In more cheerful news, Laurie Dunlap at Seattle Parks and Recreation sent us some information on the recent change of name from Taejon Park to Daejon Park.
“A sister-city delegation was recently here to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their connection with Seattle, and they brought to our attention that their city is now officially known as Daejeon.
If you look around on the internet, you see the city referred to most places as Daejeon, some places as ‘Daejeon (Taejon),’ ‘Taejon or Daejeon,’ and some places (the online Encyclopedia Britannica) still give Taejon as the primary spelling, saying ‘also spelled Daejeon.’
…In both cases, correct pronunciation of the first syllable is a long “I”, so DIE-john.”
Apparently the Korean government adopted a new romanization style a few years ago: the Revised Romanization of Korean. In this change, Pusan became Busan, Taejon became Daejeon, and Taegu is now Daegu. The new romanization style is intended to represent the sounds of Korean more accurately. So the new sign at Daejeon Park represents the current spelling of the Korean name; the park name hasn’t changed, just its spelling in Roman characters.