[KS] Romanisation

Brother Anthony ansonjae at sogang.ac.kr
Sat Apr 25 09:38:40 EDT 2009

Romanization rears its head again! Like Werner, I have no problems with the current official Korean system, since no matter what you do, the result is a set of conventions, the exact pronunciation of which will have to be learned (e.g. 'u' tastes different in French and German and English) and that includes 'eo' (which I deplore but cannot find a convincing substitute for). It seems clear to me that nobody will ever get the 'ordinary Korean' to use letters with diacritics, it goes too deeply against the grain. But since no ordinary Korean is ever taught to use the official system, it is not surprising that there are as many variants as before.

Just to warn against a false sense of security, I should report that I was phoned some weeks back by an official saying that the Government was aware of widespread dissatisfaction with the current system and asking would I be prepared to attend a consultation on a possible reform? I said yes, so have heard nothing more but we all know that in Korea, Nothing is Ever Settled Once and for All.

Brother Anthony
Sogang University, Seoul

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