About translating his name into English

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About the translating Yi Sunshin's names.

As Koreans tend avoid to put a dash in their names, Yi Sunsin, Yi Sun Sin, or Yi SunSin can be the most appropriate English notation. However, Yi SunShin is a little inappropriate as English does not allow a capital letter in the middle of a name or word. 

Another piont is that there is no middle name in Korean culture. So, Sunsin is in fact one word and one first name. As the first names are usually two syllables in Korea, some Koreans put space in them when they translate their names into English. The surname Yi is in fact the same as Lee. However, South Koreans pronounce Yi (never Lee). Therefore, the best notation of the admiral is 'Yi Sunsin'. 

Yi Sunshin: Sun or Soon. In Korean pronounciation, people read the whole name: "Yi-Sun-Shin". The sound of "sun" here is in between sun and soon in English. Soon is a bit too long and strong. Sun should not be pronounced as the star Sun, but it is more like an Italian pronounciation of Sun.

Yi Sunshin: About Sin or Shin. The "S" sound of Korean language is different from English 's'. It is in between S and Sh. It is also not pronounced strongly. So, both "Sin" and "Shin" can be fine to use.


Using dash between sun and shin (such as Sun-shin) is not right.


- Jong Bhak, jongbhak@yahoo.com

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