In the left picture, Jongmyo’s Hall of Eternal Peace is misspelled as Hall of Enternal Peace as highlighted in a red box. In the right picture, the mistake is corrected. Photo by Korea News Plus Tim Kim

CHA promises to pay more attention to English-language signboards

In response to the June 3 article of the Korea News Plus, the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) revised a critical typo at Jongmyo Shrine situated in central Seoul.

At the shrine, the tourist sign at its front gate mistakenly spells the Hall of Eternal Peace as the Hall of Enternal Peace, as shown in the above picture.

Jongmyo is a Confucian shrine dedicated to the perpetuation of memorial services for the deceased kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

It has two royal memorial halls of the main hall and the Hall of Eternal Peace.

The former has 19 spirit chambers housing 49 spirit tablets, while the latter contains 16 spirit chambers with 34 spirit tablets.

The CHA has recently revised it, promising to pay more attention to the English-language signboards.

“We will check other facilities to offer proper explanations about our historic sites or buildings,” a CHA official said.

However, the CHA failed to unify the romanization systems of its signboards.

After Jongmyo became the UN Cultural Heritage in 1995, the shrine set up a sign to celebrate it, dubbing itself Chongmyo.

Back then, the country used the McCune-Reischauer system under which the shrine was supposed to be spelled as Chongmyo.

In the early 2000s, however, the Korean government introduced a new system under which the shrine must be spelled as Jongmyo.

But the CHA did not give any explanation, confusing visiting foreign tourists to the shrine.