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Google corrects Romanized name of legendary Korean marathoner

Google corrects Romanized name of legendary Korean marathoner

Posted April. 04, 2019 08:00,   

Updated April. 04, 2019 08:00


Google, the world’s largest Internet search portal, has corrected the Romanized name of the Korean marathon gold medalist of the 1936 Berlin Olympics from the Japanese rendering of Kitei Son to his original Korean name of Sohn Kee-chung, according to the VANK, a South Korean non-profit and non-governmental organization that campaigns to right wrong information overseas about the country.

Currently, a search of “Sohn Kee-chung” or “Kitei Son” on the English-language version of Google shows a knowledge graph for “Sohn Kee-chung” on the right side of the first results page. Until recently, it was “Kitei Son.” Since 2012, Google has been showing a graph based on data compiled from various information sources such as Wikipedia.

The VANK noticed on April 25, last year that Google used the Japanese-English rendering of the Korean marathoner’s name on its search results graph, while the search site showed the proper Korean rendering of his name on its Korean-language version. “We have consistently requested that Google correct the athlete’s name because we thought that leaving his name rendered in the Japanese way was an insult to Koreans who experienced Japan’s colonial rule,” said Park Gi-tae, who heads the VANK. “It is fortunate that the digital empire of Google, which holds a 95-percent share of the world’s mobile search market, has accepted our request.”

Seung-Kun Lee why@donga.com