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South Korea is spell-checking its tourism signposts for errors

Jun 12, 2013 3:41 am

Skift Take

It takes a great deal or coordination and planning to get consistency in signage. The Koreans’ efforts here should be applauded.

— Jason Clampet

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Christopher Rose  / Flickr

Signage on the Seoul metro. Christopher Rose / Flickr


Nationwide research into travel signposts aimed at correcting misspellings and inaccurate information will begin later this month, the first such project covering over 16,000 travel information signs and boards in both Korean and foreign languages, South Korea’s Culture Ministry said Tuesday.

“Based on our guideline on foreign-language travel signs, a research team will look for misspellings and erroneous translations from June 28 to Nov. 27 this year,” said Kim Dong-wook of the tourism promotion team of the Culture Ministry.

“Providing the correct travel information is important, especially when we have the goal of attracting more than 12 million foreign tourists a year,” said Kim.

Among the corrections that will be made are names of places and tourist attractions written in Chinese that Chinese visitors will not be able to understand.

“Some of them are written in Chinese words that are only understood among Koreans, not in Mandarin or major dialects such as Cantonese,” said Kim.

“In the case of English, we have had frequent cases of spelling out names in Romanization of Korean. For example, ‘Nampo Underground Shopping Center’ is written as ‘Nampo Jiha Sanga,’ which makes sense only to Koreans,” Kim said.

A team of 37 researchers, organized by the Korean Culture and Tourism Institute, an affiliate of the ministry, is expected to begin research at the end of June and report its findings to provincial governments to have them fix the errors.

(c)2013 the Asia News Network (Hamburg, Germany). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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