acmuller at l.u-tokyo.ac.jp
Sat May 30 03:14:24 EDT 2015
On 2015/05/30 12:06, Frank Hoffmann wrote:
> Don't you agree that Unicode lost a very big chance there (except for
> the Korean font encoding, where it is less important, because there are
> not that many such characters with dual pronunciation in Korean)? I
> mean, if that Korean method of dual (or tripple etc.) entries would
> have been done with the Japanese Kanji, the that would be completely
> reversible. That seems to make so much more sense than creating a one
> way conversion.
I don't think that the process involved in the adding or maintenance of
ideographs to the "Unicode" character set is being properly understood here.
It is not the case that "Unicode" as some sort of entity, grasps or
misses an opportunity. Han ideographs have been, and are still added to
and maintained by the Ideographic Rapporteur Group (IRG; see
http://appsrv.cse.cuhk.edu.hk/~irg/) that operates as a unit within ISO
(not "Unicode"). IRG is composed of teams who represent the standards
bodies of all countries that use Han ideographs (including China,
Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, and other minor groups). These teams
generally include government specialists, industry reps (Apple, Adobe,
Microsoft...), and Chinese ideograph specialists.
New candidate ideographs are proposed at regular meetings by these
national representatives and must pass a high level of scrutiny to be
added to the system.
Members of IRG are aware of inconsistencies and problems in the system,
and are continually working to make it more smooth and accurate--so
nothing is carved in stone, as it were.
The distinction between "Korean hanja", "Japanese kanji", and "Chinese
hanzi" for the most part does not hold, except in the case where an
ideograph was created in a given cultural area and has only been used in
that cultural area. The rest of the differences lie simply in the
historical process of the creation of fonts, and most of the
"traditional" forms of the characters that are being here associated
with "Korea" were actually contained in the Japanese JIS 0212 set, long
ago. If you are talking about Joyo (somewhat simplified) forms of
Japanese ideographs, you can say that they are distinctive, but once
again, the difference quite often lies in font representation, not
difference of code point.
A. Charles Muller
Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology
Faculty of Letters
University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongō, Bunkyō-ku
Tokyo 113-8654, Japan
Office Phone: 03-5841-3735
Web Site: Resources for East Asian Language and Thought
More information about the Koreanstudies