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

Marion Eggert marion.eggert at rub.de
Sat May 30 18:07:50 EDT 2015

Dear Rob,

We could not disagree less:

> Small point, I guess, but I'm a little unhappy with the "nothing is 
> semantically gained" matter. When I write about Korean music, in 
> English, my audience can be most anyone anywhere, such as a) Japanese 
> who know English, but not Korean (on top of not knowing the 
> romanization), b) Italians who know English and Chinese, but not 
> Korean or Korean romanization, etc etc. Having simply a romanization, 
> even if not ambiguous in its reference, is not nearly as effective as 
> having the romanization together with (in my case) traditional 
> characters, which can be read by many categories of readers to their 
> semantic enlightenment.
That was exactly what I wanted to convey: There is "semantic 
enlightenment" in the characters because they are a medium of 
communication beyond the different spoken languages. I meant to say, 
therefore, that the point of using them would be lost *if* you reduce 
the characters to a script for a national language, e.g. by insisting on 
using the Japanese forms for a Japanese word. Of course I prefer having 
them in the text.

Andrew took this argument in a somewhat different direction, I guess.


Prof. Dr. Marion Eggert
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Sprache und Kultur Koreas
GB 1/46
D-44780 Bochum

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