[KS] Re: Enforced Romanization

Dennis Lee brightrising at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 23 19:12:28 EST 2005

While this point has been mentioned in previous discussions, whatever system 
is chosen, it would be most helpful if it would work well on 
computer/internet systems. Eliminating punctuation and sticking with the 
basic 26 letters would make searches and input considerably easier. Even if 
it means using an 'x' or some other random letter for the 'u' (Yale) 'eu' 
(Korean) u^ (MR) vowel sound.

There are many search engines that simply ignore excess punctuation or 
characters not in the beginning of the ASCII character set. While the Korean 
M-R and the Chinese Wade-Giles is workable on computer searches, it 
sometimes requires omitting apostrophes which can make a critical difference 
in some searches. I have found in my Korean searches that using ^o or o^ in 
any combination is usually ignored by most engines. Pinyin has been a boon 
for those of us who have to frequently deal with romanized chinese 
electronic documents.

Dennis Lee

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ruediger Frank" <ruediger.frank at univie.ac.at>
To: "Korean Studies Discussion List" <Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 1:05 AM
Subject: Re: [KS] Re: Enforced Romanization

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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