[KS] Romanisation

Werner Sasse werner_sasse at hotmail.com
Fri Apr 24 20:46:11 EDT 2009

Dear Members of the List,

Sorry, to raise the question of romanisation again...

I still vividly remember the heated discussions at AKSE meetings after the "new"system came out. And some of you may remember that I was one of those who strongly advocated to continue to use the McR system for various reasons, some linguistic, some practical.


However, I have started to stop using McR, and now would advocate we follow the current system. The only reason is that it actually seems to become the standard through continuous use, no matter how ridiculous it makes Korean look like. (Remember how the Chinese were able to make everyone switch from the much better older system to the current system - which I find even more ridiculously looking than the official Korean romanisation system -, simply by stubbornly insisting of using it.


Writing system after all are arbitrary (I always rejoyce at listening to foreigners pronouncing German names etc., although we use the same alphabet....). Being arbitrary, the only important aspect is that is used continuously, and peope have to learn how to pronounce the same graph in the respective languages.


"Standard" is a long way from "good or bad, "correct", or "nice looking".... 


If you can't lick'em, join'em...


Best, Werner Sasse
> Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2009 15:25:39 +0100
> From: j.h.grayson at sheffield.ac.uk
> To: koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
> Subject: Re: [KS] Pictopedia of Everyday Life in East Asia (Joseon Period)
> 22.4.09
> Dear Prof. Kim,
> Thank you for your email and the report on your important research.
> I am only sorry to say that I was disappointed to note that you have 
> not used the scholarly system of Romanisation, the so-called MR system 
> which was devised by the three leading Korean phoneticians of the 
> early twentieth century. The current government system is inaccurate 
> and leads to mispronunication. I would hope that you would not use 
> this system in the future as it creates confusion for people who do 
> not speak Korean.
> Thank you for informing us of this valuable resource. If there are any 
> copies available, the East Asian Studies Library at The University of 
> Sheffield would be pleased to receive a copy.
> Yours sincerely,
> James H. Grayson
> -- 
> Prof. James H. Grayson
> School of East Asian Studies
> University of Sheffield
> Sheffield S10 2TN
> United Kingdom
> Tel. +44 114 222-8418
> Fax +44 114 222-8432
> email: j.h.grayson at sheffield.ac.uk

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