[KS] Kontsevich_Hangeul_in_Indonesia_Remark_from_Moscow

lev kontsevich lr.kontsevich at gmail.com
Fri Aug 7 15:21:39 EDT 2009

To  Moderator of  Korean Studies mailing list submissions :

The case of using hangeul by one of Indonesian tribes as a practical system
of writing is funny. It is one more “success” of local nationalists in the
era of globalization, when the state sponsors such "experiments"! Korean
alphabet is excellent only for the Korean language, but is almost unsuitable
for the transmission of sounds, which are absent in the Korean language. In
the Soviet Union in 1920-30’s attempts were made to create scripts for
nationalities, which had no their own script on the basis of the Latin
alphabet. This letter alphabet, as well as Cyrillic, is much more suitable
than Korean letter-syllabic alphabet, for transcription of all kinds of
sounds through a combination of letters or diacritics. But the grandiose
experiment failed. It is difficult to believe that the Korean experiment
will last for long.
Lev Kontsevich

Leading researcher,
Institute of Oriental Studies,
Russian Academy of Sciences,
Rozhdestvenka, 12,  Moscow, Russia
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