“For korea to become an advanced country, at least books and dictionaries in various fields
“For korea to become an advanced country, at least books and dictionaries in various fields
  • musa kim
  • 승인 2023.08.16 15:18
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Myongji Publishing House, the leader of publishing culture

Myongji Publishing House, the leader of publishing culture


By Kim Jong-do(Senior Editorial Writer)

With the development of the Internet and SNS, the number of readers is gradually decreasing and illegal copying is rampant, and the publishing industry is gradually losing its power. Not reading books is tantamount to our mental culture becoming more and more impoverished and the country's future becoming bleak. In fact, although the publishing industry was booming for a short time but never made a lot of money, and some publishers did a surprise show because they planned publications or had good timing


.As an expert on the Middle East, I have been to various countries in the Middle East for 40 years and have felt that ‘Arab people read a lot in books’. I attended the Seoul International Book Fair, which was held every year, and when I went there, it was embarrassing to find people who bought and brought books. I had never seen a case of buying a book on a cart.


However, as I  attended the Egypt International Cairo International Book Fair several times, I saw the whole family talking with their children and parents, buying books, putting them in carts or bags, and dragging them around as if they were coming to enjoy a book fair. In most of the Arab countries I have visited (the countries I have not visited are Yemen and Libya), many bookstores had often caught my eye.


Even if you go to Iran, you can see bookstores here and there, especially many poetry books. There are some Arab countries that are struggling economically for a while, but I am sure that someday, as long as the fountain of knowledge does not dry up, they will reach a time of spiritual and material prosperity.

The publishing industry in Korea is very difficult. This is proof that the mental world of the Korea is getting sick. The importance of reading is a truth that everyone knows well, even if it is not necessary to say it here. In spite of this, there is a publisher has published only books that do not make money throughout his lives in order to promote the publishing culture.

It is Myongji Publishing House with 45 years of history. The late Kim Sang-won, the first president of Myongji Publishing, said, “For Korea to become an advanced country, at least books and dictionaries in various fields of foreign languages need to be published and used as basic materials for overseas area studies.” In 2005, the current President Choi Kyung-soon, who is the son-in-law of President Kim Sang-won, who passed away, is struggling in the midst of difficulties to uphold the will.

More than 900 types of books have been published so far. Looking at the foreign language field published by Myongji Publishing House, it has published English, Japanese, French, German books and dictionaries with a wide readership in the market, but Myongji Publishing has no marketability and has little readership, especially in Arabic, Persian, Esperanto, Norwegian, and Portuguese. Tutal, Kazakh, Swedish, Lithuanian, Danish, Finnish, Bengali, Swahili, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian & Portuguese, Indonesian, Thai, Czech, Hindi, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Vietnamese, Turkic, Cambodian, Latin, Lithuanian Published dictionaries and tutorials, etc.

Some books don't even sell a single copy a year. In fact, since 2018, a law on the promotion of special foreign language education has been promulgated in Korea, and 52 special languages are required to be taught, but at most 15 languages are taught exclusively by four Universities. Currently, the enormous cost of special foreign language support is concentrated on only four Universities - Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Busan University of Foreign Studies, Dankook University, and Chungwoon University - giving the impression that they are giving preferential treatment.

52 languages can be activated only when benefits are given even if only 15 credits are opened in one language to meet the original purpose. Under the current law above, most of the 52 special foreign languages have institutional weaknesses that cannot be taught or learned in the educational field. If this is not resolved as soon as possible, the existing special language will also be criticized by public opinion. From this point of view, it can be seen that Myongji Publishing Co., had great foresight in publishing study books and dictionaries in special foreign language fields that the education authorities had not thought of before. And Myongji Publishing Co., Ltd. publishes books free of charge for professors and graduate students at financially struggling Universities to help them publish good books.

President Choi said that books are a good medium for deep thinking and are the best old friends of people who can open several books at the same time and access various knowledge and arguments. He appealed that the decline of the publishing world eventually leads to a weakening of national power, so that the government should institutionalize policy consideration every year so that reading can be activated.

Even with the development of the Internet and SNS these days, paper books are a repository of knowledge that we can always have close access unless there is a natural disaster or fire. Still, I applaud Myongji Publishing Co., which is fulfilling its mission by publishing books in fields that are indispensable to us.







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