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Month: November 2016

Two pronunciations now accepted for ‘gimbap’

Gimbap (김밥, in the Revised Romanization of Korean) or kimbap (in McCune–Reischauer romanization) is a Korean dish made of rice and other ingredients rolled up in dried seaweed. The Korean name 김밥 literally means ‘laver rice’, from 김 [ɡ̊iːm] (‘laver, a type of edible seaweed’) and 밥 [b̥ap] (‘cooked rice’). Until recently, the only recognized standard pronunciation of 김밥 was [ɡ̊iːm.bap]. Standard Korean is theoretically based on the contemporary speech used in Seoul by refined folk, and according to that definition, [ɡ̊iːm.bap]…

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Lisboa and Gusmão: representing Portuguese s-voicing in Korean transcription

The Portuguese capital Lisbon (pronounced [ˈlɪz.bən] in English), famous for the trams climbing up and down its hills, is known as Lissabon [ˈlɪ.sa.bɔn, ––ˈ–] in German and as Lisbonne [lis.bɔnə → liz-] in French. But the Portuguese name is Lisboa [Portugal: ɫiʒ.ˈbo.ɐ, Brazil: ɫiz.ˈbo.ɐ], and this is also the name in Spanish, where it is pronounced [liz.ˈβ̞o.a]. In Korean this city is known as 리스본 , which the Great Dictionary of Standard Korean (표준국어대사전) implies is a transcription of the English name ‘Lisbon’. Strictly…

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Satirical bilingual pun poem in Classical Chinese and Korean

The seismic political scandal surrounding South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye and her friend Choi Soon-sil has inspired a remarkable piece of bilingual wordplay in the form of a satirical poem in Classical Chinese which, when read in Korea’s traditional hanja readings, results in a poem in Korean with a different meaning. The text, which originally appeared on Korea University’s 대나무숲 (meaning ‘bamboo forest’) Facebook page (a forum for anonymous submissions from students), consists of five-character lines, following a popular form of…

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‘Loanword Transcription Rules’ section open

I have added a new section on the website with the English translation of the Loanword Transcription Rules (외래어 표기법 外來語表記法 Oeraeeo Pyogibeop), the official regulations in South Korea for transcribing other languages into hangul, the Korean alphabet. This is quite possibly the first time that translations of these rules are appearing in English anywhere. These rules are by no means perfect, and suffer from quite a few ambiguities and inconsistencies. For now, they are presented without commentary for the…

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