[KS] Re: romanization '99
holstein at aminet.co.kr
Wed May 19 07:44:05 EDT 1999
Bob, it was good to hear from you again! Thanks for writing all this just for
me. I say that because I was thinking of writing you tonight (but then decided
not to bother you and to go instead to another mailbase list). I have to write
about 10 pages on the McCune-Reischauer system for the RAS (because I'm a member
of the publications committee). It would probably be interesting to report how
the Japanese and Chinese are doing with their romanization systems. Could you
tell me whether the users of the romanization system in Japan are satisfied,
whether there is a fight going on now? And/or, could you direct me to a source
that might give me information on this? (I did a search on the eastasia list in
mailbase website but it came up with nothing. I don't believe it has nothing, so
I joined the list and will be able to look for myself in a couple days.)
When are you coming to Korea next? Over the last year Bruce has been a lot
better at this than you have been. In fact, he's probably staying at my place
when he comes at the beginning of June.
"Robert J. Fouser" wrote:
> Dear Friends,
> I usually lurk, but I think that Prof. Lee Sang-0ak's recent message on
> romanization of Korean deserves serious consideration. Many members of this
> list are no doubt tired of the topic, but it keeps propping up because the
> current system and proposed remedies are all problematic.
> Let me propose the following:
> 1. Keep the McCune-Reischauer (MR) system for proper nouns and other
> general/popular uses, but adopt two of the modifications considered in a
> symposium on romanization held at the University of Hawaii in 1980: changing
> the breve over "O" and "U" to an additional letter ("e" or "w") or to a more
> commonly used diacritic mark (I recommend the circumflex) and replacing the
> apostrophe for aspirated consonants with an "h" (Austerlitz, Robert, et al.
> (1980) "Report on Workshop Conference on Korean Romanization," Korean
> Studies 4: 111-126). These two changes will go along way to removing
> complaints about MR being difficult to use on computers without compromising
> the phonetic and aesthetic principles of the system that have made it
> popular for 60 years. Use of the circumflex in place of the breve is
> already widespread as is use of "e" with "O" and "U."
> 2. Adopt a second system that, as Professor Lee mentioned, would follow a
> one-to-one correspondence between a roman letter and a hangul letter. This
> system can be used as for natural language processing, other computer uses,
> linguistic studies, and by those persons who wish to use it for their names.
> No language policy should dictate the details of how people spell their
> names, so those who wish to use a one-to-one correspondence for their names
> should be free to do so. A one-to-one correspondence would look awkward
> because one letter would have to be used for the "iung," (I favor the "q"
> because it looks somewhat similar to the IPA symbol for "ng") which would
> look awkward, but it would satisfy those who want a strict one-to-one
> 3. To promote the two systems, the National Academy of the Korean Language
> should publish a usage guide with clear examples in cooperation with a
> foreign publisher or research institution. It should also work with the
> Ministry of Education to ensure that students of English are given an
> introduction to MR in their English classes in school. The one-to-one
> correspondence system need not be taught in the schools because it is
> intended for specialists. Information about it should be readily available,
> Allowing two systems is the fairest way to end the "romanization pendulum"
> that has caused so much frustration for so long.
> With best wishes,
> Robert Fouser
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