Han River gets official, not-so-new moniker

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Han River gets official, not-so-new moniker

Han River or Hangang?

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said yesterday that the official English term for the river that divides the city is “Hangang,” and it will use that term on its Web site, in promotion materials, and on road signs.

The now-official English moniker is, of course, the standard appellation for the river in Korean. (Gang means river.)

The city government said the change was a nod to Korean proper noun usage and will help promote the Han’s image as a unique geographical feature of the country.

The city government already changed the names of 12 parks located near the Han.

“Han River Citizens’ Park” was changed to “Hangang Park” in March.

“The government has been using the term Hangang with ‘river’ in parenthesis since the Han River Renaissance Project began,” said Yoon Jin-hwa, an official at the Seoul Metropolitan Government. “We decided to put ‘river’ in parenthesis because using ‘Hangang’ alone may confuse foreigners.”

The government emphasized there’s nothing wrong for foreigners or newspapers to continue using the term Han River.

By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]
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