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∙ Ph.D. dissertation Neighborhood Shopkeepers in Contemporary South Korea: Household, Work, and Locality available online (E-Thesis publications a the University of Helsinki). For printed copies, please contact me by e-mail.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

law texts to be hangeulized

The government has decided to present a law bill which would have all the law texts to be written with Korean characters, and Chinese characters to be added in parenthesis in the case there is risk for misunderstanding or multiple meanings (Chosun Ilbo). Laws already written and submitted or passed entirely in hangeul, and the civil code and some other important laws are exceptions from this bill.
Interesting that of the civil code (minpôp 民法), criminal law (hyôngpôp 刑法) and others it is said that hangeulizing them requires meticulous research and consultation. This shows how non-Korean the texts actually are; writing the Chinese characters in them in hangeul would not produce understable Korean. (And now I'm talking of things that I don't know about.) In Finnish, where the law terms are to my understanding rather clear or transparent, meaning that they are understandable also out of context, the legalese itself has a grammar of its own. (For example when a prosecutor decides not to press charges, she does a syyttämättäjättämispäätös; a monster of a word, but understandable at first sight for any native speaker.)

And speaking of law, here Woojay congratulates in his peculiar manner his mate who has passed the Korean bar exam.
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