Monday, March 3, 2008

Language, Ministry Names and Korea's International Image, an official web portal of the Korean government, announced on Friday January 18 that President-elect Lee Myung-bak’s transition team had unveiled the English names of new ministries to be created as a result of his streamlining of government. According to a team spokesperson, "The transition team’s senior members finalized the official English titles of the new ministries after examining those of foreign countries." He said a new giant organization to be created through the merger of the Commerce, Industry and Energy Ministry with parts of the Information and Communication and Science and Technology ministries will be named the Ministry of Knowledge-based Economy (지식경제부 in Korean). Two observations about this announcement
  • 지식, in Korean, can be translated into English as knowledge, knowhow or information. In the U.S., Europe and other parts of the English-speaking world, the concepts of the information economy or information society (정보사회) are more widely used and understood than that of the "knowledge economy." Therefore, one might reasonably ask why it becomes the "Ministry of Knowledge-based Economy" rather than the "Information Economy Ministry."
  • Now that South Korea has one of the world's leading economies, any change in the English language, or other language names of its ministries and other key government organizations is like changing a brand name. It has huge value and affects the nation's relations with other countries and international organizations.

No comments:

Post a Comment