[KS] Editing romanised Korean into 'readable' English

Lauren W. Deutsch lwdeutsch at earthlink.net
Thu Jan 15 19:31:12 EST 2004

While this topic seems to be for "readers" rather than "speakers", I do have a question which seems related...

I do wonder, however, whether the standard form of Romanization is set for speakers English (Brit / American / Aust-NZ-SAfrican) ... or does it work for all languages using the "Roman" letters? (e.g. How do German speakers "Romanize" the word?.) My reason is that pronouncing Seoul from Hangul sounds more "French" than trying to articulate it from the approved Romanization du jour. 

I anxiously learned the Hangul to avoid having to read endless phrases of repetitive vowels and letter groups that looked like organic chemical compounds. 

-----Original Message-----
From: joy kim <joykim at usc.edu>
Sent: Jan 15, 2004 12:49 PM
To: Korean Studies Discussion List <Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
Subject: RE: [KS] Editing romanised Korean into 'readable' English

Korean studies librarians struggle with this issue on a daily basis.  The Library of Congress (LC) established an arbitrary set of word division standards which all librarians follow religiously for the sake of achieving bibliographic control as best as we can.  

The LC Word Division Rules are very different from those practiced in Korea (e.g., all particles are separated from the word stem, etc), and support keyword searching in romanized databases more effectively.  Ideally, it would be best if authors (who create knowledge) and librarians (who preserve, organize, and disseminate knowledge) use the same standards.  Although all librarians agree and lament that the LC rules have many problems, it is most likely that we will continue to use them in the foreseeable future while trying to improve the rules.  If you wish to peruse the LC Word Division Rules, please visit


Is it something Korean studies scholars and authors are willing to adopt??  I'd love to hear comments from list members.

Joy Kim
Curator, Korean Heritage Library http://www.usc.edu/isd/korean 
University of Southern California
University Park
Los Angeles, CA90089-0154
Tel: 213-740-2329 / Fax: 213-740-7437

Lauren W. Deutsch
835 S. Lucerne Blvd., #103 
Los Angeles CA 90005
Phone: 323 930-2587
e mail: lwdeutsch at earthlink.net

More information about the Koreanstudies mailing list