Friday, October 29, 2004

Finding errors about Korea

Attention, Web-surfers: it’s time to get patriotic again.

[This article was first posted in the Korea Herald, but I have linked it to 'About Joel' as it is only available at KH for one week -already gone.]
The Korea Overseas Information Service has announced
another contest in which Internet users who report erroneous
information about Korea that appears on foreign Web sites are
eligible to win prizes.

The errors may be wide ranging, such as factual errors about
the nation’s history and culture. The competition will kick off
next month and continue through Dec. 10.
As a typical example of Web errors, KOIS officials cited
references to the “Sea of Japan” for the body of water
between Korea and Japan, instead of the name Korea uses,
the “East Sea.”

I always scratch my head when I see 'Sea of Japan' described as the wrong name, as an error. As far as I can see, it's a name, maybe not the only name, but it's a real name, not an error.
Although I live on the Korean coast of this sea and use the Korean name with friends and students, I prefer the Japanese name. When we think of the North Sea, we have an idea of where it should be. I guess that few people search maps of Australia or Oceania for the North Sea, but focus their attention on the top quarter of the globe. There is an end to 'North'. There is no end to 'East'. The name 'Sea of Japan' is a better indicator of where it is.

A few months ago, EBS' radio English program described Tasmania as part of New Zealand. Will there be any contests to correct the geographical, historical or cultural errors in Korean publications? Korean comics used to show Caucasians with huge noses and blacks with huge stereotypical features. Can we write in if we see those?

1 comment:

Yankabroad said...

Dude, when you've been here for anytime, you will realize that Koreans just don't let the Sea of Japan/East Sea issue die. They are absolutely, 100% possessed of the issue. It's their Alamo.

I could write a 10 page essay in my sleep on this one, I've mulled it over so much.