Sino-Korean vocabulary

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Sino-Korean vocabulary or Hanja (Korean한자; Hanja漢字) refers to Korean words of Chinese origin. Sino-Korean vocabulary includes words borrowed directly from Chinese, as well as new Korean words created from Chinese characters. These terms were probably borrowed during the era of Literary Chinese in Korea. About 60 percent of Korean words are of Chinese origin;[1] however, the percentage of Sino-Korean words in modern usage is estimated to be lower. Many words are often truncated, or altered and treated as native to the Korean language.

History[edit]

The use of Chinese and Chinese characters in Korea dates back to at least 194 BCE. While Sino-Korean words were widely used during the Three Kingdoms period, they became even more popular during the Silla period. During this time, male aristocrats changed their given names to Sino-Korean names. Additionally, the government changed all official titles and place names in the country to Sino-Korean.[1]

Sino-Korean words remained popular during the Goryeo and Joseon periods.[1] However, Sino-Korean vocabulary has continued to grow in South Korea, where the meanings of Chinese characters are used to produce new words in Korean that do not exist in Chinese. By contrast, North Korean policy has called for many Sino-Korean words to be replaced by native Korean terms.[2]

Usage[edit]

Sino-Korean words constitute about 60 percent of South Korean vocabulary, the remainder being native Korean words and loanwords from other languages, mostly English. Sino-Korean words are typically used in formal or literary contexts,[3] and to express abstract or complex ideas.[4] Almost all Korean surnames and most Korean given names are Sino-Korean.[1] Additionally, Korean numerals can be expressed with Sino-Korean and native Korean words, though each set of numerals has different purposes.[4]

Sino-Korean words may be written either in the Korean alphabet, known as Hangul, or in Chinese characters, known as Hanja.[5]

Examples[edit]

Words borrowed from Chinese[edit]

Sino-Korean words borrowed directly from Chinese come mainly from Chinese classics, literature, and colloquial Chinese.[2]

Word Hangul (RR) Hanja Hanja meaning Ref
parents 부모 (bumo) 父母 "father mother" [6]
student 학생 (haksaeng) 學生 "study student" [7]
sun 태양 (taeyang) 太陽 "great light" [8]
question 질문 (jilmun) 質問 "background ask" [9]

Words created in Korea using Chinese characters[edit]

These words below were created in Korea using Chinese characters. They are not used in China, Japan, nor Vietnam.

Definition Hangeul Revised Romanization Hanja
false; rumor; canard 낭설 nangseol 浪說
marital compatibility; well-suited; well-matched 궁합 gunghap 宮合
flu; influenza; common cold 감기 gamgi 感氣
egg 계란 gyeran 鷄卵
deceptive; trickster 고단수 godansu 高段數
hardship; trouble; suffering 고생 gosaeng 苦生
notebook 공책 gongchaek 空冊
determiner (grammar); prenoun 관형사 gwanhyeongsa 冠形詞
prison; penitentiary 교도소 gyodoso 矯導所
assortment (of goods) 구색 gusaek 具色
a joke 농담 nongdam 弄談
unity; join; combine 단합 danhap 團合
reply; response; answer 답장 dapjang 答狀
fortune; lucky 다행 dahaeng 多幸
cod(fish) 대구 daegu 大口
mass transportation; public transit 대중교통 daejung-gyotong 大衆交通
site 대지 daeji 垈地
indebtedness 덕분 deokbun 德分
subcontract 도급 dogeup 都給
unmarried young man; bachelor; youngster 도령 doryeong 道令
flu; influenza 독감 dokgam 毒感
same age 동갑 donggap 同甲
sense of kinship 동질감 dongjilgam 同質感
beer 맥주 maekju 麥酒
pollck 명태 myeongtae 明太
(national) holiday 명절 myeongjeol 名節
business card containing name 명함 myeongham 名銜
carpenter 목수 moksu 木手
extinction; annihilation 몰사 molsa 沒死
massacre; slaughter; extermination 몰살 molsal 沒殺
hibiscus 무궁화 mugunghwa 無窮花
visit to sick person 문병 munbyeong 問病
questioning; interrogating 문초 muncho 問招
uneasy; uncomfortable; to be apologetic 미안 mian 未安
public harm 민폐 minpye 民弊
sitting cushion; sitting mat 방석 bangseok 方席
lottery ticket 복권 bokgwon 福券
real estate agency 복덕방 bokdeokbang 福德房
off-season; slow season 비수기 bisugi 非需期
ice rink 빙상장 bingsangjang 氷上場
cemetery; grave; tomb 산소 sanso 山所
fish (specifically prepared as food) 생선 saengseon 生鮮
stone mason 석수 seoksu 石手
present; gift 선물 seonmul 膳物
peak season; busy season 성수기 seongsugi 盛需期
(your) name 성함 seongham 姓銜
sexual harrassment 성희롱 seonghuirong 性戲弄
duty; responsibility; task 소임 soim 所任
precious; valuable 소중 sojung 所重
trip; picnic; excursion 소풍 sopung 逍風
cheque 수표 supyo 手票
beginning of; start of; embark upon 시작 sijak 始作
earnestly request 신신당부 sinsindangbu 申申當付
child actor or actress 아역 ayeok 兒役
seize; distrainment; sequestration 압류 amnyu (apryu) 押留
bad term; grudge 앙숙 angsuk 怏宿
uproar; clamor; commotion 야단 yadan 惹端
socks 양말 yangmal 洋襪
heartlessness; mercilessness 야박 yabak 野薄
as expected; also 역시 yeoksi 亦是
yellow-green; light green 연두 yeondu 軟豆
alien; extraterrestrial 외계인 oegyein 外界人
native speaker 원어민 woneomin 原語民
exclave 월경지 wolgyeongji 越境地
beginning; commencing 위시 wisi 爲始
lean on; depend on; rely on 의지 uiji 依支
move (to, into, from) 이사 isa 移徙
rice-planting machine 이앙기 ianggi 移秧機
behalf 자기편 jagipyeon 自己便
determination; decision; plan 작정 jakjeong 作定
gloves; mittens 장갑 janggap 掌匣 / 掌甲
lease; charter 전세 jeonse 專貰
procedure (for); process (of); steps; proceedings 절차 jeolcha 節次
lovers' talk 정담 jeongdam 情談
identity 정체성 jeongcheseong 正體性
bakery; bakeshop 제과점 jegwajeom 製菓店
gas station 주유소 juyuso 注油所
kettle 주전자 jujeonja 酒煎子
sorry; pardon; regrettable 죄송 joesong 罪悚
purse; wallet 지갑 jigap 紙匣
order; turn; table of contents 차례 charye 次例
bookstore 책방 chaekbang 冊房
window 창문 changmun 窓門
ceiling 천장 cheonjang 天障
wedding invitation 청첩장 cheongcheopjang 請牒狀
elementary school 초등학교 chodeung-hakgyo 初等學敎
elementary school student 초등학생 chodeung-haksaeng 初等學生
spring fever 춘곤증 chungonjeung 春困症
release; launch 출시 chulsi 出市
stairs; stairway; staircase 층계 cheunggye 層階
friend 친구 chingu 親舊
spring of clock; clockwork 태엽 taeyeop 胎葉
consilience 통섭 tongseop 統攝
convenience store 편의점 pyeoneuijeom 便宜店
letter; epistle 편지 pyeonji 便紙
a visit; a trip; travelling 행차 haengcha 行次
brag; bluff; boast 허풍 heopung 虛風
cash 현찰 hyeonchal 現札
circumstances; conditions 형편 hyeongpyeon 形便
go crazy; be out of one's mind 환장 hwanjang 換腸
change of seasons; in-between seasons 환절기 hwanjeolgi 換節期

Words borrowed from Sino-Japanese[edit]

Sino-Korean words borrowed from Sino-Japanese are used only in Korean and Japanese, not in Chinese.[2]

Word Hangul (RR) Hanja Hanja meaning[1] Ref
airplane 비행기 (bihaenggi) 飛行機 "fly go machine" [10]
movie 영화 (yeonghwa) 映畫 "shine picture" [11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Sohn, Ho-Min (2006). Korean Language in Culture And Society. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 44–55. ISBN 0824826949.
  2. ^ a b c Lee, Peter H. (2003). A History of Korean Literature. Cambridge University Press. pp. 21–25. ISBN 1139440861.
  3. ^ Choo, Miho (2008). Using Korean: A Guide to Contemporary Usage. Cambridge University Press. pp. 85–92. ISBN 978-1139471398.
  4. ^ a b Byon, Andrew Sangpil (2017). Modern Korean Grammar: A Practical Guide. Taylor & Francis. pp. 3–18. ISBN 978-1351741293.
  5. ^ Choo, Miho; O'Grady, William (1996). Handbook of Korean Vocabulary: An Approach to Word Recognition and Comprehension. University of Hawaii Press. pp. ix. ISBN 0824818156.
  6. ^ "父母". Naver Hanja Dictionary (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  7. ^ "學生". Naver Hanja Dictionary (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  8. ^ "太陽". Naver Hanja Dictionary (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  9. ^ "質問". Naver Hanja Dictionary (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  10. ^ "飛行機". Naver Hanja Dictionary (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  11. ^ "映畫". Naver Hanja Dictionary (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-02-19.