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Voodoo
15-03-2010, 17:08
Why is the spelling (and therefore pronunciation) of Korean words differ between Russian and English? For example, the Prez of North Korea is Kim Jong Il in English, and Ким Чен Ир (Kim Chen Ir) in Russian. The capital Pyongyang is also completely different phonetically between the two languages.

Wattup wid dat?

sweetfart
15-03-2010, 18:57
My guess is that folks from the North Korean embassy here must pronounce it that way when speaking in Russian to any Russian diplomats. I don't know if it's because Kim Jong Il would necessarily be difficult for a Russian to pronounce (doesn't seem like it to me), but there are many foreign names here and there I notice get butchered in Russian.

I have heard that South Koreans who visit ethnic Korean areas of Vladivostok have a hard time understanding the Vladivostok Koreans. I don't know if it's a dialect difference that always existed between North and South Koreans or if the Koreans in Vladivostok speak Russified Korean. Anyway, that might have something to do with different pronunciations of Korean names.

shurale
15-03-2010, 21:48
Now, you ask a Russian who is Чой and they just stare at you. But ask who is Цой and unless it is some gray-haired, very old babushka they will tell you.

Harvallen
16-03-2010, 11:12
I'll ask my gf this evening and get back to you.

Harvallen
18-03-2010, 11:53
Turns out that Korean language has specific rules/settings for translating into English, not for Russian or other languages. Meaning that translation of a name (such as Kim Jong-Il) is dependent on media. If one journalist writes it that way and others copy that, then that will be the standard so to say.

Voodoo
18-03-2010, 12:10
Turns out that Korean language has specific rules/settings for translating into English, not for Russian or other languages. Meaning that translation of a name (such as Kim Jong-Il) is dependent on media. If one journalist writes it that way and others copy that, then that will be the standard so to say.

OK, lets use the Dear Leader's name as an example. Given what you wrote above, what would be the correct phonetic pronunciation of his full name in Korean? I assume then that the Russian pronunciation is closer to the Korean?

2ndWind
18-03-2010, 18:52
OK, lets use the Dear Leader's name as an example. Given what you wrote above, what would be the correct phonetic pronunciation of his full name in Korean?

Voodoo,

I don't speak a word of Korean but perhaps this will help.

From Wikipedia we have the Dear Leader's name as: Kim Jong Il, Korean 김정일, and Hanja 金正日.

(Also interesting - Soviet records show that Kim Jong-il was born in the village of Vyatskoye, near Khabarovsk in 1941, where his father, Kim il-sung, commanded the 1st Battalion of the Soviet 88th Brigade,)

At: Korean language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Hangugeo-Chosono.png" class="image"><img alt="Hangugeo-Chosono.png" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5e/Hangugeo-Chosono.png/200px-Hangugeo-Chosono.png"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/5/5e/Hangugeo-Chosono.png/200px-Hangugeo-Chosono.png

We find the Korean alphabet with aids to pronunciation and information about regional differences.

At: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/korean.htm we find a history of the language as well as alphabet tables showing the sounds in two transliterations and the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

As far as I can tell, the answer to your question is: It depends.

There are differences between North Korea and South Korea and there are regional dialects.

As for transliteration: The McCune-Reischauer system was devised in 1937 and is widely used in Western publications but an official South Korean transliteration system was introduced in July 2000.

There may be multiple North Korean transliteration systems as well.

In comparing the Korean spelling of the Great Leader's Korean name to the Korean alphabet, I can see that the pronunciation may be only slightly different from the way that I, as an English speaker, would pronounce it.

An interesting article at: http://dspace.wul.waseda.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/2065/29139/1/PACLIC_21_00_051_Wang.pdf discusses difficulties in "Korean-Chinese Person Name Translation for Cross Language Information Retrieval".

I didn't find a site which would pronounce 김정일 for me.

Thanks. I enjoyed doing a little research.

Voodoo
18-03-2010, 19:25
Thanks 2ndwind. Your post was eminently clear and to the point. ;)