sharing some Korean Letterpress/Typography photos

GT_Foundry's picture

http://www.gtfoundry.com/?p=125

Taken in Paju, South Korea. Enjoy

maxgraphic's picture

Interesting stuff. I love Hangul, don't get me wrong, but I am a little disappointed that my name can't be expressed with a one-syllable MAEKS and has to be MAEK + SEU. Better than Katakana MA + K + KU + SU though.

Jongseong's picture

Thanks for the report, Michael! I never made it to Paju...

Max, that's a feature of the language and orthography, not of the alphabet itself. Modern Korean pronunciation doesn't have the combination 'ks' at the end of a syllable, or indeed any 's' at the end. But in spelling there are plenty of words ending in 'ks' ㄳ or 's' ㅅ, so they must have been pronounced as such at one stage (though current orthographic 's' in some cases didn't come from historical 's').

In modern pronunciation though, the 's' in any syllable-final 'ks' is silent unless followed by a particle that begins with a vowel. So if we write MAEKS 맧, people would just pronounce it as 'Mac'. This is why we add the extra vowel at the end to force the 's' to be pronounced in MAEKSEU 맥스. You can see that this is about pronunciation restrictions of the spoken language and spelling conventions. If we didn't have the convention of using 'ks' in spelling where the 's' is silent, we could conceivably have decided that Max would be rendered as one syllable MAEKS. So this is not an inherent limitation of the alphabet.

maxgraphic's picture

That's true and a good point. I suppose it's like blaming Roman letters for English's horrible orthography.

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