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  • merle
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    • May 08, 2008, 08:04:02 am
Transliteration and Acrostic Name Poem
« on: May 09, 2008, 10:40:08 am »
Please note:  Previous to this lesson I did an activity where I gave each student a handout listing each letter of the alphabet.  The students were to write an interesting word for each letter.  I reminded them that I didn’t want the same words from everyone (i.e.: A – Apple x 35 students = boring).  They were able to use their textbooks and the dictionary therein, just as long as they knew what the word meant.  I wanted them to get their creative juices flowing around different words starting with each letter.  They really enjoyed sharing what words they had chosen, and I asked them to write down a few additional words that they heard for each letter, and to make sure they keep this handout for later.  An easy activity that can help lower level students when they write their acrostic poem.

Now, for the lesson:
I found that quite a few of my students did not know how to transliterate their name into English.  We don’t use English nicknames in our classes, so I thought it would be a good idea to teach them how to write their name using the Roman alphabet.  I also wanted to add some creativity to the class with an acrostic poem using their name.

Short version:
1.  Introduce and compare "translate" and "transliterate"  (5 min)
2. - Hand out the 한글 to English chart and practice translating/transliterating different words. (8 min)
    -  Demonstrate the tranlation isn't always perfect 
        해리포터   Harry Potter  Haeri Poteo.  (2 min)
3.   - Have students transliterate their own name. (3 min)
     - Explain and demonstrate acrostic name poems. (5 min)
     - Have students write their own acrostic name poem (10 min)
4.  Select or encourage volunteers to write their poems on the board and read them to the class.  (12 minutes)


Long version:

:) 1.  Introduce the word “transliterate.”  Have students attempt to read it.  Break it down into syllables.  Solicit or show its meaning by comparing “transliterate” to “translate.”   I used the word 물.  Translation: water.  Transliteration: mul
Usually at this the light bulbs of understanding go off.  I try to have them to explain the difference between translate and transliterate.
Translate: changes the word to another language
Transliterate:  writes a word in the characters of another alphabet.

:) 2.  Hand out the 한글 to English chart (see attached).  Write words in Hangeul and have students first give you the translation, and then the transliteration.

Some example words you could use:

Word  Translation  Transliteration
녹차    green tea     nok-cha
국수    noodles        guk-su
고기    meat           gogi
내일    tomorrow     nae-il
조끼    vest           jo-kki
토마토  tomato       tomato 
연       kite*            yeon*   

* This one is good to use to demonstrate that students do not need to write the “ng” in the beginning, because the “ㅇ” at the beginning of 연 is a silent placeholder.

Optional:  It might be a good idea to point out that transliteration does not always work perfectly.  For example:

해리포터   Harry Potter  Haeri Poteo. 

Transliterating into Korean and back to English can greatly change the name.  However, transliteration can be useful as an initial way to learn a word.  For example, if a Korean student were to visit North America and write their name in Hangeul, very few people would be able to read their name.  However, if they transliterated it into English…

:) 3.  Have students transliterate their name.  When they are finished, write your name, letter by letter, vertically on the board, like so:

N
A
M
E

It’s best if you have a prepared acrostic poem using your name.  If your students are of a low level don’t make it too fancy.  But writing more than one word per line will encourage them to expand in their own poem.

Explain the idea of an acrostic poem, and have them write one of their own, using their name.  If you have already done the alphabet activity mentioned in the “Please note” above, you can remind them of it and they can use that to help them write the poem.

An example of what one of my students came up with:

July
Earth is hot
Oh my god
Not cool.  We can
Go swimming
Join us
I see
Over there.  Ice cream shop.  But I
Have no money.

:) 4. Have some students write their poems on the board.  If time permits you can have the students read their poem out loud or explain what the poem is about. 

Some of them can get quite creative.  I had one poem about Korea’s opposition to the importation of American beef due to fears of Mad Cow Disease.  Another was about a girl that had a crush on a boy she couldn’t speak to.  You might get some very interesting stuff!

Hope this works out ok for you!
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 08:03:01 am by merle »


  • Arsalan Lavang
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Re: Middle School - Transliteration and Acrostic Name Poem
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2008, 03:38:31 pm »
Very nice!  Thank you for this :)
My heart is bursting into starlight


Re: Middle School - Transliteration and Acrostic Name Poem
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2008, 03:00:14 pm »
I like this, but I wish you wouldn't've taught them that
우 = u  because then they write things like
김세훈  (common boy's name) as "Kim Sae Hun" 
but I read it as "huhn" instead of "hoon"

Also,  해리 포터 와  says "Harry Potter and"


  • merle
  • Veteran

    • 123

    • May 08, 2008, 08:04:02 am
Re: Middle School - Transliteration and Acrostic Name Poem
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2008, 08:01:22 am »
Fixed the Harry Potter mistake, thanks for pointing it out :)

I agree about the 우 = u.  It would read better if 훈 was Hoon, instead of Hun.  I find it also awkward when I see the city of 제주시 transliterated as "Jeju-si," instead of "Jeju-shi", or the family name of 신 written as "Sin" and not "Shin," althought the 시 can sound more like a "tse", than a true "shi."  But it's a closer pronunciation than "see". I try to encourage the use of "sh" when it might be more appropriate. 

Since English is a bit crazy when it comes to its own pronounciation rules, it can be a tad difficult to have concrete rules that work perfectly.  And the rules will probably change again in a few years too...  :-\

So it might be a good idea to teach the alternate spellings as well, so students understand the sounds, and how an English speaker would read them.


Re: Middle School - Transliteration and Acrostic Name Poem
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2008, 06:21:54 am »
Yeah, it probably will change over and over hahaha
I had a random guy approach me in the airport last summer when I was going home.  I was there early, so I agreed to do his little survey thingy.  He was working for some University or another and had a list of present transliterations of Korean words and then a new way - which technically seemed better, but would be a lot of work to implement...also harder to read, however better the pronunciation may sound.  For example it had proper "ch" for the ㅈ letter when it would sound more like that than a "j",
It had 상 written as "sahng", etc


Re: Transliteration and Acrostic Name Poem
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2016, 01:41:15 pm »
Great lesson idea!