Translating using Google Translate gives me the following three things.

  1. The English:

cat dog mouse

  1. The Korean:

고양이 개 마우스

  1. And a pronunciation form:

goyang-i gae mauseu

What is the official name of this pronunciation form and how does one translate between the Korean 한글 and the pronunciation form Korean (and back again)?

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    so i see from wikipedia that Pinyin, or Hànyǔ Pīnyīn, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese. also then asking wikipedia about Korean Romanization tells me that there are a handful of romanization rules for Korean. I do not know which one Google uses. Dec 19, 2016 at 22:29
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    google translate does a pretty good job, and i like it because it's fast. but i also know when it's wrong, or suspect when it's wrong. many words have multiple definitions, so "getting lucky" is just that. with romanization, you can go from 한글 to romanization and expect that it will give you some facsimile of the true pronunciation; however, if you try to follow that path back to 한글, the results will be as spotty as google translate - mostly correct but with issues. Dec 19, 2016 at 23:42
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    This website provides online conversion of standard Romanized versions of Korean to Hangeul: sori.org/hangul/conv2kr.cgi
    – user17915
    Dec 20, 2016 at 7:23
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    Usual romanisation systems for Korean give ambiguities.<BR>For instance : maebda is 마엡다 or 맵다 ? Apr 5, 2017 at 14:52
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    Usual romanisation systems for Korean give ambiguities. For instance : maebda is 마엡다 or 맵다 ? There is an online keyboard (lexilogos.com/clavier/hangeul.htm) where you can push on keys or where you can input a romanisation for each hangeul putting a space <sp> at the end of this hangeul. In order to write : 찻집 type in the text area : chas <sp> jib <sp> ; in order to write : 아프다 type there : a <sp> Peu <sp> da <sp>; in order to write 크다 type there : Keu <sp> da <sp> ; in order to write 타고 type there : Ta <sp> go <sp>. The rest of the romanisation used with this keyboard is usual. Apr 5, 2017 at 15:10

1 Answer 1


Ultimately this comes down to a question on romanization. Pinyin is a romanization system for Chinese.

There are a few different systems of romanization for Korean. The two most prevalent are McCune–Reischauer (M-R) and Revised Romanization of Korean (RR). Revised Romanization is what is used in South Korea officially now (it replaced M-R in 2000). The main difference between M-R and RR is the use of diacritics like the breve and the apostrophe. (i.e. 저 is written chŏ in M-R, yet jeo in RR. 창 is written ch'ang in M-R and chang in RR). RR uses no diacritics and is built to ostensibly represent phonology better. M-R is constructed to perhaps better capture Korean phonetics. Neither is perfect.

Google translate uses a variant of RR, since this is usually easier for non-native speakers to understand. If you know all the rules of RR, you can usually quite easily "translate" from the romanized output of Google translate to actual 한글 (hangŭl [M-R], hangeul [RR]). However, keep in mind that romanized Korean is the absolute lowest order form of conveying written Korean.

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