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

Andrew zatouichi at gmail.com
Mon May 25 08:20:17 EDT 2015

Dear Frank and all,

I should quit whilst I'm ahead, but with names too I would make the same
argument that ideally they should follow the contemporary script used at
the time and place (or if ambiguous give both Traditional and Simplified

Even if the publication primarily deals with Korea, if you mention
non-Korean people, there's no reason to give their name in 'Sino-Korean'.
It would arguably be like transcribing a Russian name into hangul, or
romanizing a Japanese name with Sino-Korean pronunciation.

(Parenthetically, I notice in popular Korean history books, in more
nationalist Korean publications they will write Japanese names in hangul
with Sino-Korean pronunciation, whereas when they are more neutral or
sympathetic they will write them with the Japanese pronunciation. Chinese
names they tend to make the distinction of writing premodern names with
Sino-Korean pronunciation and contemporary names according to Mandarin

Japan is complicated because I get the impression that current Japanese
publications, even when discussing premodern and pre-war sources written in
pre-simplified kanji, will always use the current simplified Japanese kanji
(i.e. you'll never see 氣 only 気). And they'll also apply this to premodern
Chinese and Korean sources, so they write *Samguk-yusa* as 三国遺事 and King
Gwanggaeto as 広開土王, which is equivalent to Western practice of romanizing
foreign names, i.e. Japanese "kanji-cization"!

I wonder, for the sake of analogy, if your article was mostly dealing with
Japan, what would you do with premodern/pre-war Japanese names?

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