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Having lived in Japan as an "unaligned" Westerner I wonder where you get your information, Yuna is far from hated in Japan. She was voted the 10th most admired athlete among Japanese of 2009. Having lived in Korea, Japanese athletes and pop idols are far from hated in Korea. Aside from Ichiro and others who have antagonized Korean pride, many many Japanese artists are accepted and appreciated in Korea perhaps more than anywhere else in Asia. In both nations, the cultural footprint of the other is larger than any other nation, save the United States (which dominates both countries). There's a simply explanation why Yuna spells and pronounces her name as she does. Korean culture with its roots in Buddhism and Confucianism teaches harmony with your environment. Many Koreans anglicize their names in manner that they think graciously makes it easier for their American "hosts." For example to make things easier and not cause embarrassment for Western pronunciations it's common for Korean Americans adopt one syllable of their name for their coworkers or colleagues. So "Seung-Eun" might become "Sung." In the old days many Koreans would simply go by "Kim" despite the fact that in Korea both those names would not only be awkward but totally impractical (how many "Kims" are there in Korea?) There isn't a ready analogue for Yuna's Korean name (which to my ears is best approximated by rhyming with "bun-a") However "Yoon" is an established name both by Koreans and Chineses overseas. It's easy to extrapolate why Yuna chose that for her anglicized name
Hey Philip, as an American who's lived in Korea (and Japan) Korean names can be tricky to romanize. First start with the fact that there isn't one but THREE systems that have been used to translate the Korean alphabet (Hangul) into English (the older McCune-Reischauer, the newer Revised Romanization, and the esoteric Yale Romanization of Hangul). Add on top of that the fact that Korean names are unlike Western names which consist of a Given (Christian) first name and a Family last name. Korean names are more along the lines of Classical praenomen, nomen, cognomen or German Vornamen. Korean names are 2 words but consist of 3 components indicating, family, generation, individual. All cousins within a generation share a common syllable in composite first name. For example, Yu-Na has a sister (I believe her name is Ha-Na). Any female cousins in the same generation would all be a variant of XX-Na. To make things more confusing, the generational component may be either the first or the second syllable of their given name. However the combination of the generation + individual is a single name. For example no one in Korea would refer to a girl with the composite Yu-Na as "Yu" or "Na" but always in combination "Yu-Na" (not the least because "Na" could mean any of the sisters!) There are no strict conventions in converting names to English but this is a long winded post to say basically say, you are correct. The preference of many Korean-Americans when romanizing their given name into a single word is to omit the hyphen. Sounds from your other post that Yuna has decided to do the same. Phillip I've had the opportunity to read a number of your articles concerning Ladies Figure Skating and I have to say keep up the good work and keep your head up. The craziness on the Internet (in my opinion) and media coverage of these ladies doesn't in reflect the truth that Japan and Korea are trading partners, neighbors and have many things in common. In my real world experience I'd characterize their sporting rivalry as a "friendly" if heated rivalry something south of say Red Sox-Yankees. Let's put it this way, I've seen more than 1 fight break out on Landsdown street between fans, something I've never seen in either Korea or Japan (and I was in Japan during the last WCB and in Korea for the 02 World Cup)
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Feb 28, 2010