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Lengthy Transliterated Korean Place Names

Many foreign visitors to Seoul find themselves struggling with the lengthy transliterated Korean place names, but armed with a few facts – and perhaps a smidgeon of practice – you’ll be able to distinguish
your Insadonggils from your Samcheongdongs, and perhaps even Changgyeonggung from Changdeokgung. The key lies in the suffixes
to these long words: gung, for example, means “palace”, and once removed you’re left with the slightly less bewildering two-syllable name of the complex in question – Gyeongbok Palace, and so on. The dong suffix means “district”, while gil means “road” – all
of a sudden, it’s possible to break Samcheongdonggil down, and identify it as a thoroughfare in the Samcheong district. Others that may be of use are gang and cheon, respectively used for waterways
large (the Hangang, for example) and small (Cheonggyecheon); mun, which means “gate” (Dongdaemun); and dae , which usually signifies
a university (Hongdae).

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