Sino-Korean vocabulary

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Sino-Korean or Hanja-eo (Korean: 한자어, Hanja: 漢字) refers to the set of words in the Korean language vocabulary that originated from or were influenced by hanja. The Sino-Korean lexicon consists of both words loaned from Chinese and words coined in the Korean language using hanja.

Sino-Korean words are one of the three main types of vocabulary in Korean. The other two are native Korean words and foreign words imported from other languages, mostly from English.[1]

Sino-Korean words today make up about 60% of the Korean vocabulary,[1] though in actual speech (especially informally) native words are more common.[2]

Origins[edit]

Sino-Korean words are derived from literary Chinese as well as some from Sino-Japanese.

The formulae of (日/月/火/水/木/金/土)+曜日 in Japanese and Korean stem from an ancient Chinese usage in its horoscope, which is now considered obsolete in Modern Chinese.

English Korean in hangul Korean in hanja Japanese (Shinjitai/Kyūjitai) Chinese (Traditional/Simplified)
Hello / Goodbye 안녕 (annyeong) 安寧 お早う / 左様なら ohayō / sayōnara 你好 / 再見 Nǐhǎo / Zàijiàn
Gunpowder 화약 (hwayak) 火藥 火薬 kayaku 火藥 / 火药 Huǒyào
Tofu 두부 (dubu) 豆腐 豆腐 tōfu 豆腐 Dòufu
Penis 음경 (eumgyeong) 陰莖 陰茎 inkei 陰莖 / 阴茎 Yīnjīng
Automobile 자동차 (jadongcha) 自動車 自動車 jidōsha 汽車 / 汽车(自動/自动 means auto.)
President 대통령 (daetongnyeong) 大統領 大統領 daitōryō 總統 / 总统
Letter 편지 (pyeonji) 便紙,片紙 手紙 tegami 信 / 信函(紙/纸 means paper. 函, means "letter" in Classical Chinese. )
Tissue 휴지 (hyuji) 休紙 塵紙 chirigami, chirishi 抹手紙 / 抹手纸 (衛生紙 / 卫生纸 refers to toilet paper, not tissue which can be easily bought at a store to wipe your nose in case you sneeze.)
Anus 항문 (hangmun) 肛門 肛門 kōmon 肛門/肛门
Gift 선물 (seonmul) 膳物 土産/土產 miyage 禮物 / 礼物(土產 / 土产 means domestic products, often used as gifts.)
Moron 백치 (baekchi) 白痴 白痴 hakuchi 白痴
Newspaper 신문 (sinmun) 新聞 新聞 shinbun 報紙 / 报纸,報 / 报(新聞 / 新闻 means simply news in modern Chinese.)
Tab / bill (in a restaurant or bar) 외상 (oesang) 外上 勘定 kanjō 賬單/账单 Zhàngdān
Dining table 식탁 (siktak) 食卓 食卓 shokutaku 餐桌 (食 only means "food" in Mandarin, in most other dialects which still retains the meaning from Middle Chinese, it still means "eat". 餐, means "meal(s)" in Modern Chinese. 卓 and 桌 are two different words of different meanings in Modern Chinese. )
Check / cheque 수표 (supyo) 手票 小切手 kogitte 支票
Name card, business card 명함 (myeongham) 名銜/名啣 名刺 meishi 名片
Doctor 의사 (uisa) 醫師 医師/醫師 ishi, 医者/醫者 isha 醫生 / 医生, 西醫 / 西医 (This is an alternate term for "doctor" which literally means "a doctor who practices Western medicine") , 大夫(This is the term used for doctors who practiced Traditional Chinese medicine, and the meaning is transferred into "doctor", for anyone who practices medicine), and 醫師 / 医师 is alternately used in some formal circumstances, stemming from 中醫師 / 中医师, a doctor that practices Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Maid 식모 (singmo < sik-mo) / 하녀 (hanyeo) 食母/下女 女中 jochū 女傭 / 女佣, 女僕 / 女仆(下女 is the word used in Classical Chinese.)
Prohibit, cancel 휴지 (hyuji)/해지 (haeji)/취소 (chwiso) 休止/解止/取消 禁止 kinshi, 取消 torikeshi 禁止,阻止,取消
Study 공부 (Gongbu) 工夫 勉強 benkyō, 学習 gak(u)shuu/學 學習 / 学习
Airport 공항 (gonghang) 空港 空港 kūkō 機場/机场,空港
Airplane 비행기 (bihaenggi) 飛行機 飛行機 hikōki 飛機 / 飞机
Prisoner 수인 (suin) 囚人 囚人 shuujin 囚犯,犯人
Computer 전산기 (jeonsangi)
(←Rarely used)
電算機 電算機 densanki 電腦 / 电脑,計算機 / 计算机 (only 计算机 is used in Mainland China to mean "computer": 计算 is a direct translation of French "computer" meaning "To calculate", whereas in Hong Kong, Taiwan and all over the world, 電腦 is used to mean "computer":電 means "Electricity"/ "Power" needed to turn on the computer, and 腦, meaning "brain" is used because the way a computer calculates and memorizes is somewhat similar in function to the human brain.)
Introduction 소개 (sogae) 紹介 紹介 shōkai 介紹 / 介绍
Intercourse 성교 (seonggyo) 性交 性交 seikō 性交 Xìngjiāo
Case, Situation 경우 (gyeong-u) 境遇 場合 baai, 境遇 kyōguu/境/状況 情形,境遇,場合 / 场合
(One's) Whereabouts 행방 (haengbang) 行方 行方 yukue 行踪,去向
Foreign currency 외환 (oehwan) 外換 為替/爲替 kawase 兌換 / 兑换
Currency exchange 환전 (hwanjeon) 換錢 両替/兩替 ryōgae 換錢 / 换钱
Promise 약속 (yaksok)/언약 (eonyak) 約束/言約 約束 yakusoku 約定 / 约定,承諾 / 承诺 (約束 in modern Chinese means "restriction" and when used carries a negative connotation.)
Bomber (aircraft) 폭격기 (pokgyeokki) 爆擊機 爆撃機/爆擊機 bakugek(i)ki 轟炸機 / 轰炸机
Company, firm 회사 (hoesa) 會社 会社 kaisha/ 公司
faction 파벌 (pabeol) 派閥 派閥 habatsu / 派系
Sunday 일요일 (iryoil) 日曜日 日曜日 nichiyōbi/ 星期日, 周日(日 means "Day" in Chinese. 太陽, literally translated as "Sun", is the Chinese/Japanese name of Sun.)
Monday 월요일 (woryoil) 月曜日 月曜日 getsuyōbi/ 星期一, 周一 (月 means "Moon" in Chinese.)
Tuesday 화요일 (hwayoil) 火曜日 火曜日 kayōbi/ 星期二, 周二 (火 means "Fire" in Chinese. 火星, literally translated as "Fire star", is the Chinese/Japanese name of Mars.)
Wednesday 수요일 (suyoil) 水曜日 水曜日 suiyōbi/ 星期三, 周三 (水 means "Water" in Chinese. 水星, literally translated as "Water star", is the Chinese/Japanese name of Mercury.)
Thursday 목요일 (mogyoil) 木曜日 木曜日 mokuyōbi/ 星期四, 周四 (木 means "Wood" in Chinese. 木星, literally translated as "Wood star", is the Chinese/Japanese name of Jupiter.)
Friday 금요일 (geumyoil) 金曜日 金曜日 kin'yōbi/ 星期五, 周五 (金 means "Gold" in Chinese. 金星, literally translated as "Gold star", is the Chinese name of Venus. As a last name, 金 is romanized as "Kim" from 김 in Korean pronunciation via whereas 金 for Friday undergoes vowel centralization, as is the case in Cantonese.)
Saturday 토요일 (toyoil) 土曜日 土曜日 doyōbi/ 星期六, 周六 (土 means "earth" or "soil" in Chinese. 土星, literally translated as "Soil star", is the Chinese name of Saturn.)
The person in charge (of) 담당자 (damdangja) 担當者 担当者 tantōsha/担當者 負責人 / 负责人(担當/担当 is a synonym to 負責 / 负责 in modern Chinese.)
Movie, film, cinema 영화 (yeonghwa) 映畵 映画/映畵 eiga 電影 / 电影 (Movie in Chinese used to be called 映畵戲 / 映画戏, probably a borrowing from the Japanese term + 戲 / 戏 meaning "theater / theatre" )
Support 지원 (jiweon) 支援 支援 shien 支援,支持
Drive 운전 (unjeon) 運轉 運転 unten/ 駕駛 / 驾驶, 運行 / 运行

Some Sino-Korean words derive from Japanese kun'yomi words, that is, native Japanese words written in Chinese characters. When borrowed into Korean, the characters are given Sino-Korean pronunciations. (Note that in Japanese, these words are not considered to belong to the Sino-Japanese part of the vocabulary as they are native Japanese words.)

English Japanese
(in kanji)
Korean
(in hanja)
Korean
(in hangul)
Chinese term
(Cantonese Jyutping / Mandarin Pinyin)
assemble 組立,組み立て 組立 조립 組合/组合
kumi-tate jo.rip zou2hap6 / zǔhé
building 建物 建物 건물 建築物/建筑物,樓宇/楼宇
tate-mono geon.mul gin3zuk1mat6 / jiànzhùwù,lau4jyu5 / lóuyǔ
estimate 見積,見積り 見積 견적 估計/估计
mi-tsumori gyeon.jeok gu2gai3 / gūjì
share of stock 株式 株式 주식 股份
kabu-shiki ju.sik gu2fan6 / gǔfèn
match (competition) 試合 試合 시합 比賽/比赛
shi-ai si.hap bei2coi3 / bǐsài

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sohn, Ho-Min. The Korean Language (Section 1.5.3 "Korean vocabulary", p.12-13), Cambridge University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-521-36943-6
  2. ^ Writing and Literacy in Chinese, Korean and Japanese; Insup Taylor, Martin M. Taylor, Maurice Martin Taylor; 1995; John Benjamins Publishing; p.195