[KS] How Marvelous the Marvelous-Hangul-Hanja converter (Adam Bohnet)

Michael Rank rank at mailbox.co.uk
Mon Jun 4 14:09:44 EDT 2012

Speaking of hanja there is an extremely interesting article on the use  
of hanja in reprints of classical works in North Korea by Sonja  
Häußler (Revived interest in literary heritage) in Exploring North  
Korean Arts edited by Rüdiger Frank.  Sure many people on this list  
know this book but if you haven't come across it I highly recommended  

Michael Rank

>   1. How Marvelous the Marvelous-Hangul-Hanja converter (Adam Bohnet)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2012 06:49:08 -0400
> From: Adam Bohnet <adam.bohnet at utoronto.ca>
> To: koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
> Subject: [KS] How Marvelous the Marvelous-Hangul-Hanja converter
> Message-ID: <20120604064908.f6zt2cs328scgksg at webmail.utoronto.ca>
> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset=ISO-8859-1;	DelSp="Yes";
> 	format="flowed"
> Dear Joobai:
> I wonder if the lukewarm response to the Hangul-hanja conversion
> program was less a matter of South Korean hostility to hanja than of
> the value of the program itself. I haven't tried computerized
> translation from Korean to Japanese and Chinese, but I expect that it
> exists, and probably results in less funny results than the usual
> google translate from Korean to English. One can also already change
> hangul to hanja with HNC or Microsoft word at a pretty steady pace. To
> be sure, one usually has to spend some time sorting out the hanja that
> one wants, but I cannot imagine that the program you suggest would be
> much more accurate - have you tried it out?
> And, if you really want to revive Classical Chinese learning in
> Korean, I think you had better pray that no such program ever gets off
> the ground!
> And frankly, I doubt that Korean hostility to hanja exists any more -
> everybody seems to be studying Chinese and Japanese these days, and
> learning the Korean pronunciation of Chinese characters is usually a
> vital part of that learning process - if one goes into a class not
> knowing the proper Korean reading of a character, all laugh, as I know
> from bitter experience :-( .
> In Korean Literature, for instance, my colleagues tell me that the
> argument whether classical Korean literature in hanmun is properly
> part of Korean Literature is long over, with classical Korean
> literature in hanmun now fully accepted as part of the canon. IMHO, in
> so far as it is possible to say that people are hostile to classical
> Korean literature, this is less a matter of classical Korean
> literature in particular than of Korean literature - or even
> humanistic education - as a whole, which is considered both
> superfluous and dangerously critical within the current neo-liberal
> order. Nor is this an exclusively Korean trend - in Canada, government
> hostility to the Humanities and Social Sciences (funding for
> historical archives in Canada has more or less been eliminated,
> whereas the long-form census has been destroyed) has grown into
> hostility to the Natural Sciences as well - with research funding for
> natural sciences being cut massively well before the recession.
> Perhaps culturla nationalism does not explain all trends in South
> Korea, in other words.
> As for the following passage: "And, as for this point: Another is
> about the most current head of ?????, a US trained historical
> linguist, describing his assessment that Korean is in danger of
> extinction and how National Language Institute(?????) has been waging
> a crusade against ???(foreign words) and ??(Kanji/hanzi).  True to the
> rhetoric, this is precisely the campaign he and the National Language
> Institute have successfully waged."
> Well Joobai, I must congratulate you on your excellent choice of
> friends and neighbourhoods if you think that there is a war against
> foreign words that is being waged successfully in Korea. English is
> hardly being kept out of the language to any significant extent,
> certainly not in academia or in entertainment or on shop-signs or just
> about anywhere.
> Yours,
> Adam

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