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Romanization and vocabulary

What does everyone think of my transliteration system idea?

I think it'd be useful.
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mattahmet
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Romanization and vocabulary

Postby mattahmet » June 28th, 2008 9:55 am

I was studying the PDF for Audio Blog JeongEun #9 Fruit Cafe today. I just wanted to share with KC101 a few of my thoughts for improvement of the "Lesson Vocabulary" section.

The audio blog is for learners at a higher level, so it should be assumed that they have hangul down pretty well and don't really have a need for romanization in the lessson vocabulary list. Also, the romanization system you guys use doesn't reflect much of the real pronunciation of the word, at least not consistently. It is more of a letter-by-letter transliteration. For example, 같이 is shown as gachi, which is good as it shows the actual pronunciation of ㅌ. But other words, such as 종류 are shown as jonglyu, where the ㄹ is pronounced as if it were n and not l. So the romanization only confuses me, more than being of any help. 많이 is shown as manhi, although the ㅎ is never really pronounced here. What I think would be more helpful for learners at this level is the exact pronunciation of the words, perhaps even written in phonetic hangul. One aspect of pronunciation that hangul and romanization fails to show is vowel length. Also, many consonants are pronounced as if doubled (tense), but are written as a single consonant.

I think it'd be useful if pronunciation were shown something like this:

종류 [종:뉴] or jo:ngnyo (because the first syllable is long and the ㄹ sounds like ㄴ here)
많이 [마:니] or ma:ni
앉다 [안따] or antta
음료수 [음:뇨수] or eu:mnyosu
영수증 [영수쯩] or yeongsujjeung

I think a system like that which shows correct pronunciation, and especially vowel length, would be really useful, and, speaking for myself, much appreciated!

Secondly, I also think because the audio blog is for more advanced students, that it really isn't necessary to have every single word in the vocabulary. You can't be sure what words each student already knows, but I'm sure everyone at this level knows 오다, 같이, 의자, 많이 etc. When I did the vocabulary flashcards online, it was a bit time consuming to go through over 80 words, when I already knew 90% of them!

I'd like to hear what you think. And I'm looking forward to more audio blogs and advanced lessons. I'm really enjoying them. They're great!
Last edited by mattahmet on June 28th, 2008 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

austinfd
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Postby austinfd » June 28th, 2008 2:24 pm

I don't have any say in what KClass decides to do for their PDF's but I do have a thought or two about this! So let me pull out my soapbox...

Romanization of a language that uses a different alphabet is always tricky. There have been several systems over the years and each have their drawbaks.

Because English is full of strange pronunciation rules, it is very difficult to arrive at an "accurate" rendering. Furthermore, since English is slightly different in the UK, Australia, America, etc... native English speakers are likely to squabble over how any particular romanized word is pronounced. So to read romanization, you sort of have to learn a new set of rules!

And that is just one more reason to learn 한극 as quickly as possible!
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shanshanchua
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Postby shanshanchua » June 28th, 2008 3:32 pm

Although the advanced blog is supposed to be, well, advanced, I'm sure there are newbies and beginners listening in and using the PDF as well. So they might benefit from a more complete vocab list which includes the more basic/common words. I just skip (or revise) the words I know and move on to those I want to learn.

As for romanization, I agree with Austin. I don't use the romanization at all. Rather than take the effort to learn how to read the romanization, it's easier and much more accurate to learn the Hangul :)

I would like to see a bit more "content" in the audio blogs though. The recent one on watching movies didn't really say anything new or special about the cinema experience in Korea. It sounds to me just the same as cinemas in other parts of the world. It would be good if the audio blog itself could present aspects of life or culture which are unique to Korea. I thought Hyunwoo's earlier blog series did that really well.

matthew254
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Postby matthew254 » June 28th, 2008 9:14 pm

I must also agree - I drink a nice tall glass of Hatorade when it comes to romanization.

In my opinion, it's fine for a quick short term lesson. If I were to visit Serbia where a Cyrillic alphabet is used, I would just use a Romanization because I have no intention of studying the Serbian language - romanization would serve my purposes just fine. But for language learning and acquisition - in my case Korean - then native spelling is the way to go.

mattahmet
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Postby mattahmet » June 28th, 2008 11:53 pm

I agree that it's better to learn to read hangul than rely on romanization. My original point was just that hangul isn't completely accurate either.

My Korean friends (and one nit-picky friend in particular!) are always correcting me because some of my words don't sound quite right. Recently I said I was going to the 치과, pronouncing the word as it's written, but my Korean friend corrected me, "No, you have to say it as if it were 치꽈." Same for 여권. It's really pronounced [여꿘].

It would be useful to have a pronunciation tip in the vocabulary lists next to words that aren't pronounced as they're spelled in hangul, just as dictionary entries include the pronunciation of word, which is different from its written form.

shanshanchua
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Postby shanshanchua » June 29th, 2008 3:41 pm

mattahmet wrote:My Korean friends (and one nit-picky friend in particular!) are always correcting me because some of my words don't sound quite right. Recently I said I was going to the 치과, pronouncing the word as it's written, but my Korean friend corrected me, "No, you have to say it as if it were 치꽈." Same for 여권. It's really pronounced [여꿘].


Haha... that's just one of the peculiarities of the Korean language. It baffles me to no end, but now I've just come to accept it. The pronunciation of a character is sometimes dependent on whether it is at the beginning of a word or not. So for your example of 치과, the 과 would be pronounced "kwa" (this is my own romanization) if it's at the beginning of a word like 과일, but if it's in the middle, like 치과, then the 과 would be pronounced "gwa" instead.

hyunwoo
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Postby hyunwoo » June 29th, 2008 5:21 pm

mattahmet,

actually I think this is a great suggestion!!
What you suggested is the way some textbooks in Korea are using to show the pronunciations, and I personally think the best way to show exactly how a certain word is pronounced in Korean is to show it in 한글... which is... basically under the assumption that the learner already knows how to read 한글.

Do you think it's possible to use ONLY the 한글 letters in there? or.. if we use the 한글 letters as pronunciation symbols, would we still need romanization next to them?

mattahmet
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Postby mattahmet » June 29th, 2008 8:52 pm

Hi Hyunwoo,

I'm glad you like the suggestion. Personally, I think it'd be best to change the romanization column to "pronunciation" and leave it blank except for the pronunciation in hangul next to words of note. That way they'll catch the eye and I'll know I need to be careful to pronounce those words correctly.

Thanks!

shanshanchua
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Postby shanshanchua » June 30th, 2008 5:11 am

I agree that it will be useful to have a 'pronunciation' column! There are some pronunciation 'rules' that native Korean speakers take for granted because they have been brought up using the language, so they don't always point it out to Korean-learners.

SiEd
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Postby SiEd » July 6th, 2008 10:09 pm

I think even more baffling than "compound-internal batchim tensing", i.e. 치과 as [치꽈] and 물가 as [물까], is ㅅ-nasalization, e.g. 못 잊다 'can't forget it' is pronounced [몬닛다] and 깻잎 'perilla leaf' is pronounced [깬닙]. This threw me for a loop for awhile - I understand why this happens, but why doesn't it happen to 맛있다, for example?
"I'm trying to make a pun, but it's not punny."
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manyakumi
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Postby manyakumi » July 7th, 2008 2:27 am

SiEd wrote:but why doesn't it happen to 맛있다, for example?


맛있다 is not one word.

it's just a combination of each independent words 맛 + 있다.
So, we pronounce it as 맏 + 이따 = 마디따.
Almost koreans pronounce it as 마시따 but it's not a correct one.

In the same view,
못있다 should be pronounced as 모디따 instead of 몬니따, i think.
but in this case too, most of us pronounce it as 몬니따.

깻잎 is a different case.
it's a compounded word and it shouldn't be pronounced separately.
So the word is ruled by 음운현상 called as 구개음화.


:)

Keith
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Postby Keith » July 7th, 2008 8:45 am

We're planning on releasing a 5-part pronunciation series at the end of this year trying to address all these things. I hope we can do a good job.

Yea romanization is pretty difficult to transcribe. It's like learning another written language almost. I think most of the things you've mentioned cover those pronunciation changes, but we may have missed some of those changes :X!

shanshanchua
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Postby shanshanchua » July 7th, 2008 9:00 am

What great news! I think that's a very very very very good idea. I just wish it can be out earlier!

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