[KS] Korean romanization

Gill Goddard G.M.Goddard at sheffield.ac.uk
Wed Jun 1 10:27:45 EDT 2005

Dear all
I totally agree that of course one should learn hangul. 
However, romanization is a vital tool in libraries, allowing non Korean-speaking
library staff to assist borrowers, to answer and make Inter-Library Loan
requests, and to assist in identifying material in their libraries written in
what is to them a set of incomprehensible squiggles.
More importantly, there are many library management systems still in operation
which cannot handle CJK scripts. Ours is a case in point. My choice is to allow
entries using romanization, or see our CJK collections treated as second class
material, consigned to card catalogues in back offices. 

One final point: My library colleagues, asked to pronounce a book title written
in McCune- Reischauer, will make a reasonable stab at it. Write it out in the
new Government system, and they invariably produce harsh grating sounds far
removed from the subtleties of Korean sounds. And so for me the new system
fails in its basic task - that of showing a non speaker how to pronounce

Ms Gill Goddard  (Mrs Gill Corteen)                   
East Asian Studies Librarian        
Main Library                       
University of Sheffield
Western Bank
Sheffield S10 2TN

email:g.m.goddard at sheffield.ac.uk
Tel no: (0114 22) 27334  Fax no: 0114 222 7290


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