Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Romanization of Korean Names

hi, i have a question about the romanization of korean.

for han hyo joo, on wikipedia it lists:
revised romanization: han hyoju
mccune-reischauer: han hyo-ju

hmm, that is not so different. consider also ji jin hee.
revised romanization: ji jin-heui
mccune-reischauer: chi chin-hŭi

specifically, what is the romanization that is often seen, the form han hyo joo and ji jin hee?


Thanks for the question. I’ll take this opportunity to try to tackle the complicated and confusing world of romanizing Korean names. Over the years there have been several systems created to romanize Hangul, but since 2000 the Revised Romanization system became the official system taking over from McCune-Reischauer. BUT still, names and place names don’t always follow the new (or old) rules, so I’ve been trying to work out the best way to spell names too. For example, I’ve used the spelling “Jang Hee Bin” in my blog but elsewhere I’ve also seen her name spelt “Jang Hui-bin” or “Chang Huibin”. Where to use capital letters and when to hyphenate or not to hyphenate are more problems. On Wikipedia Ji Jin Hee is written as Ji Jin-hee and Ji Jin Hee.I know this is only a minor difference but still….(sigh)

Ji Jin Hee as King Sukjong, Dong Yi, MBC

As you’ve pointed out, Ji Jin Hee should technically be written as Ji jin-heui in Revised Romanization and I can’t find any rule in any romanization system (see this chart) that suggests that 희 should be written as Hee! The same is true for Han Hyo-joo which would be Han Hyo-ju in Revised Romanization.

According to my Korean friend, Continue reading

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