I recently saw an article that employed an interesting type of romanization of Korean. Here is an example:

enter image description here

It looks like a mix of Revised Romanization and Yale that replaces digraphs like eo or ng with IPA-like characters, but I couldn't find this type of romanization listed anywhere. Is this an established system and if so what is it called?

  • To me this looks like mostly just IPA (with y replacing j, which is common in some traditions).
    – Draconis
    Mar 22, 2021 at 3:39
  • But it's not transcribing the pronunciation.. It is still a transliteration that is independent from phonetic reality (e.g. 'mos' for 못, 'c' for ㅈ).
    – schoekling
    Mar 22, 2021 at 9:12
  • Might be phonemic / phonological (i.e. sound-systematic) instead of phonetic (i.e. true to surface sounds). Indistinguishable from the short excerpt, it might also be a transliteration (i.e. a bijective rendering of one script into another). Mar 22, 2021 at 19:18
  • As I've mentioned, I am pretty sure it's a transliteration.
    – schoekling
    Mar 23, 2021 at 11:27

1 Answer 1


This is the first time I've seen it, and it seems idiosyncratic. It appears to be a morphophonemic transcription based on Yale, as you can see from the way 못하지 is transcribed mos.ha.ci.

Other similarities between this system and Yale are evident in the consonants, e.g. using <k, kk, kh> rather than <g/k, kk, k> for ㄱㄲㅋ. It follows most romanisations in the treatment of orthographic iotated vowels (use of <y>) and the majority of orthographic compound vowels (use of <w>).

The difference from Yale is evident in the vowels. 먹으면 is transcribed meg.u.myen in Yale, but here, ㅓ is mapped to <ɔ> and ㅡ to <ɨ>. There is some inconsistency in how ㄹ is transcribed here: I see <l> for 이런, but <r> in 기다려도; Yale uses l consistently. Likely to be a typo though.

  • As for the L vs R thing, it could depend on whether it's at the syllable onset or in the coda Mar 30, 2021 at 18:49
  • @OmarL it would be, except 이런 and 기다려도 are both syllable onset ㄹ, and thus would be treated identically by normal transliteration schemes. For reference, this transliteration scheme uses <l> for 필요.
    – Michaelyus
    Mar 30, 2021 at 22:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.