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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

(Korean language) Renaming "Seoul" in Chinese: the proposals

I had sometime last month a note on the project to rename Seoul in Chinese. The purpose is to find a Chinese language name which represents the Korean word Seoul and not the older Hancheng / Hansông (Chinese and Korean pronunciations) of the characters 漢城.

Decided to take a look at the proposals, which are available in Korean here. The renaming committee has chosen the proposals, of which further 3-5 best alternatives will be chosen in April.
Of these, various groups will be consulted, among these professors of Chinese and Korean, historians, representatives of the sister city of Seoul in China, Chinese authorities present in Korea, Chinese students in Korea, media people. Ordinary citizens will be heard through the metropolitan Seoul homepage.

The final winner, decided by the Committee, will be announced in May.

And the nominees are (copied and pasted from the above link):

○Proposals using both the pronunciation and meaning:
- 首 兒(Shou3 Er2)
- 首 爾(Shou3 Er3)
- 首 屋(Shou3 Wu1)
- 首 塢(Shou3 Wu4)
- 首 沃(Shou3 Wo4)
- 首 兀 (shou3 wu4,wu1)
- 首塢爾(Shou3 Wu1 Er3)
- 瑟塢爾(Se4 Wu1 Er3)
- 首兀爾 (shou3 wu4,wu1 er3)
- 首沃爾 (shou3 wo4 er3)
- 首午爾(shou3 wu3 er3 )
- 首屋爾 (shou3 wu1 er3 )

○ Proposals using only the meaning
- 韓 京(Han2 Jing1)
- 中 京(Zhong1 Jing1)
- 首 京(Shou3 Jing1)
Seems that non-simplified characters are not used, but I don't think Seoul is doing this with Taiwan in mind...
Wonder how these would look in the eyes and ears of Chinese.

See a post from July 20, 2004 for the final two nominees (首尔/首爾 and 首午尔/首午爾) for the Chinese name of Seoul.

Update 2.
See a post from January 2005 about the selection of 首尔/首爾 (Shŏuĕr/Shou3Er3).

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