entertainment and given stock options

Sean is made internal director at YG Entertainment and given stock options

A road sign near Kyunghee University in Seoul spells the name of a nearby subway station as “Hoegi”, honoring the governmentenforced Romanization system. The spelling does not properly reflect the actual pronunciation of the word, a shortcoming cited by some Korea specialists on a new Romanization format adopted in 2000. / Korea Times file Experts […]

Outdoor activities, a booming culture in Korea

Outdoor activities, a booming culture in Korea

A road sign near Kyunghee University in Seoul spells the name of a nearby subway station as “Hoegi”, honoring the governmentenforced Romanization system. The spelling does not properly reflect the actual pronunciation of the word, a shortcoming cited by some Korea specialists on a new Romanization format adopted in 2000. / Korea Times file Experts […]

DON'T MISS

[Interview] Producer & DJ Flash Finger Is Bringing New Beats To K-EDM

[Interview] Producer & DJ Flash Finger Is Bringing New Beats To K-EDM

Flash finger is a versatile artist who is a dj, producer, and keyboardist in the group beatburger.  (photo : kpopstarz ) flash finger is setting the tone for k edm. What.
100% gift fans a special MV for “Summer Hero”

100% gift fans a special MV for “Summer Hero”

100% release a special mv for their track "summer hero" from their cool summer album "sunkiss". Recently, 100% has officially wrapped up their promotions for "u beauty".
Kang Dong Won Reveals He Has Maintained the Same Weight for 12 Years

Kang Dong Won Reveals He Has Maintained the Same Weight for 12 Years

Even in the midst of his hectic filming schedule, the star has put great effort into his caring for his figure. Known for his slim body, kang dong won revealed he went.
Girls’ Generation’s Sunny Asks SONE Not to Be Their Shield

Girls’ Generation’s Sunny Asks SONE Not to Be Their Shield

” she continued, “you know that nothing that tear up the time that girls generation and sone have been together, right? we’ve always been thankful, and still continuing.
Jay Park Reveals the Album Cover for “EVOLUTION”

Jay Park Reveals the Album Cover for “EVOLUTION”

The profile shot of jay park on the cover draws an authentically artistic element, as it is sketched and layered with symbolic graphics. Check out the recent teaser for.
The Best and Worst Remake Dramas Based on Viewer Ratings Revealed

The Best and Worst Remake Dramas Based on Viewer Ratings Revealed

The worst remake drama of all time with the lowest ratings was 2010 mbc drama “mischievous kiss,” starring kim hyun joong and jung so min. The second in rank is the.
Teen Top reveals title track through a guessing event

Teen Top reveals title track through a guessing event

To start with, they held "guess the title track" event care of l. Joe and revealed the winners along with the title today. As a result, it is announced that the title track.
Winner Grabs Second Win on “M!Countdown” with “Empty” + Performances

Winner Grabs Second Win on “M!Countdown” with “Empty” + Performances

Winner winning at end of video:winner “empty”sistar “i swear”red velvet “happiness”. 1 for the second time on “m!countdown” with their debut album title.
Jungin and Gary to release 2nd digital single, “Bicycle”

Jungin and Gary to release 2nd digital single, “Bicycle”

As summer nears its end, are you looking forward to the refreshing collaboration of jungin and gary to close out the season?source: sportsworld. “bicycle” will contain.
Super Junior release two video teasers for MAMACITA (아야야) ahead of 7th album

Super Junior release two video teasers for MAMACITA (아야야) ahead of 7th album

  the mv is the work of the renowned zanybros, and features the members taking on various character roles:leeteuk: wanted thief siwon: sheriff sungmin: deputy director.
Super Junior Says Winning in Music Shows is Not Important

Super Junior Says Winning in Music Shows is Not Important

”leeteuk explained that a lot of things have changed now that they are nearing their tenth anniversary in the industry, and one of those things is being ambitious for awards.
“My Spring Day” releases a new still cut of Sooyoung + official trailer video

“My Spring Day” releases a new still cut of Sooyoung + official trailer video

Sooyoung shows her motherly side in a new still cut for mbc"s upcoming drama "my spring day". The drama will follow "fated to love you" and broadcast on september 10th.
Baek Chung-gang to release new album

Baek Chung-gang to release new album

Baek chung gang, winner of the program "the great birth", will release an ep next month, two years after he made his debut with the album "all night". The singer"s agency.
Yoo Hee Yeol Leaves “SNL Korea,” Yoo Se Yoon to Take Over

Yoo Hee Yeol Leaves “SNL Korea,” Yoo Se Yoon to Take Over

”due to being busy with his next album and personal matters, yoo hee yeol decided to depart from the show, and his final appearance will take place on august 30. The empty.
YG Entertainment launches official poster for upcoming reality show, “MIX & MATCH”

YG Entertainment launches official poster for upcoming reality show, “MIX & MATCH”

Previously, yg entertainment confirmed that team b will be making their debut through the reality show, “mix & match” which will air on mnet and naver on september 11th.
T-ara’s Eunjung Sheds 10 Kilograms through Strict Pilates Training

T-ara’s Eunjung Sheds 10 Kilograms through Strict Pilates Training

She said she feels lighter and flexible, and that her body does not feel strained at all from the difficult movements and poses. Meanwhile, eunjung is preparing for t ara’s.
Teen Top reveals official title track for “EXITO”

Teen Top reveals official title track for “EXITO”

Are you excited for teen top’s fall comeback?source: teen top official facebook. Not long ago, teen top had revealed a mini guessing game for fans all around the world.
Teen Top reveals official title track and announces 4 winners of the guessing game

Teen Top reveals official title track and announces 4 winners of the guessing game

Are you excited for teen top’s fall comeback?source: teen top official facebook. Apparently, these four have written their answers even faster than the previous six, making.
Super Junior Is Back! Drops Fun and Addictive “Mamacita” MV

Super Junior Is Back! Drops Fun and Addictive “Mamacita” MV

Super junior is scheduled to be opening up their world tour “super show 6,” beginning on september 19 21 at jamsil indoor stadium in seoul, before heading off to china.
Super Junior releases “MAMACITA” MV

Super Junior releases “MAMACITA” MV

After a long hiatus, super junior kickstarts their upcoming comeback promotions with the release of the official music video for “mamacita”!teasing fans with their video.