Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Korean currency

From:Caleb Hines <cph9fa@...>
Date:Saturday, August 7, 2004, 14:01
At my new job with Boeing, my project is to write software for the F-15K, a
new version of the F-15 for Koreans. The other day, my mentor and I were
taking a soda break (there's a fridge, with a nearby tray of coins in which
you are expected to pay) when he noticed a foreign coin in the quarter's
portion of the tray. He recognized it as oriental, but didn't know anything
beyond that. The other day, I had been reading a cultural brief on Korea, so
I was able to recognize the "letters" on the coin as Korean hangul. I put an
extra quarter into the tray and retrieved the Korean one. Talking it home, I
looked up, and managed to translitterate the symbols.

On one side was a picture of a crane with the word |obaekwon| = /o.b&k.wVn/
The other side had the number 500 and the word |hangukeunhaeng| =

The only portion I recognized at first was /han.guk/ which refers to Korea.
Doing a google on "eunhaeng" (/i\n.h&N/) I discovered it means bank (or a
ginko tree).
So |hangukeunhaeng| = /han.guk.i\n.h&N/ = "Bank of Korea"

A little more googling, and I found out that |obaekwon| breaks down like
|obaek| = /o.b&k/ = "500" (hence the number 500 on the other side)
|won| = /wVn/ = the basic Korean unit of currerncy.
So |obaekwon| = /o.b&k.wVn/ = 500 won.

I found an online currency calculator and discovered that 500 won is about
43 cents -- a net gain of 18 cents for me!