[KS] Re: romanization systems

T.N. Park tnpark at mac.com
Thu Mar 7 08:50:12 EST 2002

David C. Kang wrote:
> --- You wrote:
> I wonder if anyone is
> for the new system. It would be enlightening to hear from those who are for
> the new system, 
> --- end of quote ---
> You know, I prefer the M-R system, but I'm considering switching. The last two
> pieces I published I used the M-R system, and those diacriticals made the
> whole publishing process extremely difficult. The first set of proofs got them
> wrong, and then the second set was also screwy, although I think I caught all
> the mistakes. Just for ease of publishing the lack of diacriticals in the new
> system is a big plus, so I may succumb to "Bag, Busan, and Gimpo."

Several points. First, getting the diacriticals right in publishing is no
more difficult that getting them right for commonly-used English words such
as café, coup d'état, résumé, El Niño, etc. The system is in place, and it's
just a matter of making sure it's set up properly (as we would do for
writing Korean characters). It's far easier than it was, say, five years

Second, it's important to note that the "new" World Cup system does not
include constructions such as "Bag" for 박 (Park or Pak). One major
improvement of the "new" World Cup system over its earlier cousins (I am NOT
referring to the government's previous M-R-based Olympic system, but an
earlier system that utilized eo and eu, as well as g, d, b, and j in
virtually all cases) is that the new system is more 'pronunciation-based' in
that it allows for k, t, p, and t to be used when those characters are in a
subordinate consonant position.

Thus, Pak would be Bak, though the system allows for established proper
names to remain. (That stipulation, I feel, should mean that Pusan should
remain Pusan, Inchon as Inchon, Kwangju as Kwangju, etc., given that these
are "established" proper names; changing them was a misinterpretation of the
new system's intent.)

This "pronunciation-based" improvement over the "previous" system has been
misunderstood to mean (at least by Lonely Planet) that the World Cup system
more accurately reflects pronunciation than does the Olympic system. What
was meant by proponents of the new system is that it is an improvement over
the "previous-previous" system, in which Dogrib Gate, Bag, etc., prevailed.


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