[KS] Romanization update

sangoak sangoak at snu.ac.kr
Mon Nov 1 02:57:42 EST 1999

Dear list and Bob,

You (Robert Fouser) replied to me with many sentences suitable to post
on the list. So I (Sang-Oak Lee) will insert my comments in your letter
with [  ] and post it on the list.

"I(Bob Fouser)'ll get to the questionnaire as soon as I can, but to be
honest, I find it difficult to participate in a questionnaire that is so

poorly designed.
[ I, Sang-Oak Lee, fully agree with your honesty. While I reviewed the
questionnaire in the very last stage prepared by a  researcher at the
National Academy of the Korean Language who is guite pre-programmed by
item-by-item design, I already warned to NAKL that the design was not so

proper to investigate the public's opinion objectively among competing

The comments on the (Korean-studies) list pointed this out clearly.
[As Prof. Harvey already pointed out on the list, "the methodology of
the NAKL Romanization questionnaire did not ask respondents to choose
between systems. It asks them about one minor point after another."
In fact, I (SOL) already lead to make a better questionnaire by asking
ten participants (including you, Bob Fouser, and others, i.e. supporters

of MR, Yale, MOE, etc.) at the summer workshop of Lingua Koreana Society

to submit their individual versions of romanization and enumerate them
for the public including a quater (exactly speaaking 23%) of foreigners
in order to choose freely one out of ten or write in their own version.
For those who are interested in this report, please leave your mailing
address here in my (SOL) e-mail address. I can arrange for the Society
to send a copy by a snail mail.]

 I (BF) fear that the latest romanization effort is meeting the same
fate as previous efforts because of the underlying nationalism of the
NAKL.  It's too bad because you (SOL) tried sincerely to build a bridge
across the emotional divide.
[Yes, indeed, I regret very much that no one can easily build a bridge
over troubled water.
Partly because the lack of time and efforts. I could not have enough
time to translate NAKL's questionnaires until today when they have
tallied their result and prepared for a coming public hearing some time
in November.
Anyhow, I also feel that we have to make sooner or later, as Prof.
Harvey mentioned,  "a program that automatically transforms Han'gû l
either a transliteration or a reasonably phonetic representation like
current system. It could even keep the transliteration as an underlying
representation when displaying the phonetic representation, allowing
the Han'gû l to be recovered."]




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