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HTML5 Powered with CSS3 and Semantics

Korean Writing

Different Standards

The Korean writing system combines letters into syllabic blocks. An interesting consequence of this is that Koreans are often found counting syllables, whereas in the West we may count letters. This comes from the Chinese characters, where each character has a one-syllable name, which is not often unique. So all the cities in Korea have two syllable names, for example, and thus all the names need only use two Chinese characters.
But, interestingly, individual letters cannot be written alone. And so this leads to abbreviations consisting of the first syllable or two and initials instead using the first syllables.
The English transliterations of Korean names don't make sense sometimes... Like the name "Dongdaemun". Koreans have accepted putting a space between words, but they have a very loose idea of a "word". From their close relation with China and Japan, they love to just string their syllablic blocks together. I personally think the English name of the gate should perhaps be separated to Dongdae Mun to signify that the last syllable indicates the type of structure...
Their loose idea of a word also extends to how they break long words down. English and other Western languages avoid splitting words, or resort to using a dash between syllables to show the linkage. Koreans, however, just split the words between their syllablic blocks and don't add a dash. So, in my classes, the children will often split English words onto multiple lines without worrying where they're breaking the word. I've started to just cross it all out and ask "What's a 'medi'? What's a 'cine'? Those aren't words. It's 'medicine'."
So, for example, the bridge that connects Masan and Changwon is 마창대교 Machangdaegyo, Ma-Chang-Dae-Gyo (daegyo meaning Big Bridge from Dae/Big and Gyo/Bridge. In the West, we'd probably instead call it the Masan-Changwon Bridge, or MC Bridge for short.
Yes, Westerners do combine words together, but not adhering to the distinct syllables like the Koreans.
To end, I ask you this: What's the Korean abbreviation for "information"? Well, syllabically it's pronounced "in-for-ma-tion", but the Koreans abbreviate it as "inform"...
Koreans often manipulate English using their customs without any care of adhering to our's. This often leads to humorous and unusual words, sentences, and spellings.
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