From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Hunmin Jeongeum)
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the Korean document. For the Korean alphabet, see Hangul.
Korean name
Hangul (modern Korean)
훈〮민져ᇰ〮ᅙᅳᆷ (original name)
Revised Romanization Hunminjeong(-)eum
McCune–Reischauer Hunminjŏngŭm

Hunminjeongeum (lit. The Correct/Proper Sounds for the Instruction of the People) is a document describing an entirely new and native script for the Korean language. The script was initially named after the publication, but later came to be known as hangul. It was created so that the common people illiterate in hanja could accurately and easily read and write the Korean language. It was announced in Volume 102 of the Annals of King Sejong, and its formal supposed publication date, October 9, 1446, is now Hangul Day in South Korea. The Annals place its invention to the 25th year of Sejong's reign, corresponding to 1443-1444.[1]


The publication is written in Classical Chinese and contains a preface, the alphabet letters (jamo), and brief descriptions of their corresponding sounds. It is later supplemented by a longer document called Hunminjeongeum Haerye that is designated as a national treasure No. 70. To distinguish it from its supplement, Hunminjeongeum is sometimes called the "Samples and Significance Edition of Hunminjeongeum" (훈민정음예의본; 訓民正音例義本).

The Classical Chinese (漢文/hanmun) of the Hunminjeongeum has been partly translated into Middle Korean. This translation is found together with Worinseokbo, and is called the Hunminjeongeum Eonhaebon.

The first paragraph of the document reveals King Sejong's motivation for creating hangul:

故愚民 有所欲言
  • Mix of hanja (Chinese characters) and Hangul (Eonhaebon):[2]
Hunmin Jeongeum mixed.svg
  • Rendered into written Korean (Eonhaebon):[2]
Hunmin Jeongeum.svg
  • Translation (metaphrase):
  • Translation (paraphrase):


The manuscript of the original Hunminjeongeum has two versions:

  • Seven pages written in Classical Chinese, except where the Hangul letters are mentioned, as can be seen in the image at the top of this article. Three copies are left:
    • The one found at the beginning of the Haerye copy
    • The one included in Sejongsillok (세종실록; 世宗實錄; "The Sejong Chronicles"), Volume 113.
  • The Eonhaebon, 36 pages, extensively annotated in hangul, with all hanja transcribed with small hangul to their lower right. The Hangul were written in both ink-brush and geometric styles. Four copies are left:
    • At the beginning of Worinseokbo (월인석보; 月印釋譜), an annotated Buddhist scripture
    • One preserved by Park Seungbin
    • One preserved by Kanazawa, a Japanese person
    • One preserved by the Japanese Ministry of Royal Affairs


  1. ^ Lee, Iksop; Ramsey, S. Robert (2000). The Korean language. Albany, NY: State Univ. of New York Press. pp. 31–32. ISBN 0791448312. 
  2. ^ a b "Hunminjeongeum Eonhaebon". Retrieved July 14, 2006.  Linked from KTUG's Hanyang PUA Table Project. Based on data from The 21st Century Sejong Project

External links[edit]