Over at Marmot's Hole, there was a brief mention (and protracted comments) of an article in the Korea Times last week about making Korea's signage 'foreigner-friendly.'
Romanization of Korean words, especially names of places, also differs from organization to organization. Here's a tidbit:
For example, the state-run Korail's Web site says Kyoungsang-do, while the government orthography is Gyeongsang-do. Koreans know the two refer to the same region, but it can be a huge difference to foreigners.
Jung-gu ward office's Web site introduces tourist attractions in the district. If you click ``Myungdong,'' you cannot find information about Myungdong but will find that of ``Myeongdong'' instead.
``It is sad that Korea plans huge projects to attract more visitors but neglects small and detailed things that are really important in providing foreigners with a convenient stay in Korea. Koreans rarely ask foreigners what they want,'' an American who has taught English here for five years said on condition of anonymity.
Sad indeed! Even sadder may be the reason that the foreigner chose to remain anonymous; but that's a different story.
It's not the government that has the problem. They have been at least 'trying' to make the signage consistent on the roads and in the government agencies. It is the individual businesses and peripheral tourist facilities that try to make signs without consulting someone who actually knows a thing or two about English. Then the come up with beauties like the above. It might as well read "Welcome to &#$@#(%"