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Older comments[edit], don't you know Phonology. There is phonologically no distinction between the b and p in Korean as the p and p' complementally distribute in English. --Nanshu 01:03, 31 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Disagree that McR is based on English pronounciation. Vowels are Romance-languages based (Italian-like), at least for these sounds that exist in Western languages. Nanshu is right regarding the complementary distribution of plosives (p/b, t/d, k/g). --dda. Jan 21, 2004. 14:30 KST

I would like more explanation of the consonant table and a few examples. —Tokek 11:24, 16 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Add English and Chinese characters to all examples[edit] the maximum extent possible.

no, not to the maximum extent possible. A judicious use where needed would be much more logical. Filling this page with translations for every character is ridiculous (荒謬). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:31, 12 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Final [edit]

I'd like to challenge the transcription of 좋은 as choŭn:

“Thus in Romanization, a syllabic final should be represented as follows: h before vowels …” —McCune, George M. & Reischauer, Edwin O. (1939). The Romanization of the Korean Language. In Transactions of the Korea Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 29, p. 47, first footnote

Hence, I think it should be chohŭn.—Wikipeditor

Odd, though, that what seems to be an official site does not say so. There is no difference in pronunciation between 좋은 and 조은, so in my mind their McCune-Reischauer transliterations should not differ, either. Hence, I believe that choŭn is still correct. McCune-Reischauer's first purpose is for pronunciation, not complete depiction of the characters. Blue Wizard 23:21, 23 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I prefer to stick to the original rules as far as possible. As long as everybody romanises their own way, finding information can be a tedious task. Wikipeditor 03:20, 24 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Although one does run the risk that the original rules may either a) no longer reflect standard North/South Korean pronunciation, or b) introduce errors due to the creators' imperfect grasp of Korean phonology (they were non-native speakers, after all, and it would be surprising if they had *not* introduced a few errors). -- Visviva 15:25, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Going by the 1939 paper, it does appear that you're right; the authors are quite explicit on p. 36 that ㅎ is always and only romanized "H." But that's not quite the end of the story, since the remark in the table on p. 40 (that syllable-final ㅎ is "used in the new spelling only") reminds us that McCune & Reischauer were working with a hangul orthography rather different from the one now standard. It does seem, although one doesn't wish to cast aspersions, that the p. 47 footnote might have been due to an imperfect grasp/consideration of the pronunciation issues involved. Hard to say... but I would aver that choŭn at least reflects the spirit, if not the letter, of MR. -- Visviva 15:58, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
M&R's original paper was mainly concerned with the traditional Korean orthography. Syllable-final "ㅎ" never occurred in the traditional orthography, as far as I know. Yongjik 09:59, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Would the correct MR for 닭 be tak? Is this perchance mentioned in an authoritative document somewhere? -- Visviva 15:25, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Found it... p. 42 in the 1939 paper. And yes, it would. Must go change the table in Buldak now. -- Visviva 15:48, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

N/L-insertion a thing in MR?[edit]

I stumbled upon the Hangnyeoul Station article today and noticed that the MR romanization covered the n/l-insertion phenomenon (twice even: Hangnyŏullyŏk for 학여울역). Should it? I mean, I know the original MR papers are quite old and incomplete (I found a lot of exceptions mentioned there, just not this one), but can we really just make up rules as we go? (as much as I like the idea of indicating this rather peculiar phenomenon) —  Andreyyshore  T  C  05:20, 9 Oct 2017 (UTC) 

The rules for MR may not be as clear-cut as would be ideal, but the guiding principle has always been to represent pronunciation accurately. Since yŏk is arguably more of a suffix in that case, it might be best to separate it as Hangnyŏul-yŏk, but within Hangnyŏul I think it's fine. Commander Spock (talk) 05:28, 1 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see. I'm planning on proposing a Korean romanization and adaptation guideline to the Romanian Wikipedia in the near future (RR+MR, similar to the English Wikipedia) and I'd like to mention these phonetic changes right off the bat and explain how they should be treated in order to get a "proper" transliteration (in the spirit of the original rules), but I'm worried that they might not all get accepted by the community due to a lack of clear sources regarding Romanized spelling. Pronunciation-wise, I can back up everything with the Standard Korean Pronunciation Method (for South Korea) and the 2010 Revised Compendium of Korean Language Norms (for North Korea). I'll try to use the pronunciation accuracy principle as an argument.
I'm doing it mostly because we currently have a rather small amount of articles about Korea (some need fixing) and it might be good to set a guideline as soon as possible before improving and creating some more articles, and Romanizations are a pretty big part of that, especially since Romanizations found on the Internet may vary widely.
Thanks for answering! If you happen to be familiar with the Revised Romanization as well, I also have a question about that. —  Andreyyshore  T  C  13:16, 1 Nov 2017 (UTC) 
I've replied there. I actually meant to get back to you about that sooner. Alas, the first time I sat down to write a reply, something in my brain decided that it would not stand for poring over romanization tables late at night and I ended up going to sleep. Commander Spock (talk) 03:16, 11 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Rules of the North Korean variant[edit]

The "North Korean variant" section currently consists of an unsourced claim that in North Korea, they use an H instead of an apostrophe for the aspirated consonants. A [citation needed] tag was slapped on it, and not entirely without cause, but how likely is it that an official source for this exists anywhere outside of some inaccessible North Korean printed publication? There is at least evidence for this being a rule, since romanized place names in KCNA articles follow this convention. (They also omit the diacritics, so there's no telling apart Ŏ/O or Ŭ/U.) While this isn't equivalent to an official romanization guide saying "write it this way", it may be as close as we're going to get. Commander Spock (talk) 05:34, 1 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The relevant information can now be found on the Romanization of Korean (North) page with the official source from North Korea. (talk) 07:16, 6 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Characteristics and criticism[edit]

The first paragraph under Characteristics and criticism makes no sense, and I don't know how to rewrite it to make it say anything useful. The distinction McCune–Reischauer uses the apostrophe for is aspirated vs. unaspirated, not voiced vs. voiceless. Bus, gold, Donald and James are not Korean words, and the romanization system doesn't force anyone to pronounce these words differently. The source cited at the end of the paragraph doesn't say any of this. Can this paragraph be removed? Obiara (talk) 21:31, 11 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've removed the paragraph. Obiara (talk) 14:48, 11 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]