The really important king of Korea

I assure you that I don’t set out looking for typos in my personal reading, but sometimes they’re just too obvious. I borrowed a book from my local library on world languages. It is a full-scale production, with two pages on the biggest languages, one on the medium-sized ones and a quarter of a page on a selection of smaller ones. There are many photos and examples of words or phrases. 

Unfortunately, there are two errors on the page about Korean. One is the name of esteemed originator of hangeul, King Sejeul. Say … what? Do they mean King Sejong, the most important Korean in history? So important that most of the time he’s not just King Sejong, but rather King Sejeong the Great.

The other is that the one-syllable block of Korean it provides as an example is completely not Korean and instead one of those random things you get when the software you use doesn’t recognise the script you are trying to use. To make matters worse, it is immediately followed by an explanation of the letters which make up the syllable block. Even a reader who doesn’t know hangeul would figure that the explanation simply doesn’t match up with the random thing immediately before it.

I mentioned this to some colleagues at work, then on the way home on the train spotted two more typos on consecutive pages, both a correctly spelled word, just the wrong one in the context: lightening instead of lightning and each instead of ear.

No names, no blames, but it they’re going to put that much effort into a full-scale production, they could at least get a native speaker to proofread it.

(If there are any mistakes in the preceding, bear in mind that this is not a full-scale production, and I don’t have a team of proofreaders.)


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