kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
[personal profile] kaigou
For the Korean or Korean-familiar folks on my flist, there seem to be several ways to anglicize the honorific, but I'm not sure if there's some rule going on here or if it's just personal preference or something:


is there a most-common or most-accepted way to anglicize it?

I see the 'eo' for 'u' every now and then, like 'Jeong' for 'Jung', but I've also noticed that this 'eo' gets included most often when it's a Chinese-speaking person doing the anglicizing. Maybe it's an ear-thing, in terms of the sounds we're primed to hear, depending on our language, so to Mandarin-ears, the 'u' sounds closest to the sound that'd get an 'eo' combination in pinyin, or something?

Date: 13 Jun 2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
hollyberries: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollyberries
I see ajusshi the most often from dramabeans and other Korean sources. I'm not sure about the other two?

Date: 14 Jun 2011 08:16 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I had the same problem looking for Ho Dduk. Ho Dduk got more hits, but ho ddeok and even ho tteok were used maybe a third of the time, and sometimes hyphenated and sometimes one word. Enough that I wasn't sure what was right.

Amazon sells ho dduk as 'korean pancakes' which I guess avoids the spelling issue.

Date: 15 Jun 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I hope you don't mind me just jumping in here~

basic answer: "ajusshi" is the most common way to anglicize it, but it's really just up to personal preference.

long answer: the monster explanation below

I'm just assuming you have basic Chinese/Korean language background, so sorry in advance if I repeat things you already know...

Korean is pretty hard to romanize because many of its sounds can't be expressed with just letters; they're somewhat tonal and depend on how you move your mouth when you say them. This may not make a whole lot of sense, but Korean is similar to Cantonese in that you "bend" the sounds.

Mandarin and Japanese have very clear-cut/phonetic pronunciations [and thus pin yin and romanji are relatively easy to read for Anglophones]; for example the character 你 [you] has a very hard i sound, and pretty much anybody who hears it would spell it as "ni" or perhaps "knee".

However Korean and Cantonese can be interpreted different ways. In Cantonese, 你 [you] is pronounced like "lay" [if you ignore any type of tonal infliction]. But since Cantonese is so dependent on the stresses of a word, people often add letters to "explain", so to speak, where to add stress. Since it's really up to personal interpretation, one person would spell it "leigh", another "layh", and another "lei."

tldr; Korean is painful to romanize because its sounds can be interpreted differently

Written in hangeul, the word "uncle" is "아저씨"

This is where is gets confusing. Since English has borrowed from so many different languages, one letter/letter combination can be pronounced many, many different ways, and varying letter combinations can be pronounced the same way [the infamous fish = phiti, for example].

This is not so in pretty much every other language. At least in the ones I have studied [French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Korean], there is one way and one way only [...okay, maybe a few irregular ways] that any given letter combo/character is pronounced.

Hangeul is somewhat of an alphabet - each character has one [or more] consonants and one [or more] vowels. The word "아저씨" can be broken up like such
아 = a , 저 = jeo , 씨 = sshi

The vowel ㅏ has a soft a sound. However, since vowels cannot stand on their own in Korean, you add the ㅇ to form the character 아. The "ㅇ" adds no sound of its own, it's basically a place marker for grammatical purposes.

And then you have this vowel. "ㅓ". One of the hardest vowels for English-speakers to pronounce, it is often written as "eo". It is kinda pronounced like "awh" (but more 'throaty') like "aw man, why is Korean so difficult?" (keep in mind however, that every person says "aw" a little differently, so the way I say it may not be how you would say it.)

The main reason why "ㅓ" is sometimes written as "u" is because, quite frankly, "eo" is a very weird combination to the English eye. Since English-speakers don't read "eo" very often (and "eo" in "eon" is nowhere close to how "eo" is pronounced in Korean), we don't have any background on how to say it. However, we do know how to say "u", and context tells us whether it is a hard u or a soft u.

Of course, since "ajusshi" is a foreign word, it's hard to tell how to say it anyway. -__-

(this means that a lot of korean names that end in "hyun" are technically "hyeon"! yeah, this blew my mind too)

The consonant ㅈ is a "j" sound, so ㅈ (j) + ㅓ (eo/u) = 저 (jeo/ju)

Finally, you have the character 씨. The consonant is "ㅆ" and the vowel is "ㅣ".
"ㅆ" is really the consonant ㅅ (which has the s sound) written twice - it means that the s sound is stressed, and you have a hard s. This is sometimes written as "ss", but also written as "s" because you don't have such a distinction in English.

"ㅣ" is the hard e sound, but is written as "i" (like in piano) because "ee" looks kinda silly.

Thus 씨 can be written as ssi or si. However, in spoken Korean, there is an h sound added for ease of pronunciation, and that is why 씨 is spelled "ssi", "si", "sshi", and "shi"

Depending on how closely you want to follow the character, "아저씨" can be spelled many different ways. While "ajeosshi" follows the hangeul most closely, since Korean does not have a set Anglicization pattern, other spellings are perfectly acceptable.

I hope this helped!

[I figured I should stop here, 'cause I could get into a whole lengthy talk about hangeul OTL]

Date: 23 Jun 2011 07:04 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This is kinda confusing, but when Korean is romanized, "u" is used to represent three different vowels: 어 (eo), 으 (eu), 우 (u)

(don't forget that the "ㅇ" is silent! the vowels also look like this: ㅓ(eo), ㅜ (u), ㅡ (eu))

it seems to me (in listening) that the "eo" often sounds to my ears a lot like the French "eu" sound

What you are hearing is most likely not ㅓ(eo), but ㅡ (eu)! ㅓ(eo) is pronounced like "awe" (sorry I didn't say this earlier; I didn't think of it :( ), but ㅡ (eu) is pronounced, like you said, similar to the french "eu".

For example, the word "hangeul" (한글, 한 = han, 글 = geul) is also written as "hangul."

Just throwing it in here, but 우 (u) is like the Japanese "u" (like the "ou" in "you") It is romanized as "u" and occasionaly "oo" (for example "soohyun" instead of "suhyun" <--although technically it should be "soohyeon"/"suhyeon"), depending on which ever one looks more "right"

Hmmm, I think you could use "ajeosshi" if you wanted to. Although "ajusshi" is more common, I've seen "ajeosshi" a fair amount of times. It's such a distinctive word that minor spelling changes hardly matter (and tbh, I prefer "ajeosshi" too ^^).

In case you were interested in other honorifics:
-"hyung" is way more common, but "hyeong" is perfectly acceptable
-"unnie"/"unni" is by far more common; "eonni" not advised
-"noona" is more common, but "nuna" is almost as common
-"oppa" is the only way I've seen it so far
-"omoni" and "eomeoni" are interchangeable
-"abeoji" is the only way I've seen it so far
-"umma" is way more common, but "eomma" works too
-"appa" is the only way I've seen it so far
-"noona" is more common, but "nuna" is almost as common
-"-seonsaeng" is the more common way
-"-sshi" and "-shi" are used equally
-"-nim" is the only way I've seen it so far
-"maknae" and "magnae" are used equally

And I can't help but answer this question:
I had the same problem looking for Ho Dduk. Ho Dduk got more hits, but ho ddeok and even ho tteok were used maybe a third of the time, and sometimes hyphenated and sometimes one word.

The hangeul for this is : 호떡

호 is the consonant ㅎ (which has the "h" sound) + and the vowel ㅗ (which kinda has the long o sound). Combined, they form the sound "ho".

떡 is the double consonant ㄸ + the vowel ㅓ + the end consonant ㄱ

"ㄸ" is the consonant "ㄷ" doubled, so to speak, so that means it's stressed. "ㄷ" is a tricky sound that is in between a "t" and a "d", depending on the individual speaking and the word being said. Thus, when "ㄷ" is doubled into "ㄸ", one could spell it as "t", "d", "tt, or "dd". It's all up to personal taste ^^

As mentioned earlier, ㅓ can be spelled as "u" or "eo", and "ㄱ" is the "k" sound.

Thus, 떡 can be spelled "tuk", "teok", "ttuk", "tteok", "duk", "deok", or "ddeok". Personally, I prefer to spell it as "hotteok", but to each their own~ (whether it's one word, two words or hyphenated is also up to the individual)


kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
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