[KS] Re: a few views

sangoak sangoak at snu.ac.kr
Tue Dec 7 03:49:17 EST 1999

Mark_Peterson at byu.edu wrote:

> Sangoak,
> ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ I really appreciate your input and the way you've dealt
> with this
> issue.
> ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ I'm writing only to you, not to the whole group, just
> to say a few
> things. ///I, Sang-Oak, am tempted to share your letter to me with the
> list

> after a couple of days' thought to promote mutual understanding.///

> I initially did not like the idea of a new system -- and still
> don't.¡¡ I think the choice between a system based on pronunciation,
> and a
> system based on spelling, is really the basic choice before us, and
> given
> that choice, the pronunciation alternative is better.¡¡ Neither system
> will
> be without fault or compromise, given the differences in Korean and
> English
> phonology.
> ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ But, I also understand the Korean resentment toward
> diacritical
> markings.¡¡ And some other aspects of the current system.
> ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ My only regret is that the revised M-R system
> implemented in 1984,
> was not taught or taken seriously by the Korean schools system and
> broadcast over Korean TV, in an attempt to illustrate its virtues and
> help
> train the average Korean in its use.¡¡ That process would have been
> illustrative of the differences in phonology and would have had the
> side
> benefit of improving English pronunciation, or at least awareness of
> the
> differences, among the populace at large.///Good points!///
> ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ One set of objections I have to the new system is the
> esthetics.
> As Gari Ledyard pointed out some years ago, we in the West, who love
> Korea,
> do not want it put out to ridicule -- and that is what happened with
> the
> Dogrib moon system, the old MOE system.¡¡ And it's not just dog ribs,
> but as
> Gari pointed out, the voiced set of consonants are associated with
> unpleasant and disgusting things in English, gag, hag, bag, sag, dog,
> bog,
> hog, bad, sad, mad, etc etc etc.¡¡ The esthetics of that set makes
> foreigners twitter as they negotiate through the foreign and even
> more-foreign landscape of Korea.
> ///I have thoroughly investigated the same kind of list in "Korean
> Romanization '82"

> (O'no' 7.1:165-198.) as follows: gang, gong, gun, gum, dang, dong,
> dun, dung,

¡¡¡¡ ban, bam, bang, bum, bin, etc. Note your examples will be changed
into gak, hak,

¡¡¡¡ bak, sak, dok, bok, hok, bat, sat, mat, etc. in a NAKL's new

> ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ True, the system based on spelling is easier for
> Koreans, but the
> end user is the foreigner -- so which is better to expect, to educate
> the
> Korean encoder, who wants to improve English skills anyway?¡¡ or to
> expect
> the foreigner to learn the intricacies of the spelling in order to
> approximate the pronunciation of the Korean.¡¡ Sorry to say, but here
> the
> burden on the native speaker would pay dividends for both, whereas the
> burden on the foreigner would only be carried in the rarest cases.
> ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ Well, enough.¡¡ I might say in conclusion, that I have
> tried, and
> failed, to get my American colleagues to accept the 1984 revised
> system
> (with the shi before i, Shilla, Yi Sun-shin) but to no avail.¡¡ They,
> (Ledyard, Ramsey) are loyal to the old MR as it is.¡¡ So, in a sense
> it's a
> pox on both their houses -- no chance for compromise; so, as you say,
> let's
> be civil, and agree to disagree -- but still I hate to see the rift
> between
> the inside and the outside.///As I have insisted consistently, after
> all we need

¡¡¡¡ two systems: a phonetic transcription like MR and an independent
¡¡¡¡ whichever it may be (e.g. Yale, MOE with only one out of r & l,
etc.) on user-friendly
¡¡¡¡ bases or so-called 'win-win strategy'.///

> ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ I suppose some of the attitudinal differences are
> imperialistic, on
> the one hand, and nationalistic on the other.¡¡ ///We have to try to
> avoid either

¡¡ extreme radicals in this academic issue. In fact, NAKL has listened
to my opinion

¡¡ but in voting I simply belonged to the minority. However, since more

¡¡ (I strongly urged to include foreigners.) are planed even in the next

¡¡ let us not say the following sentence yet./// I think some fear from

> outside is that the decision makers are frogs in a well; and from the
> inside that the outsider/imperialist has no business trying to dictate
> terms, ala Kanghwa-do, 1876/1882, etc.
> ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ Well, enough again.
> Thanks for your corresponding with all of us,
> with best regards,
> Mark
> (feel free to quote any or all of this, with or without attribution,
> if you
> like; I'm not writing this for anyone but you, but I'm tempted to.)



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