Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Translate Korean Genealogy and Given Names

How can AI be used for Korean Genealogy? How accurate and useful is it? Actually, I’m working on training some models that should be quite useful… but in the meantime here are some examples of what you can do with popular AI engines:

Translating an Image from a Notional JokBo (Korean Genealogical Record) using Google Translate:

Converting HanJa records to HanGul can be a really helpful step in interpreting Korean Genealogy. The example above didn’t result in a perfect translation to HanGul, but it did a really good job and would save a lot of time.

Translating Korean Names:

I received a request to translate a Korean name. Here is how Google’s Bard and OpenAI’s ChatGPT 3.5 handled it.

I tried using AI to accomplish the following instruction (prompt): “Write the Korean name SungJoon in HanGul and list the HanJa possiblilties for each syllable and the meaning in English of those HanJa characters.”

Google’s Bard AI responded with this:

Sure. Here are the Hanja possibilities for each syllable of the Korean name SungJoon, along with their English meanings:

성 (seong)

盛 (seong): to flourish, to prosper
升 (seung): to rise, to ascend
成 (seong): to become, to achieve
聖 (seong): holy, sacred
星 (seong): star
聲 (seong): sound, voice
醒 (seong): to wake up, to become aware
昇 (seung): to rise, to ascend
乘 (seung): to ride, to mount
森 (seon): forest, woods
준 (jun)

俊 (jun): handsome, elegant
準 (jun): accurate, precise
遵 (jun): to follow, to obey
君 (jun): king, lord
隼 (jun): falcon
峻 (jun): steep, rugged
琿 (jun): jade
玧 (jun): bright, brilliant
玢 (jun): precious stone
玔 (jun): to polish, to refine
The meaning of the name SungJoon will vary depending on the Hanja used. For example, 성준 with the Hanja 盛駿 means “to flourish and advance”.

I also tried ChatGPT 3.5, and it gave this response:

The Korean name “SungJoon” can be written in Hangul as “성준.” Each syllable represents a different sound:

“성” (Seong): 성 (Sung) can have several Hanja possibilities, including 成 (growth, success), 城 (castle, city), or 聲 (sound, voice).
“준” (Joon): 준 (Joon) can also have various Hanja options, such as 俊 (talented, handsome), 峻 (steep), or 准 (standard, accurate).
Here are some common Hanja characters and their meanings that can be associated with each syllable:

“성” (Sung):
成: growth, success
城: castle, city
聲: sound, voice
“준” (Joon):
俊: talented, handsome
峻: steep
准: standard, accurate
It’s important to note that the meanings provided above are general interpretations of the Hanja characters, and the actual meaning of a name can vary depending on personal and cultural preferences.

Not bad… they both seemed to do well.

Writing English names in Korean:

OpenAI’s ChatGPT 3.5 seemed to do a very good job of writing English names in Korean HanGul characters. Google’s Bard AI struggled with some names but did well with others.

Other Ideas?

Fascinating progress…

Do you have other ideas for how to apply AI to Genealogy? What kind of results are you getting?

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