[KS] Romanisation

will pore willpore at gmail.com
Sat Apr 25 02:01:53 EDT 2009

Dear List:

It is only places like South Korea and Taiwan that display this mass and
growingly amusing confusion about romanization. This is because they never
really learned the system, i.e. a perfectly good system like M-R, and stuck
with it.

For those of you who will be using the new romanization system, I'm sure you
find a lot of material on Lee Sun-Shin (as the "Korea Times" now calls him)
among the files of the Lees of old Virginia. Or, why not, as one of my
students does, romanize Yi as Leigh? Of course, perhaps he's related to

Will Pore

On Sat, Apr 25, 2009 at 1:16 PM, Charles Muller <cmuller-lst at jj.em-net.ne.jp
> wrote:

> Werner Sasse wrote:
> > Sorry, to raise the question of romanisation again...
> > [...]
> > 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.
> I also hesitated to rejoin this fray, for obvious reasons, but would
> like to thank Werner for putting some weight behind the matter of
> _practicality_, which has been the main force behind my own usage of the
> new system, going back as far as two years before its official release.
> My own decision to adopt the Revised Romanization system had to do mainly
> with the fact that I was trying to develop web resources for Korean and East
> Asian studies, and the decision between doing this with a breve-less system
> that would become a national standard (both culturally and technically), or
> adhering to M-R (which would clearly be out of the picture in terms of
> Korea-generated resources), was a no-brainer. After adopting RR for my
> developing my web resources, it just didn't make any sense to use a
> different system for the rest of my work.
> Now, more than a decade later, web resources are the first step taken in
> the process of research by the vast majority of younger scholars, as
> well as many middle-age and older colleagues. All web resources (and
> other forms of computer-based tools, including web translators, most
> Wikis, etc.) are built upon the KSC standard which has the RR system
> built-in. That means that when you look something up, or have it
> translated by machine, in almost every case you are going to have it
> presented in the RR system (I have already heard complaints of frustration
> from instructors who try to introduce M-R in their courses, while their
> students see only RR on the web).
> So even disparaging remarks by senior scholars that have the apparent
> aim of diminishing the view of the value of works published with the new
> system will not, I think, be able to stem the tide of change.
> Despite my long leanings toward the new system, I have never, publicly
> or privately, criticized the work of any colleague based on the fact
> that she or he continued to adhere to M-R. So please do allow those of us
> who choose to use the new system to make our own decision (even if it is not
> yet recognized by the LOC), and try to pay attention to the content of the
> work, rather than the romanization system used to render it.
> Regards,
> Chuck
> -------------------
> A. Charles Muller
> University of Tokyo
> Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, Faculty of Letters
> Center for Evolving Humanities
> Akamon kenkyū tō #722
> 7-3-1 Hongō, Bunkyō-ku
> Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
> Web Site: Resources for East Asian Language and Thought
> http://www.acmuller.net
> <acmuller[at]jj.em-net.ne.jp>
> Mobile Phone: 090-9310-1787

William F. Pore, Ph.D.
Visiting  Professor
Global Studies Program
Pusan National University
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