The Revised Romanization of Korean ( ; gugeoui romaja pyogibeop. op; lit. "Roman-letter notation of the national language") is the official Korean language romanization system in South Korea proclaimed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to replace the older McCune-Reischauer system. The new system eliminates diacritics and apostrophes in favor of digraphs.
The Revised Romanization limits itself to the ISO basic Latin alphabet, apart from limited, often optional use of the hyphen. It was developed by the National Academy of the Korean Language from 1995 and was released to the public on 7 July 2000 by South Korea's Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Proclamation No. 2000-8, which cites these reasons for the new system:
Like McCune-Reischauer, it transcribes some sounds as English-speakers are apt to hear them, rather than following Korean phonology. Unlike McCune-Reischauer, vowels are not written consistently.
|Revised Romanization of Korean|
|Hanja||? ? ?|
|Revised Romanization||gugeoui romaja pyogibeop|
|McCune-Reischauer||kugi romaja p'yogib?p|
Basic principles of romanization are:
These are notable features of the Revised Romanization system:
In addition, special provisions are for regular phonological rules in exceptions to transliteration (see Korean phonology).
Other rules and recommendations include the following:
Like several European languages that have undergone spelling simplifications (such as Portuguese, German or Swedish), the Revised Romanization is not expected to be adopted as the official romanization of Korean family names, and few people have voluntarily adopted it. According to a 2009 study by the National Institute of the Korean Language based on 63,351 applications for South Korean passports in 2007, for each of the three most common surnames Kim (?), Lee (?), and Park (?), less than 2% of applicants asked for their surname to be romanized in their passport by using the respective Revised Romanization spelling Gim, I, or Bak. Given names and commercial names are encouraged to change, but it is not required.
All Korean textbooks were required to comply with the new system by February 28, 2002. English-language newspapers in South Korea initially resisted the new system by citing its flaws, but all later gave in to government pressure. The Korea Times was the last major English-language newspaper to do so and switched only in May 2006.
North Korea continues to use a version of the McCune-Reischauer system of Romanization, a different version of which was in official use in South Korea from 1984 to 2000.
Textbooks and dictionaries intended for students of the Korean language tend to include this Romanization. However, some publishers have acknowledged the difficulties or confusion it can cause for non-native Korean speakers who are unused to the conventions of this style of Romanization.
?, ?, ?, and ? are usually transcribed as g, d, b, and r when appearing before a vowel, and as k, t, p, and l when followed by another consonant or when appearing at the end of a word.
The revised romanization transcribes certain phonetic changes that occur with combinations of the ending consonant of a character and the initial consonant of the next like Hanguk -> Hangugeo. These significant changes occur (highlighted in yellow):
|?||t||d, j||tg||nn||td||nn||nm||tb||ts||tj||tch||tk||t-t||tp||th, t, ch|
|?||t||s||tg||nn||td||nn||nm||tb||ts||tj||tch||tk||t-t||tp||th, t, ch|
|?||t||j||tg||nn||td||nn||nm||tb||ts||tj||tch||tk||t-t||tp||th, t, ch|
|?||t||ch||tg||nn||td||nn||nm||tb||ts||tj||tch||tk||t-t||tp||th, t, ch|
|?||t||t, ch||tg||nn||td||nn||nm||tb||ts||tj||tch||tk||t-t||tp||th, t, ch|
Phonetic changes between syllables in given names are not transcribed: -> Jeong Seokmin or Jeong Seok-min, -> Choe Bitna or Choe Bit-na.
Phonological changes are reflected where ?, ?, ?, and ? are adjacent to ?: -> joko, -> nota, -> japyeo, -> nachi. However, aspirated sounds are not reflected in case of nouns where ? follows ?, ?, and ?: -> Mukho, -> Jiphyeonjeon.