[Comments-korean-lgr-25jan18] Comments on "Proposal for a Korean Script Root Zone LGR"

HiroHOTTA hotta at jprs.co.jp
Wed Mar 14 12:09:00 UTC 2018

Thanks for the opportunity for commenting on the draft proposal 
made by Korean Generation Panel. Below are my comments.


As Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (collectively called CJK) 
languages use the same script (called 'Han' in Chinese, 'Kanji' in 
Japanese, and 'Hanja' in Korean) as a part of their writing 
systems, three generation panels have coordinated in defining their 
respective repertoires and variants. 

Through tough coordination, CJK Generation Panels (GPs) have 
successfully agreed upon the definition of variants. All the 
variants agreed upon were between Han characters. The implicit 
assumption all the way through their coordination was that there 
were no variants between Hanja and Hangul (in Korean case) and 
between Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana (in Japanese case). 

However, I found that in the proposed Korean RootLGR draft, variants 
between Hangul characters and Hanja characters are defined, which
have not been considered at all in those three GP's coordination 
effort. In other words, although definition of variants between 
Hanja and Hangul characters impacts Chinese users and Japanese 
users, such effect (e.g., "blocking Chinese label by applying for 
Hangul label") has not been investigated.

I don't imply that I do not agree on such variant definitions made 
by KGP. I may respect KGP's strong wish to define similar-looking 
characters as variants (although I personally am against it as in 
[comment-2]). However, JGP needs time to assess whether such 
definitions do harm or not through consultation with Japanese 
community. I believe CGP is in the same situation.


I have a general concern in defining variants between Hanja characters 
and Hungul characters based on visual similarity. If Hanja 
characters and Hungul characters can be mixed in composing a Korean 
word (as proposed in draft LGR), it should be considered that Hanja 
script and Hungul scripts collectively constitute "ONE Korean script". 
as in the case of Japanese language, which has this kind of "ONE 
Japanese script" status that consists of Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana 
UNICODE scripts.

If this is the case for Korean writing system, defining variants 
between Hanja and Hungul is equivalent to defining variants within a 
script, i.e., mutually similar-looking Hangul characters, mutually 
similar-looking Hanja characters, or even mutually similar-looking 
ASCII characters should become the candidates for variants.

I think defining variants within ONE script based only on visual 
similarity is not a good idea, especially when such similarity is 
defined without universally acceptable criteria.

Hiro Hotta

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