Language services to be expanded for museums

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Language services to be expanded for museums

The government said yesterday it will expand foreign language services for a larger number of national museums as part of efforts to enhance convenience of foreign tourists and better promote cultural assets worldwide.

The government will also set up a guideline to unify the English writing system for cultural assets within this month to resolve confusion caused by different English versions of a single name.

Under the comprehensive plan envisioned for the preservation and the proper management of the country’s cultural properties, the government said it will introduce digital and audio tour guides in four languages - Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese - in the country’s eight national museums in phases, with four of them to be equipped with the gadgets by the end of next year.

Currently, the guides, which provide detailed information about exhibitions while featuring bookmarks and advanced search functions, are available in the country’s four largest national museums, including the National Museum of Korea located in central Seoul and the Gyeongju National Museum in Gyeongsang.
“The number of visitors from overseas to the national museums has been on a steady rise for the past several years, but there are not enough tools to provide detailed information about our cultural assets,” said Kang Eun-bong, an official at the Prime Minister’s Office. “We will also devise more diverse services in multiple foreign languages such as smartphone applications that offer in-depth information about our culture in an easy and interesting way.”

The government will also set up a new standard of English writing system for names of the national cultural properties. With a lack of a standardization system, different agencies in charge of the management and promotion of the Korean culture have different names for the same object.

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