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Course & Subject Guides

Korean Studies Resources and Services @ Pitt

This guide introduces major print and electronic resources on Korean Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Tips on effectively searching for Korean materials on PITTCat are also given.

Introduction to Korean Romanization

Korean romanization is a system for representing the Korean language using the Roman letters. In Korea, the Korean language is written using hangul, and sometimes hanja (Chinese characters). In order to input Korean language into Western systems, Korean language needs to be represented in Roman letters. Several rules for Korean Romanization have been developed and used by different groups:

  • McCune-Reischauer
    One of the two most widely used Korean language romanization systems, along with the Revised Romanization of Korean, which replaced McCune–Reischauer as the official romanization system in South Korea in 2000. Another variant of McCune–Reischauer is used as the official system in North Korea.
  • ALA/LC Romanization rules
    These are the standard for Korean romanization used by American libraries, including ULS. These follow the McCune-Reischauer system but deviate from McCune-Reischauer.
  • Revised Romanization of Korean
    The official Korean language romanization system in South Korea proclaimed by the government, replacing the older McCune–Reischauer system.
  • Korean Yale Romanization
    One of the Yale Romanization schemes developed at Yale University for Romanizing the four East Asian languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, and Japanese. This scheme is mainly used by linguists.

Since the University of Pittsburgh libraries  follow ALA/LC Romanization rules for Korean bibliographic records, it is useful to learn ALA/LC Romanization rules to do research on Korean studies. The following are useful guides to start with:


Korean Romanization Tools

If you still are not familiar with Korean romanization rules, don't worry. There are useful tools for Korean romanization available on the Web.

For McCune-Reischauer, Yale Romanization and Revised Romanization of Korean:

  • Korean Romanization Converter​
    ​​​This tool provides convert of Korean McCune-Reischauer Romanization, Yale Romanization and Revised Romanization. Select “Korean alphabet → Roman alphabet”, Type in any word or sentence for conversion, click on “Convert”, and the result will show up.

For Yale Romanization:

For Revised Romanization of Korean

  • The Hangul Romanizer
    This converter is based on the Revised Romanization of Korean officialized by the government.