[KS] formal question (which version of Chinese characters?)

Best, Jonathan jbest at wesleyan.edu
Sat May 23 21:03:02 EDT 2015

Greetings Frank,

It does seem stickier with terminology, and that helps me understand why I prefer early history and primary sources.

Given your example: 
"... the concept of "folk" (minjian Ãñ¼ä) in Maoist China, if compared to minsok ÃñË× in Korea and densh¨­ »³Ð in Japan ..."

I suppose I might, if I was citing Chinese sources that largely used "simplified characters," and writing for an  audience that I feared might not be conversant with them, such as myself, do something comparable to what I've done upon occasion when confronted with a Korean authors' individualistic Romanization of their own names that has resulted in something likely not found in a library catalog¡ªnamely write the MR rendering followed in parenthesises by the author's own version. I suspect that most Koreans would be able to read the Japanese »³Ð, but the Chinese  Ãñ¼ä might be a problem for some, so maybe I'd try "Ãñ¼ä (i.e., Ãñ¼ä)." With Deng Xiaoping, I think I'd do the reverse order: µËСƽ (i.e., à‡Ð¡Æ½).  But this isn't as simple a problem as you originally promised. Presumably there are folks on the list serve who encounter this issue frequently, they must have a solution.  


From: Koreanstudies [koreanstudies-bounces at koreanstudies.com] on behalf of Frank Hoffmann [hoffmann at koreanstudies.com]
Sent: Saturday, May 23, 2015 6:33 PM
To: Korean Studies Discussion List
Subject: Re: [KS] formal question (which version of Chinese characters?)

Hello Professor Best:

Yes, Andrew's argument is a strong one. Thanks for that.
So, publications always "as they are" (in terms of character versions),
which, by the way, not what is otherwise done following most
bibliographic conventions (e.g., we disregard the capitalization of the
original, except for historic texts).

As for personal names, though, I suppose you would not go by the same
rule or convention, yes? (I would not.) For example, you would not
write "Deng Xiaoping µËСƽ" in a text that otherwise deals with
contemporary KOREA, and for a publication that mostly deals with Korea,
but à‡Ð¡Æ½ -- correct?

And how about terminology -- no direct quotes (see my examples from the
first mail)?


On Sat, 23 May 2015 15:48:46 +0000, Best, Jonathan wrote:
> Dear Frank,
> I wholly agree with Andrew and will add that in the instance of a
> long running journal that has been around long enough to have the
> kind of graphs used in its title, etc. pass through a change or two,
> I'd use the graphs employed when the particular number of the journal
> being cited was issued.
> Jonathan
> From: Koreanstudies [koreanstudies-bounces at koreanstudies.com] on
> behalf of Andrew [zatouichi at gmail.com]
> Sent: Friday, May 22, 2015 12:35 PM
> To: koreanstudies at koreanstudies.com
> Subject: Re: [KS] formal question (which version of Chinese characters?)
> Dear Frank,
> I claim no expertise on this topic, but just to offer an opinion:
> unless making a political statement, I'd have thought it's always
> best to reproduce whatever has been used in the original publication.
> Although obviously closely related, traditional, Simplified and
> Japanese kanji are now - synchronically speaking - independent
> scripts used to represent different languages. (Anecdotally, when I
> very briefly worked at a Japanese company, they complained when I
> typed Japanese Çत with Korean ìi as they didn't regarded it to be
> the same).
> sincerely
> Andrew

Frank Hoffmann

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