I’ve had travel on my mind recently, because my wife and I were planning to go to Korea for Chusok (1 October) then on to Europe for several weeks. All of that’s been put on hold for the foreseeable future, but to satisfy my travel bug, I was watching various amateur videos of people hiking in Seoraksan national park in South Korea’s Gangwon province. These videos vary in quality. One vlogger pronounces Seoraksan as ‘See-or-aksan’, but immediately qualifies that with “I think that’s how you say it”. It’s not. ㅓ eo is one vowel, approximately the same as the first syllable of sorry.

But this is not immediately obvious. Indeed, the transliteration of ㅓ is one of the major criticisms of Revised Romanisation. Can I blame a random vlogger for mispronouncing one place name? I shouldn’t. This was their first vlog from South Korea, but they are obviously experienced travellers and had presumably already passed through Incheon airport and Seoul, which use the same letter. It’s not quite as bad as pronouncing Thailand as Thigh-land or a major tourist destination there as Fuck-it

(Pages for Mac doesn’t like vlogger or vlog, changing them to blogger and blog each time, and red-underlining them when I change them back. (WordPress also red-underlines them.) I don’t like those words either, but the videographic travellers in question use them themselves. (Pages and WordPress also don’t like videographic.))


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