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

Frank Hoffmann hoffmann at koreanstudies.com
Sat May 30 20:48:40 EDT 2015

That's again a complete different argument if you think about it 
carefully, Marion. In a case such as this one (Rob's example), no 
misunderstanding will occur. But in the earlier examples, such as the 
Japanese term denshō 伝承 vs. the same in traditional characters, densh
ō 傳承, the latter one might be irritating for both Western scholars 
and native East Asian speakers (exactly because that would be a term 
that has a specific meaning Japan that it does not have in Korea, and 
the Japanese writing variation of the characters immediately clarifies 
the "local" semantics of the term!


On Sun, 31 May 2015 00:07:50 +0200, Marion Eggert wrote:
> 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.
> Regards
> Marion
> -- 
> Prof. Dr. Marion Eggert
> Ruhr-Universität Bochum
> Sprache und Kultur Koreas
> GB 1/46
> D-44780 Bochum

Frank Hoffmann

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