[KS] Translation query

fs9 Frank_Joseph_SHULMAN at umail.umd.edu
Thu Feb 28 11:08:00 EST 2002

I am responding to Brother Anthony's inquiry of February 28th in which he
wrote in part as follows:

"I would be very grateful for any helpful comments on the current and
prospective future international use of the "new" romanization system, having
recently become involved with helping prepare a book in English designed for
overseas use which writes all the names of 20th-century Korean writers in the
new way. Should I be preparing to publish volumes of work by Go Eun rather
than Ko Un?"

In December 2000 I began a four-year long project to prepare a comprehensive
if not exhaustive, descriptively annotated, multidisciplinary, classified,
cross-referenced, and extensively indexed, multivolume bibliography and related
electronic database of an estimated 9,500-10,500 Western-language
dissertations that deal either in their entirety or just in part with Korea
and with Korean emigrants and students around the world.  [Some 9,100
dissertations have already been identified.]  It encompasses studies not
only in the humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, and education
but also in the natural sciences, engineering, architecture, law and
medicine that have been accepted by close to seven hundred institutions of
higher learning throughout Australia, Brazil, Canada, East Asia, Europe
(including Russia and the Ukraine), South Africa, South Asia, and the United

In citing the authors and the disssertation titles within the individual
bibliograpical entries that I am preparing, I am adhering, of course, to the
international bibiographical convention of transcribing the names of all of
the dissertation authors (the majority of whom are Koreans) and all Korean
proper names and terms that appear within their dissertation titles exactly as
they are written on their respective thesis title pages.  At the same time, I
currently anticipate using BOTH the McCune-Reischauer and the "new" Korean
romanization systems in my translations of German, French, Russian and other
European-language dissertation titles into English, in my descriptive
annotations, and in the subject index. In addition, to a still undetermined
extent, the author index will contain cross-references from variant spellings
occasioned by the multiplicity of systems used for transliterating Korean.  As
in the case of my reference work "Doctoral Dissertations on China and on Inner
Asia, 1976-1990: An Annotated Bibliography of Studies in Western Languages"
(Westport, Conn., and London: Greenwood Press, 1998. xxviii, 1055p.), where I
used both Wade-Giles and Pinyin, I will consistently use either
McCune-Reischauer or the "new" romanization system as the romanization system
of "choice" and insert the appropriate transliterations for the other
system in brackets.  I have not yet determined which system will receive
priority and, like Brother Anthony, would very much welcome the comments and
advice of researchers, students and librarians in the field of Korean Studies.

Frank Joseph Shulman
Bibiographer, Editor and Consultant for Reference Publications in Asian
9225 Limestone Place
College Park, Maryland 20740-3943 USA
E-mail: fs9 at umail.umd.edu
Telephone: 301-935-2729
Fax: 301-935-5614

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