Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Korean)/Archive 2

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User:Chan Han Xiang has been renaming several dozen articles using the format "Kim Dae Jung", as far as I can tell without consulting the community. I have urged him to stop and discuss the matter here, so perhaps we should have a new round of discussions here so we can decide whether to revert those changes made by that user or not. --Iceager 19:16, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Wikipedians, I think it is better to use Korean names in the traditional Korean/Chinese Xxx_Xxx_Xxx format rather than the Westernized Xxx_Xxxxxx or Xxx Xxx-xxx format or Xxx-xxx Xxx format, which is following the Westernized style. I think it is not right and not fair either.

  • Reasons:
  1. Like the Chinese, Koreans write their names in Hangul/Hanja in this way: Y_Y_Y, which is based on the traditional style.
  1. Westernized styles, whether Xxx_Xxxxxx or Xxx Xxx-xxx format or Xxx-xxx Xxx format, as this means two words are collasping into one word by English, which should not be used as traditional Hangul/Hanja uses three seperate words.
    • Why is it considered westernized:
      • Xxx-xxx----> means joining the two words into one, although it is saying that you are just only saying that it is one word with two syllables. Cannot; as in Korean style they are two seperate name-words, although Xxx-Xxx maybe still allowed.
      • Xxxxxx----> means one long word, which should not happen in Korean names as they are written traditionally in two seperate words. All the more this hould not happen either.
      • Xxxxxx_Xxx---> Placing place names first and surnames last. Should never happen; as this is following the Western style and completely opposing the Korean style.

What do you think?

PS: Mot people use this standard traditional format: Xxx_Xxx_Xxx and not the above three. This is proven by making a search on yahoo, google or altavista by using this method. You get the most search results, a lot more from this than others.

Also, I only edited the Politicians meant for this test first. But, please do not use Joseon as Jo Seon--people only use names for peopleeg: Kim Jong Il and not Kim Jongil, although people use Joseon and not Joseon. You can prove it out by using the search engines, doing a consencus that which type of names get the most results. For me, I abide by the majorty.

User:Chan Han Xiang 12:58, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I disagree that one format is more "westernised" than the other. I don't know why you say Korean uses three different words. It is a stretch to think that Korean syllable divisions correspond to individual words when romanised; perhaps in Chinese one sees the correspondence more readily between the characters and words, but I can tell you for sure that it is not the case in Korean. When I take my Korean given name, for instance, I don't see it as a name composed of two words, any more than I would think "Richard" is really "Ri" and "Chard"; I see a single bisyllabic word. Besides, in Korean one never puts spaces between the syllabic units that make up a given name. In fact, spaces are rarely put in between the surname and the given name. To give another example, consider the given name "Haneul", which comes from the (single, indivisible) word for "sky" and cannot be written in Chinese characters. Where is the justification for artificially splitting it up into the syllabic units "Ha" and "Neul"?
I see no reason to alter the present convention. It's not ideal and there is a lot of ambiguity, but it still is the best solution I can think of. With the suggested solution we may be stuck with ambiguous names like "Yi Han Mun" and no one would know for sure what the surname is. --Iceager 08:54, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
p.s. As for the cases where the given name precedes the surname in the most commonly known form (e.g. Syngman Rhee), there is no need to consider it an outrage "as this is following the Western style and completely opposing the Korean style". Consider the cases of Hungarian and Japanese names; are we going to enforce the surname-first order on well known Hungarian and Japanese names as well? --Iceager 09:03, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I would also prefer to stick with the status quo, since a) I see no reason to justify the extra work of changing it, and b) I think the above arguments of our noble forebears Kokiri and Sewing still hold. Wherever there is an established common Romanization, or where a living individual has expressed a preferred form, we should use that form. Where no such preferred or prevalent form exists, I think it best to follow the Xxx Xxx-xxx format, which is commonly used and represents the internal structure of the Korean name fairly well (as does Xxx Xxx-Xxx).
In regard to the Xxx Xxx Xxx style specifically, it is problematic on several fronts. Most importantly, it isn't in common use, and will therefore tend to make Wikipedia content less accessible, which is a Bad Thing. And as Iceager mentioned above, it is potentially ambiguous, given that many users will assume the final name to be the family name. Also, although it does represent that fact that each syllable (usually) corresponds to a Chinese character, it doesn't accurately represent the relation between the syllables, in which the two syllables of the given name (one of which is often a generational marker) have much more to do with each other than they do with the family name. So for now I am opposed to this change. However, I would like to thank Chan Han Xiang for opening this discussion, and hope that he will continue to contribute to our coverage of KRT. -- Visviva 13:43, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Visviva. Where a Korean's preferred romanized spelling of his or her own name is known, that spelling should be used. Where there are competing spellings or where the individual's preferred spelling is unknown, the most widely accepted spelling should be used. If someone does prefer to spell his or her name Xxx Xxx Xxx (as some do), that's fine. But if they spell it, say, Xxx Xxxxxx or Xxx Xxx-xxx, then that spelling should be used. Thanks also to Chan Han Xiang for bringing this issue to light. -Sewing - talk 17:48, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I can't spaek English very well. My English is broken. But I think Korean naming system is 'Xxx_Xxx-xxx' is good.
Western full naming system is First name + Middle name + Last(Family) name.
George(First name) + Walker(Middle name) + Bush(Last(Family) name)
Homer(First name) + Jay(Middle name) + Simpson(Last(Family) name)
Charles(First name) + Montgomery(Middle name) + Burns(Last(Family) name)
But Korean/Chinese full naming system is Last(Family name) + First name.
노 + 무현
김 + 대중
박 + 정희
김 + 정일
If we use 'Xxx_Xxx_Xxx' system, we are misunderstood we have 'First name + Middle name + Last(Family) name' system. But Korean/Chinese don't have Middle name. So as a general rule, 'Xxx_Xxxxxx' is right.
However, Korean/Chinese name composed three letters(Y_Y_Y).So we can use hyphen between second and third letter, because letters must syllabicate. Of course, hyphen using is depend on personal autonomy. But for oneness and syllabication, hyphen is the better.
Finally, 'Xxx_Xxx-xxx' and 'Xxx_Xxx_Xxx' 's search results are similar.
Thank you for the indication. *^v^* Gildong7 14:24, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

New name table

I made a new template at Template:Koreanname. Please comment.

I found the pink color and left align of the first column too obtrusive. If there are now objections, I will begin implementing it. --Jiang 23:52, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Hi Jiang: could you do one page with an example? I'm just concerned that there are so many (literally hundreds) of articles with the old-style table - and many of them are highly custom jobs that will be difficult to redo (like the city, county, and province articles). -Sewing - talk 01:08, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
P.S.: I agree the new table looks nicer, however. I replaced the "image" variable at the top with "title," since generally we put the full name of the article's subject (which is sometimes different from the page title) in the top of the box. Of course, if there's an image for the article, then something has to be done with it.... -Sewing - talk 01:40, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I have experimented with the new box on Three Jewel Temples of Korea and Eight Provinces (Korea). The problem now is that these 2 articles have the nifty, new box, while the other 498 or whatever still have the old box.... -Sewing - talk 02:27, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I implemented it at Kim Jong-il before I saw your last message. We should have two templates - one for articles w/ images and one for w/o. For other custom variations, we can copy to code, but with city, county, and province articles we could make a template for each.

I think the Hangul and Hanja should be on top of the romanizations because theyre more native and widespread. --Jiang 02:40, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I would prefer to keep the romanized spellings on top. Most Wikipedia users would not know how to read the Hangul, although more than a few would be able to read the Hanja. -Sewing - talk 02:55, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

What readers read is what's in the title. The other variations are of less importance. The people interested in these romanizations are probably interested in the language too.

I don't think it's even necessary to include the page name in the box since it's largely redundant. This is especially if there's no image and nothing is there to push the names down. I prefer my formatting because it makes the names seem a part of the article, not something set aside like the series boxes.

I think the box looks horrible when there's no image. The upper right hand corner at Three Jewel Temples of Korea looks awfully crowded with the series box also in place. Why not just revert to the old formatting when there's something in the way? Four things can fit in the first line if we need them to. --Jiang 03:31, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I appreciate all your concerns, but Kokiri, WhisperToMe, and I put a lot of work into these boxes. I would like to keep them as close to the previous format as possible. With or without an image, they are absolutely essential, because they have completely eliminated the long strings of variant romanized spellings, Hangul, and Hanja that used to plague the opening sentences of countless Korea-related articles. -Sewing - talk 03:36, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Also, I'm concerned because now we're going to have half the articles in the old style and the other half in the new style. I have no time, energy, or desire to start going through all the Korea-related articles now just to change their tables. And what about the excellent tables at Chopsticks and Go (board game)? They are convertible, I suppose, but only with a lot of work.... -Sewing - talk 03:40, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I agree that the romanizations and characters take up a significant amount of space on the first line of articles, but we have to balance it with how much space the box is taking and whether we need the space at the corner as opposed to the space on the first line. The previous compact formatting took up less space than the box. I propose that we limit the box to situations where:

  • there are a whole bunch of names
  • biographies since birth/death dates take up space on the first line
  • there is an image so the upper right corner will be occupied regardless

Otherwise, I think the box is not necessary. As for formatting, as long as the old boxes are getting replaced, there's no need for the new boxes to reflect the old boxes' formatting. In the long run, even if you do nothing about changing them, there will be only one format in use. Someone will be changing them...and new articles will be created. It's always the end product that counts. But anyway, neither your format nor mine is closely related to the old formatting. --Jiang 03:47, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I don't mind so much if the tables start changing, although it will disturb the stability that we sought for a long time and have finally achieved. Article content changes, of course—that's the nature of Wikipedia—but the tables help to anchor the articles and bring order to chaos.

At any rate, please do not start simply removing tables, undoing the work that has already been done, for the issue is not the space that the table takes, but the neatness that it adds to the article. Not only did the opening sentences of articles contain anywhere up to 4 variant spellings, but additional space was taken up with such things as the label "Revised Romanization:" (or the cryptic "RR" which is unacceptable as an abbreviation, since it is not a standard abbreviation that is widely understood, even if it links to the appropriate article). Hangul and Hanja spellings were usually linked to the Hangul and Hanja articles with no explanation. Some articles put some of these spellings in bold; others did not—there was not much consistency. And oftentimes, someone would come along and, seeing the long list of spellings, feel encouraged to add one or two, expanding the opening sentence even further.

Again, the issue is not and should not be the space the tables take up, but the neatness that they add to the articles. Taking out all those variant spellings from the opening sentence makes the article:

  • Much more readable;
  • Less likely to lose a reader before (s)he even makes it past the first sentence; and
  • Less likely to encourage someone to start adding additional variant spellings.

Consider also that Korean suffers from a plethora of variant standard and non-standard spellings across the board, in a manner much more acutely than some other East Asian languages. In Korean, the complex system of opening consonants, consonantal sound changes, gradations in vowel sounds, and syllable-final consonants make romanization difficult, hence the wide variety of systems in use. The same words, place names, or above all personal names (which, granted, you agree should retain the tables anyhow) are frequently spelled in a variety of styles:

  • Revised Romanization by the Korean government and increasingly within Korea;
  • McCune-Reischauer by some Koreans, non-Koreans, and Koreanologists;
  • Modified McCune-Reischauer (without the diacritics) in older English-language articles or by Korean War scholars;
  • Whatever idiosyncratic spelling the subject of the article prefers;
  • Whatever idiosyncratic spelling has gained ground in the non-Korean world;
  • Whatever other idiosyncratic spellings have become attached to the word or name.

The tables attempt to add some order to the chaos. They compactly contain within themselves the dominant non-standard spelling; the term's rendering in the two dominant romanization systems; the Hangul spelling; and the underlying Hanja. Also, consider that if you pick almost any page from the List of Korea-related topics at random, you will find a table. Please don't start undoing all the work that went into adding those tables! -Sewing - talk 14:52, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I'm not about to "undo" anything. It's just that in some cases, we have to deal with thin columns of text since there's already a series box at the same location of the table. We can integrate pictures but we can't do the same for series boxes. As it result, it looks more cluttered, not neater. What do you think we should do about this? I agree with using tables for 4+ variations, but we need to keep in mind how un-editor friendly these tables are, especially for newbies unfamiliar with HTML or templates. --Jiang 07:53, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Here's my tuppence:

  • Jiang's suggested boxes look neater, but:
  • We shouldn't add new style boxes before we know how to deal with bi/multilinugal boxes.
  • I'm for having boxes in any case. Look at the opening paragraph of North Korea for an advanced article... that's what happens: people just put in more and more information and the information is harder to read.

Kokiri 16:52, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

How can we deal with the North Korea article and still remain in compliance with the wikiproject template? It occurred to me yesterday as I was browsing that for me (personally) the boxes make the article harder to read. The first thing I want to do after I see the bolded first word is to look up the Hanja, but the boxes force me to look all the way to the far right and then look back and start over with the article because i lost my place. I think it's easier to skip over the stuff on the first line (especially if you can't read it) than to have to switch left and right and left again and face the mental strain of doing so. Our average reader is probably an illiterate anglophone so we shouldn't be too worried, but hey.... --Jiang 04:58, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I'm late coming to the discussion here, but here's what I think: we should change the name tables, but keep them:

  • I like the color and size better. The forced 300-pixel width on the existing tables makes them very distracting, especially in short articles.
  • Templates are a good thing. If we had one for the existing tables, we could implement a change almost effortlessly.
  • Additional templates can and should be created for special cases like multilingual entries. I noticed while working through the Baekje kinglist that almost all of the later kings have distinctive names by which they are known in Chinese and Japanese records. For the most part I didn't include that information cause I was lazy, but an encyclopedic article certainly should. I expect that applies to many later Korean rulers too, so there are probably more than enough cases to justify special Korean-Chinese, Korean-Japanese, and KJC table templates as well. Likewise for geographical articles: it should be pretty easy to make a template that would include the standard population/area/density/divisions info. (I'll get on it).
  • The primary audience of the Wikipedia is/should be the educated speaker of English as an international language. Only a handful of such people know Korean, and only a relatively small fraction know Chinese. In addition, only a handful of such people are word nerds. So while we should certainly provide for the needs of word-nerds, hangeul-knowers, and hanja-knowers, we shouldn't do so in a way that makes the article inaccessible to others. The Korean name table is a very efficient way of doing this. I think we should keep all of them.

Visviva 01:59, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I see that the project page has been updated, presumably by Jiang, to reflect the new name table. This seems fair, since the editors who expressed reservations have become dormant. I'm starting a countdown until I do a forced march through the List of Korea-related topics updating all name tables to the new format (creating variants as needed). It doesn't make sense to have one kind of table in the Naming Conventions, and another in almost every Korea-related article. -- Visviva 13:17, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Historical Periods, Revisited

I didn't want to just jump in and monkey with the project page, but it seems like the list of historical periods is a bit out of whack, and also not congruent with the History of Korea article:

  • There's a separate entry for Goguryeo, which was one of the Three Kingdoms. Seems like this should be removed.
  • There is no mention of the pre-Three Kingdoms periods, even clearly historical ones such as Wiman Joseon or the subsequent period of Samhan and the Chinese commanderies (doesn't currently have an overview article).
  • There's no entry for Unified Silla, which followed the Three Kingdoms period.
  • There's no entry for the Later Three Kingdoms period which came between the fall of Silla and the rise of Goryeo. (Granted, this was a fairly brief period, but longer and arguably more significant than the "Empire of Korea").

So I would propose removing Goguryeo from the list, and adding Wiman Joseon, Unified Silla and Later Three Kingdoms... and also adding Samhan and the Chinese commanderies when we get a little better coverage of them. Any objections?

PS -- I am working on improving our coverage of the periods I mentioned... it's a slow process, as I don't have a whole lot of time.

Cheers! Visviva 02:44, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

... kinda quiet in here. I'll change the list of periods based on the new History of Korea template by Ryuch. -- Visviva 04:32, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

King names

Currently, per the project page, all Korean monarch articles have the format (Title) (Name) ((the Great)) of (Kingdom), as in King Uija of Baekje or King Bojang of Goguryeo. However, this is a bit redundant. With the exception of a few names like "Taejo" (which means "great progenitor" and was therefore applied to several dynastic founders), most Korean royal names are unique. There is only one King Uija, only one King Bojang, only one King Muyeol, etc. The current policy results in article titles and initial sentences that are far more unwieldy than they need to be.

For the sake of elegance and simplicity, shall we change the formula to (Title) (Name) ((the Great))? The "of (Kingdom)" part can be added/retained in those few cases where disambiguation is needed.

I support this idea, which was originally proposed by User:Ryuch. If anyone has objections, please voice them here. --Visviva 04:32, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The redundancy is in accordance to the WP-wide naming policy of royalties. e.g., there's only one Elizabeth II in the world, ever. But, the article is called Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom anyway. --Menchi 06:10, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Well, consistency is a good thing. Although I don't really understand what's so great about redundancy in these cases. ... However, I guess maybe the best thing to do is simply to keep the redundancy in the article titles, but follow the example of the QE2 article and use the sensibly shortened form in the text. -- Visviva 14:28, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Proposal version 2.0: how about we remove the title "King"(or "Emperor") and just title the articles (Name) ((the Great)) of (Kingdom)? That keeps us in line with WP monarch policy, as I understand it, but it will still help to eliminate a lot of repetition. Thus, we would have "Uija of Baekje," "Muyeol of Silla," etc. etc. Again, please voice any objections, before I go and do something foolish.  :-) -- Visviva 13:07, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

This proposal appears to have been put into action by User:Mel Etitis. Since no comments have been made here in the past six months (sigh), I will adjust the guidelines. -- Visviva 16:52, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)


I wasn't sure where to put this request so I've put it here. I wrote this article about the supposed North Korean satellite a while ago but now think it needs a Korean table. However with utterly no knowledge of Korean I'm not sure what I should put for Hangul, M-R etc. I'm not even sure if the article name is the 'correct' romanisation. Thanks. Evil MonkeyTalk 04:35, Dec 13, 2004 (UTC)

Si/Shi in McCune-Reischauer?

I am not an expert, but could someone please clarify why we seem to spell 시 as "shi" using McCune-Reischauer? The (South Korean / American?) tables and guidelines I read that were linked from the McCune-Reischauer article suggest that it is transliterated "si", and the official North Korean news agency, KCNA, spells 로동신문 as Rodong Sinmun, 신의주 as Sinuiju (understandably without the breve), etc. - is there something that I am not aware of? KittySaturn 16:37, 2005 Jan 23 (UTC)

You seem to be on to something there. All I can say is that most of the websites, signs, books, etc. I have seen which (appeared to) use McCune-Reischauer used "shi" not "si." However, the official McCune-Reischauer site doesn't mention such a rule, and in fact contains a couple of examples using "si." I wonder if this was perhaps a feature of the official ROK version of McCune-Reischauer, or was maybe something that everyone (like me) did because everyone else was doing it. I'll need to look into it some more before I rush to go changing all of our name tables, but "si" does appear to be correct in MR. -- Visviva 09:16, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Using "Sinuiju" as an example. The (DOS) program on the MR site that does an MR transliteration, by some ministry whose name I don't remember, did indeed convert 신의주 into Shinŭiju. However, even if that means that indeed the ROK version used "shi", since nowadays it's North Korea using MR and North Korea official web sites always write "si" instead of "shi" (see for example [1] (PDF file, spells "Sinuiju"), also articles on KCNA in general), should we still use the previous ROK-version of MR? Not to mention that "Sinuiju" on Google would return many more results than "Shinuiju". I am of the opinion that they should be "si" in Wikipedia. -- KittySaturn 13:37, 2005 Jan 27 (UTC)

Page moves

User:Gildong7, who left a comment above at the beginning of January, is in the middle of moving every page that does not conform to the proposed Xxx Xxx-xxx format, even though such a format has not been accepted as general practice. This format may or may not be an improvement, and personally I do not support much of what exists in present convention, but the current action of Gildong7 will take much undoing already, much more if it proceeds uninterrupted. A request has been left on the user’s talk page.
Ford 12:03, 2005 Feb 7 (UTC)


I've begun changing the shi in South Korean M-R to si, standard M-R. The only "sh" in standard M-R is "shwi". The first one I'm changing is Sinuiju. I'm just going to paste the reasons from the talk page there into here.

  1. In both standard McCune-Reischauer and North Korean M-R, the city is Sinŭiju.
  2. As mentioned on the KCNA site sometimes, the city is spelt Sinuiju.
  3. Google test. Shinuiju vs. Sinuiju.

I think these are quite sufficient reasons to have the article at Sinuiju. The "Shinŭiju" spelling came from the 1984 - 2000 South Korean M-R system. "Shi" is not standard M-R. (Check the links from Wikipedia's own McCune-Reischauer article.)

-- KittySaturn 21:40, 2005 Feb 19 (UTC)