[KS] Re: How to Write Korean Names in English?

Hyonggun Choi hgchoi at midway.uchicago.edu
Fri Jan 8 18:37:30 EST 1999

Dear Mark Peterson:

Let me answer your question by using examples of "Syngman Rhee" and "Yi

According to McCune-Reischauer Romanization rules revised by the Library of
Congress, there should be a hyphen between characters of Korean first
names. This rule only applies to the romanized names following
McCune-Reischauer Romanization rules. Apparently, "Yi Sung-man" is an
accurate way of romanization for Korean name of "Syngman Rhee." Let me say
this way, Syngman Rhee is a English name and Yi Sung-man is a romanized
Korean name.

Then, I need to answer why "Syngman Rhee" is widely used. Syngman Rhee was
accepted and decided to be an only name to represent the person. There is a
national bibliographic file, so called "Authority File."
Librarians/publishers often refer to this file to determine the correct
form of person's or geographic name.     

In the Authority File, Syngman Rhee is an only correct name for Yi
Sung-man. This rule is accepted quite globally as far as I know.

I hope my answer somewhat clears your question than adding more mist.

"At 04:05 PM 1/8/99 -0700, you wrote:
>    Dear Mr. Yang (and interested list members), 
> ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ You raise an interesting
>question.Ê Your examples were all using the D and J
>alternatives.Ê Actually, the standard romanization of the name you
>raise is Kim Tae-jung.Ê According to the rules, the given name is
>treated as a new utterance, and the voiceless option is used, T.Ê 
> ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ However, in the cases of
>only a handful of prominent people, the Syngman Rhee rule applies, e.g., if
>the indiosyncratic spelling of their name reaches a certain degree of
>common usage (such as for the President of the country, incl. N. K.), then
>the idiosycratic spelling is preferred, perhaps with the standard
>romanization in parens., or brackets thereafter.
>ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ Thus, Kim Dae Jung (Kim
>Tae-jung) ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ or Syngman Rhee
>(Yi SÁng-man) or Yi Sžng-man
>ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ or SŸng-man, or given
>limitation of fonts on the
>ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ internet Yi SUng-man [any
>marking of the vowel is acceptable, the breve is preferred.]
>ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ or Kim Il Sung (Kim
>Il-s|ng)ÊÊ or -s™ng or -sšng or -s0ng
>ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ or Roh Tae Woo (No
>T'ae-u) ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ or Chun Doo Hwan
>(Ch|n Tu-hwan) 
> ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ So, only a few have
>achieved that status. 
> ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ My question is when and
>by what means did a handful of publishers quit using the hyphen between the
>two given names?Ê Some university presses (Harvard) still observe the
>hyphen; others (Washington) do not. 
> cordially, Mark Peterson 
Hyonggun Choi
Korean Studies Librarian/Head of Public Services
The East Asian Collection
The University of Chicago Library
773/702-6623 fax
hgchoi at midway.uchicago.edu


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