[KS] Re: Enforced Romanization

Ruediger Frank ruediger.frank at univie.ac.at
Wed Feb 23 04:05:03 EST 2005

you wrote:
>I maintain that
>the Korean gov't can use whatever system it wants
>(even an inferior one), but since romanization is
>meant to be for the benefit of non-Korean speakers
>primarily, non-Korean speakers such as native English
>speakers should have the right to use whatever
>romanization system they (collectively)  determine is
>best (without heavy-handed harassment from Korean

With all due respect: as I mentioned some years earlier when we already had 
similar discussions, not all "foreigners" are native English speakers. I 
will spare you the details, but a system that works fine for Americans can 
be totally off the mark for Germans (or French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, 
Greek, Swahili, Arabic, Hindi... speaking people). Bottom line: there is no 
one-size-fits-all perfect system. But since we still need one, I go with 
those who concede that creating such a system this is the sole right (and 
in fact, the duty) of the Korean government. Cooperation between Sòul and 
P'yòngyang on the issue would be nice and a good occasion to further 
improve ties. Consultation with foreigners? Good idea, but PLEASE not only 



Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ruediger FRANK
East Asian Political Economy
University of Vienna, Austria

please note new contact details for Feb. 14 until Feb. 26, 2005
Visiting Researcher
Nordic Institute of Asian Studies
Copenhagen, DanmarK
Phone: +45-35 32 95 40

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