Posted : 2012-03-30 15:45
Updated : 2012-03-30 15:45

Athletes‘ English names to follow unified system

Park Tae-hwan’s name in English will be written as Park Taehwan when a unified standard is implemented. / Korea Times file
By Cho Mu-hyun

All English names of Korean athletes are expected to follow a unified standard to avoid confusion, possibly starting with the upcoming London Olympic Games in July.

The government announced Friday that it will initiate measures in May to unify how Korean names are written in English. Currently, Koreans have romanized their names as they saw fit.

“The English names of our athletes used in international competitions are different for each sport,” a governmental official said, according to Yonhap News Agency. “The names on uniforms, on the roster and what was broadcast were all different, even in the same sport. Foreigners were inevitably confused by how Korean names are used.”

“This kind of naming system won’t work anymore and it will all change starting with the London Olympics,” he added.

In the 2008 Beijing Games, the names on competitors’ kit were noticeably diverse. Badminton player Lee Yong-dae had “LEE Y D” on his while baseball’s Kim Hyun-soo had “H S KIM” and swimmer Park Tae-hwan had “Park T.H.”

The government will follow the standard romanization of “Hangeul,” the Korean alphabet, set by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2000. The family name will come first and then there will be no hyphenation between the syllables of the given name. For example, Park Tae-hwan will now be written as Park Taehwan. Park T will now be used if only using the initials of the given name.

Meanwhile government employees will use the same standard for their business cards. They will also permit changes to the new method for those who use different ways to write their names in their passport.

관련 한글 기사

운동선수 이름 영문 표기 통일한다

정부는 이르면 5월부터 운동선수들의 유니폼과 선수단 명단 등에 쓰이는 영문명표기 단일화 작업에 착수, 오는 7월말 개막하는 런던 하계올림픽 국가대표 선수단의성명 영문 표기를 완벽하게 통일한다는 방침이다.

정부 핵심관계자는 30일 연합뉴스와의 통화에서 "국제대회에서 우리 선수들의영문 이름 표기가 종목마다 다르고, 같은 종목이라도 유니폼에 쓰인 표기와 출전선수 명단, TV 중계 화면에 나오는 표기가 모두 다른 경우가 많다"면서 "이 때문에 외국인들이 한국인의 이름을 혼동할 수밖에 없었다"고 말했다.

그는 "국격에도 맞지 않는 이 같은 표기법을 런던 올림픽부터는 완전히 시정할것"이라고 덧붙였다.

실제로 2008년 베이징 올림픽 당시 선수들의 유니폼에 적힌 영문 이름은 LEE YD(이용대ㆍ배드민턴), H S KIM(김현수ㆍ야구), PARK T.H.(박태환ㆍ수영) 등으로 제각각이었다.

이에 따라 정부는 지난 2000년 문화체육관광부가 고시한 국어 로마자 표기법에따라 성을 앞에 쓰고 이름은 띄어쓰기를 하지 않도록 하는 방안을 내부적으로 확정했다.

예컨대 박태환의 경우 Park Taehwan(또는 Park Tae-hwan)으로 쓰도록 했다.

이를 약자(이니셜)로 표기할 경우엔 성은 그대로 적고 하나의 덩어리인 이름은앞 음절의 약자만 쓰도록 했다. 따라서 박태환의 약자는 `Park T.'가 된다. (연합뉴스)

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