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McCune-Reischauer , along with the revised Romanization and the Yale Romanization, is one of the most widely used transcriptions for the Korean script . The South Korean Ministry of Education raised a slightly modified version of McCune-Reischauer 1988 to the official transcription. In 2000, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism then introduced the revised Romanization, which was also based on the McCune-Reischauer, as an official system, which has established itself in official publications and on street signs and has also ousted McCune-Reischauer from many newer, non-governmental publications, However, Koreans pay as little attention to the private life as the McCune-Reischauer Romanization before. Yet another variant of the McCune-Reischauer remains the official romanization in North Korea . The respective official ISO transcriptions of North and South Korea do not play a major role.

McCune-Reischauer was created in 1937 by the two Americans George M. McCune and Edwin O. Reischauer . They dispensed with a true-to-original transliteration of the Hangeul characters and were more oriented towards a phonetic rendering of Korean words for English-speaking readers.

special character

The legend used Briefs , apostrophes and tremas that are for technical reasons or ignorance often omitted or replaced.

In Korean words romanized according to McCune-Reischauer, ŭ stands for the written Hangeul vowel ㅡ, regardless of its actual pronunciation. Depending on the speaker, this is more or less similar to the first “e” in German “g e giving”, but only if ㅡ is used as a vowel alone or in the initial voice. The letter ŏ stands for the sound value of the Hangeul vowel ㅓ, realized by most speakers like the “o” in “ o ffen”. In contrast to ŭ, ŏ is only written if this pronunciation is actually available, i.e. when romanizing ㅓ (= ŏ) and ㅕ (= yŏ), but not with the digraphs ㅔ (= e) and ㅖ (= ye).

Breven problem

With 2 (du) -beolsik , the most widely used input method for Korean, a free-hanging breve can be entered by typing the consonant ㄱ ( giyeok ) and pressing the hanja or Ctrl key. Entering vowels with a breve, on the other hand, does not support Western keyboards or input methods for the Korean language such as 2-beolsik . The Hangeul vowel ㅓ, for example, is often romanized with o , eo , ô , ǒ or er instead of ŏ due to such technical restrictions . The lack of the Breve, which is often enough decisive for the meaning of a word, or a uniform procedure for its replacement, can be considered one of the reasons why McCune-Reischauer found only moderate acceptance abroad, but especially in Korea itself, and in the late 20th century McCune-Reischauer was replaced by systems that did not use any diacritical marks: the Yale romanization in linguistics, the revised Romanization in other areas.



ㅣ i ㅏ a ㅑ ya ㅘ wa
ㅓ ŏ ㅕ yŏ ㅝ wŏ
ㅟ wi
ㅐ ae ㅒ yae ㅙ wae
ㅔ e¹ ㅖ ye ㅞ we
ㅡ ŭ ㅗ o ㅛ yo
ㅜ u ㅠ yu
ㅚ oe
ㅢ ŭi

¹ ë after ㅏ or ㅗ


Hangeul consonants according to McCune-Reischauer
Final consonant Initial consonant of the next syllable
ㄱ k ㄴ n ㄷ t ㄹ (r) ㅁ m ㅂ p ㅅ s ㅈ ch ㅊ ch ' ㅋ k ' ㅌ t ' ㅍ p ' ㅎ h
ㅇ ng ng ng g ngn ng d ng n ngm ng b ngs ng y ngch ' ngk ' ngt ' ngp ' ngh
ㄱ k G kk ng n kt ngn ng m kp ks kch kch ' kk ' kt ' kp ' kh
ㄴ n n n'g nn n d ll / n n nm n b ns n y nch ' nk ' nt ' np ' nh
ㄹ l r lg l l according to l l lm l b ls l l ' lk ' lt ' lp ' r h
ㅁ m m m g mn m d m n mm m b ms m j mch ' mk ' mt ' mp ' mh
ㅂ p b pk m n pt mn m m pp ps pch pch ' pk ' pt ' pp ' ph

In column one, an initial consonant before a vowel to indicate non-stress.

Web links


  • Transcription rules (PDF; 766 kB) of the Library of Congress , which are largely based on the 1939 original, but seem to mean something different with "McCune-Reischauer rules and tables" and identify many, but not all, deviations from the 1939 rules as such

Online tool

Offline tool