[KS] unicode

Frank Hoffmann hoffmann at koreanstudies.com
Sat May 30 03:41:26 EDT 2015

Professor Muller -- please, if you have the time, re-read my LAST 
posting. Your reply does not at all relate to the issue I had addressed.

To summarize: 
The issue, the question, was this one: THOSE Chinese characters from 
China (which I did not mention), Korea, and Japan that have more than 
one pronunciation in each country -- those are represented in a special 
block "as CJK Compatibility Ideographs, however ONLY those from Korea 
are in that block. Using the CHINESE and the KOREAN Unicode fonts (e.g. 
the new Noto fonts) these characters that have two pronunciations (in 
Korean language) are accessible via their two pronunciations AND they 
will preserve that information if used in any document. These 
characters can therefore be reversed (Hanja to Han'gŭl or Unicode or 
Decimal code). From a point of "computing" this is great! My question 
was, why did the Unicode Consortium not do the same for Kanji in Japan? 

So, that does not relate to adding or changing or abbreviating 
characters, etc. That is in way related to the characters themselves, 
the ideographs "as such" -- it is a pure computing issue, a pure 
Unicode issue, a pure CODING issue. For example, including the 
character 事 three times instead of one time, that would then allow the 
same reversibility that we had shown is possible with 요 遼 and 료 遼 
for Korean. I wondered why this was not done.


On Sat, 30 May 2015 16:14:24 +0900, Charles Muller wrote:
> 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.
> Regards,
> Chuck
> ---------------------------
> 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
> http://www.acmuller.net
> Twitter: @H_Buddhism

Frank Hoffmann

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