About the phonology of the Korean word "Baduk"

The new romanization is correct and the old one was wrong. It’s pronounced “Baduk” (바둑). “Paduk” would be 파둑.

I’d also like the game to be renamed to Baduk in the west though. The term “Go” is ambiguous and the term “Weiqi” does not have a cool ring to it.

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It’s not “wrong” it was just a different system. Paduk is how it’s transliterated in the McCune–Reischauer system.

IMO M-R is a better mapping to English sounds, but the Revised system still has strengths (like no diacritics).

Another victim to the revised system is the ŏ. Every time I hear about the great Go player Shin Jin-SEE-OH I die a little inside :sob:


In what way is it not wrong? As a European I come accross a lot of different European languages. I do not know of any language on this entire planet that pronounces “Pa” as “바”. So unless McCune and Reinschauer are referencing some extra terrestrial language I really see no point in their transcription. Ok, maybe it is not “wrong” it is just pointless. The same way they could have also written “Qa” or “Ta” for “바” that would have the same effect. In my personal opinion transcribing Hangeul characters to random Alphabet characters kind of defeats the purpose of the whole endeavor.

ㅍ is not just “p”. Is a very specific “p” with an aspirated sound.

“fan” and “pan” are written the same (팬), which led to much fun when I first watched Korean cooking videos and was wondering why the instructions called for medium-sized fans.

ㅂ isn’t the exact equivalent of B, it can be a soft B closer to P, depending on what sounds someone is familiar with, especially in their native language (and that’s why people who insist on not learning other languages’ alphabet and sticking with romanization have problems with spelling).

Fun fact, V of BTS is written 뷔.


Sorry, but you’re just wrong (about it being wrong). In most European languages the ‘b’ is reserved for a voiced bilabial plosive. In Korean consonants like the first letter of the word baduk are unvoiced, and would only be voiced if occurring in between sonorants (like vowels, or after an ‘m’, for example). At the start of the word it is unvoiced, hence closer to a ‘p’.

See also Korean phonology - Wikipedia and note the IPA symbol for ㅂ


Look, I speak Korean fluently. The character ㅂ is pronounced like a b and then character ㅍ is pronounced like a p. The only people who argue about that are usually people that study a language at university and are overly pedantic with pronunciations.

Same response to you. I speak two different European languages fluently. I speak Korean fluently. And there are a bunch of other European language that use the Alphabet where I might not speak the language fluently but I know some phrases and the general pronunciation of their characters. I’ve never in my life seen the terms “bilabial” and “sonorants”. And I have no idea what “voiced” or “unvoiced” are supposed to mean. But trust me for all intends and purposes: The character ㅂ is pronounced like a b and then character ㅍ is pronounced like a p.


Now I am just waiting for some Spanish-speaker to pronounce it Vaduk :wink:


These terms are used to describe how the sound is being made. Voiced or unvoiced describes whether the vocal chords are vibrating during the sound or not, bilabial means between two lips, as opposed to somewhere else, plosive means you build up pressure and release it.

These are pretty common terms when discussing pronunciation, and I don’t know how to communicate about this subject without using them.

What I’m saying, is that at the start of a word with a plosive sound in Korean, think ‘p’, ‘k’, ‘t’, etc, you don’t use your vocal chords until after the pressure releases. This is opposite to, for example, the ‘b’ in English, German, French, etc, where the vocal chords are activated before the pressure is released.

You can claim to not hear the difference, but to dismiss what people are saying that are actually studying this professionally, just because you don’t hear it, makes you sound silly.

By the way, you don’t have a monopoly on speaking Korean in this discussion, if I’m not incorrect :wink:


I think it is great that people spend a lot of time with languages and exploring them and finding great ways to delineate the different motions people make when pronouncing something. I did not mean any offense. I still think denying the statement that “The character ㅂ is pronounced like a b and then character ㅍ is pronounced like a p.” is being overly pedantic and unnecessarily confusing to the average reader. Yes, you are right the English b is not the exact same sound as the Korean ㅂ. But these are details one can get into when actually learning the language. To anyone who does not speak Korean and does not want to learn it, I’d say that “the character ㅂ is pronounced like a b”. Not going to continue to argue about this. Again I did not want to be disrespectful and I wish you a nice day :slight_smile:

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Post a recording, I’ll tell you which language you are pronouncing wrong :joy:


No offense taken.

I guess 't least you gave a controversial Go opinion :slight_smile:


Can you elaborate on this?


Mind sharing your mother tongue and how fluent you’re in Korean? Really curious.

Just to make this clear: I didn’t. What I am stating is the official government approved version of Korean romanization. The Korean government implemented this 23 years ago to replace the inferior McCune - Reinschauer one. The Korean government actually spent more than 500 billion dollars to get rid of all the "p"s and replace them with "b"s. It’s definitely not me who is having a “controversial” opinion even though I’m outnumbered in this thread (for whatever reason).

Just my personal opinion on the sound. “Baduk” has a nice sound. Sounds like competition. Gives you that bang feeling. “Weiqi” has two “i” sounds and this soft starting sound. Sounds more like a word for something like a “pillow”.

Well, I hate to be overly pedantic (actually, no I don’t :stuck_out_tongue: ), but the new system was introduced so that Korean could be written unambiguously with Latin characters, since the previous system used accents (p’) and diacritics, which are hard to type. People would omit them, leading to ambiguity.

The “b” was thus chosen to prevent people from writing p’ as p, not because “b” is closer to the right pronunciation…

Or at least, that’s what’s being mentioned on Wikipedia.


Sometimes I really miss @claire_yang.


Are you being sarcastic? In Mandarin Chinese, it does not have what could really be described as two “i” sounds. The only thing is that you can say is that the letter “i” appears twice in the pinyin romanization. However, the first syllable sounds like “way” and the second sounds like “chee” (like “cheek” without the “k”).


And this is where I ran out of popcorn and I quit this conversation. :roll_eyes:


Just your personal feeling, i’m still searching the two i.
Weiqi has quite an easy standardizied prononciation and shared way of writing it.
And i don’t share the attractivess you get toward boxing besides that.Baduk makes me more think on a elefant crossing a river.


I guess in most languages this would be considered an ‘i’


This thread does not stop giving. So which of the two words way and cheek do not have “i” sounds in your opinion?

This thread really make me start doubting reality and language. Was I in the matrix this whole time?

For our Korean experts I’d also like to link this video of a Korean pronouncing the famous Korean dish Bibimbab that according to this thread’s Korean specialists should be instead pronounced “Pipimpap”. Maybe you guys should write all those Koreans on youtube that fail to pronounce words in their native tongue some angry emails.

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