View Full Version : Have you ever heard of Korea being spelled Corea?
05-06-08, 02:01 AM
I had a discussion with a friend who said that the Japanese spelled Corea with a "K" as in "Korea" solely because they wanted the nation to be listed after Japan in the Latin alphabetical order. AKA to make it appear that Japan preseads Korea.
To me this seems a little ... like Korean nationalism with a conspiracy theory mixed in.
Firstly, Japanese romanji uses "K" for the hard k sound and the only "c" is in "chi". They would never spell any word that required a hard K with a C.
Secondly, why the hell would Japan care about the latin alphabet anyway? would they?
Any ideas as to the validity of this argument?
05-06-08, 02:50 AM
I ran into the issue in college, years ago, studying Spanish. The explanation at the time had nothing to do with the order of letters in the English alphabet, but just with the way Japanese use the letter K when writing Japanese in that alphabet.
05-14-08, 05:51 PM
Michael, when you mention the "Latin alphabetical order", I assume you mean rōmaji (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Japanese). It can't be true that the Japanese chose "Korea" against "Corea" just so Japan would be first. Here's why:
In Japanese, Japan is called 日本国, written either にっぽんこく or にほんこく in hiragana, and nippon koku or nihon koku in rōmaji. Korea is 朝鮮, hiragana ちょうせん, rōmaji chousen (if I read the hiragana right). "Ni" comes long after "chou", so Korea would be first in a rōmaji Japanese dictionary.
It doesn't work in hiragana either. The order of the syllabary seems to be A, KA, SA, TA, NA, HA, MA, YA, RA, WA, N (see this page (http://www.tokyowithkids.com/fyi/hiragana_chart.html)). The hiragana ち is grouped with the TA hiragana and would be "ti" if certain sound changes didn't make it "chi". Since ち is grouped with TA, which comes before NA, Korea yet again comes before Japan.
It should be noted that there's no "co" hiragana. In rōmaji, C is not used outside of the digraph "ch", and the hard C sound is represented by K. Therefore, I think the idea that the Japanese wanted to come before Korea would only be plausible if we were talking about English. But it sounds unlikely to me.
Athelwulf...your japanese text is seen as boxes...not as japanese text
05-14-08, 07:03 PM
Koreans call Korea Hanguk I think, though sometimes they also use it only for South Korea, which is also Namhan, while North Korea is Bukhan. The language is Hangul.
Korea is from the Japanese Corea, which used to be Goryeo (in Muslim literature Korea is Goryeo).
05-14-08, 08:13 PM
I thought the Japanesese called their country Nippon?
I studied Latin for 5 years and there is no 'J'. An 'I' is used which comes before K: Japan comes before Korea.
It's nothing to do with a Latin alphabet as many countries use a Latin-like alphabet. Does France come before Germany? Not if the language is French and not German (using the same alphabet). Does the USA start with a 'U' or an 'E' or a 'V'...depends on the language used. Nothing to do with Latin-based alphabet. Lots of countries are known by different names in different languages....The USA, UK, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, etc.
I'm French Canadian and we call Korea, 'La Coree'....I think it's similar in Spanish but English and German use 'Korea'.
05-14-08, 10:17 PM
Koreans call Korea Hanguk I think, though sometimes they also use it only for South Korea, which is also Namhan, while North Korea is Bukhan.It's more complicated than that. Nam and buk are just borrowed Chinese words nan and bei (in Mandarin) for "north" and "south," as seen in the Chinese city names Bei Jing and Nan Jing, "northern capital" and "southern capital."
BTW, guk (Chinese guo, "country") is what Koreans called each other, "countryman," to distinguish themselves from foreigners, and American soldiers assumed it means "Korean." That's where the racial epithet "Gook" comes from, which has since come to mean any East Asian in whose civil war the current moron in the White House has gotten America involved. We have similar racial epithets for the peoples of the Middle East and the wars the current moron has gotten us into, but we use English words now.
Wiki has three pretty decent articles on the country, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korea) the Goryeo Dynasty, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goryeo) from which our name Korea for the country is derived, and the various names of the country (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_Korea) throughout history.
Korea is from the Japanese Corea, which used to be Goryeo (in Muslim literature Korea is Goryeo).However you spell it, "Korea" is not and never was a Japanese name for the country nor derived from a Japanese name. Goryeo was a dynasty that ruled the country for several centuries in the Modern Era before the Japanese occupation, and the dynasty appropriated the name Goryeo from one of the legendary Three Kingdoms of Korea, which goes back to the early years of the Common Era. The ultimate origin of the name is a little vague, since educated Koreans wrote in Chinese for centuries, then wrote Korean in Chinese characters for a few more centuries, and only developed their own phonetic writing system very recently.
I thought the Japanesese called their country Nippon?It's usually pronounced Ni Hon, "sun root." The literal meaning gives away the fact that it's actually the Chinese name for the country, since for the Chinese Japan is the East. It's Chinese ri ben. Mandarin R sounds a bit like a French J, so that's how we ended up calling it "Japan." But in Japanese the syllables HO, BO and PO are written with the same kana and under certain conditions nihon becomes nippon.
Don't ask how Chinese phonemes became twisted into their Korean or Japanese versions, there are entire books on the subject. The name of the famous Chinese go master of my day, Wu Qing Yuan, is pronounced Go Sei Gen in Japan.
I studied Latin for 5 years and there is no 'J'.There were no J or U in Classical Latin but as Vulgar Latin displaced it I and U began to be used when the letters were pronounced as vowels and J and V represented them as semivowels. Eventually V became a consonant in all the Romance languages, while J became variously ZH, KH and our J sound.
Does France come before Germany? Not if the language is French and not German (using the same alphabet).Even in German, Deutschland comes before Frankenreich.:)
I'm French Canadian and we call Korea, 'La Coree'....I think it's similar in Spanish but English and German use 'Korea'.This thread is becoming circular so I'll probably close it down soon. It's already been noted that Corea was a common English spelling in previous centuries.
05-22-08, 01:22 AM
Have just been looking up Korea on wiki, wondering if the C in Corea might be a French hard C. It isn't, but I found this gem of information instead.
One peculiarity of Korean culture is its age reckoning system. Individuals are regarded as one year old when they are born, and their age increments on New Year's Day rather than on the anniversary of their birthday. Thus, one born on December the 31st would be aged two on the day after they were born. Accordingly, a Korean person's stated age will be one or two years more than their age expressed in the Western tradition.