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Hanja Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanja

Hanja
Script type
Time period
4th century BCE – present
LanguagesKorean, Classical Chinese
Related scripts
Parent systems
Sister systems
Kanji, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Khitan script, Chữ Hán, Chữ Nôm, Jurchen script, Tangut script
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Hani (500), ​Han (Hanzi, Kanji, Hanja)
Unicode
Unicode alias
Han
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and ⟨ ⟩, see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.
Hanja
Hanja.svg
Korean name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised RomanizationHanja
McCune–ReischauerHancha

Hanja (Korean한자; Hanja: 漢字, Korean pronunciation: [ha(ː)nt͈ɕa]), alternatively known as Hancha, is a Korean writing system using Chinese characters (Chinese: 漢字; pinyin: hànzì).[1] Hanja was used as early as the Gojoseon period, the first ever Korean kingdom.

Hanja-eo (한자어, 漢字) refers to Sino-Korean vocabulary, which can be written with Hanja, and hanmun (한문, 漢文) refers to Classical Chinese writing, although "Hanja" is also sometimes used to encompass both concepts. Because Hanja never underwent any major reforms, they are similar to kyūjitai and traditional Chinese characters, although the stroke orders for some characters are slightly different. For example, the characters and as well as and .[2] Only a small number of Hanja characters were modified or are unique to Korean, with the rest corresponding to the traditional Chinese characters. By contrast, many of the Chinese characters currently in use in mainland China, Malaysia and Singapore have been simplified, and contain fewer strokes than the corresponding Hanja characters. In Japan, simplified forms of Chinese characters known as shinjitai were also enacted, but are not as extensive. During the 1970s, Singapore had also briefly enacted its own simplification campaign, but eventually adopted the standard simplification of mainland China to avoid confusion.

Although a phonetic Hangul, also known as Chosŏn'gŭl in North Korea, had been created by Sejong the Great in 1446 through the promulgation of the Hunminjeongeum, it did not come into widespread official use until the late 19th and early 20th century.[3][4] Thus, until that time it was necessary to be fluent in reading and writing Hanja to be literate in Korean, as Korean documents, history, literature and records throughout its history until the contemporary period were written primarily in Literary Chinese using Hanja as its primary script. Therefore, a good working knowledge of Chinese characters is still important for anyone who wishes to interpret and study older texts from Korea, or anyone who wishes to read scholarly texts in the humanities. A high proficiency in Hanja is also useful for understanding the etymology of Sino-Korean words as well as to enlarge one's Korean vocabulary.[5]

Hanja were once used to write native Korean words, in a variety of systems collectively known as idu, but by the 20th century Koreans used hanja only for writing Sino-Korean words, while writing native vocabulary and loanwords from other languages in Hangul. By the 21st century, even Sino-Korean words are written in the Hangul alphabet most of the time, with the corresponding Chinese character sometimes written next to it to prevent confusion if there are other characters or words with the same Hangul spelling. According to the Standard Korean Language Dictionary published by the National Institute of Korean Language (NIKL), approximately half (50%) of Korean words are Sino-Korean, mostly in academic fields (science, government, and society).[6] Other dictionaries, such as the Urimal Keun Sajeon, claim this number might be as low as roughly 30%.[7][8]

History[edit]

Hanja: Hanmun[edit]

The calligraphy of Korean scholar, poet and painter Gim Jeonghui (김정희; 金正喜) of the early nineteenth century. Like most educated Koreans from the Three Kingdom period until the fall of the Joseon Dynasty in 1910, Gim Jeong-hui composed most of his works in hanmun or literary Chinese.

There is no traditionally accepted date for when literary Chinese (한문; 漢文; hanmun) written in Chinese characters (한자; 漢字; hanja) entered Korea. Early Chinese dynastic histories, the only sources for very early Korea, do not mention a Korean writing system. During the 3rd century BC, Chinese migrations into the peninsula occurred due to war in northern China and the earliest archaeological evidence of Chinese writing are dated to this period. A large number of inscribed knife money from pre--Lelang sites along the Yalu River have been found. A sword dated to 222 BC with Chinese engraving was unearthed in Pyongyang.[9]

From 108 BC to 313 AD, the Han dynasty established the Four Commanderies of Han in northern Korea and institutionalized the Chinese language.[10] According to the Samguk Sagi, Goguryeo (고구려; 高句麗) had hanmun from the beginning of its existence, which starts in 37 BC.[11] It also says that the king of Goguryeo composed a poem in 17 BC. The Gwanggaeto Stele, dated to 414, is the earliest securely dated relic bearing hanmun inscriptions. Hanmun became commonplace in Goguryeo during the 5th and 6th centuries and according to the Book of Zhou, the Chinese classics were available in Goguryeo by the end of the 6th century. The Samguk Sagi mentions written records in Baekje (백제; 百濟) beginning in 375 and Goguryeo annals prior to 600.[12] Japanese chronicles mention Baekje people as teachers of hanmun. According to the Book of Liang, the people of Silla (신라; 新羅) did not have writing in the first half of the 6th century but this may have been only referring to agreements and contracts, represented by notches on wood. The Bei Shi, covering the period 386-618, says that the writing, armour, and weapons in Silla were the same as those in China. The Samguk Sagi says that records were kept in Silla starting in 545.[13]

Some western writers claimed that knowledge of Chinese entered Korea with the spread of Buddhism, which occurred around the 4th century.[10] Traditionally Buddhism is believed to have been introduced to Goguryeo in 372, Baekje in 384, and Silla in 527.[14]

Another major factor in the adoption of hanmun was the adoption of the gwageo (과거; 科擧; gwageo), copied from the Chinese imperial examination, open to all freeborn men. Special schools were set up for the well-to-do and the nobility across Korea to train new scholar officials for civil service. Adopted by Silla and Goryeo, the gwageo system was maintained by Goryeo after the unification of Korea until the end of the nineteenth century. The scholarly élite began learning the hanja by memorising the Thousand Character Classic (천자문; 千字文; Cheonjamun), Three Character Classic (삼자경; 三字經; Samja Gyeong) and Hundred Family Surnames (백가성; 百家姓; Baekja Seong). Passage of the gwageo required the thorough ability to read, interpret and compose passages of works such as the Analects ((논어; 論語; Non-eo), Great Learning (대학; 大學; Daehak), Doctrine of the Mean (중용; 中庸; Jung-yong), Mencius (맹자; 孟子; Maengja), Classic of Poetry (시경; 詩經; Sigyeong), Book of Documents (서경; 書經; Seogyeong), Classic of Changes (역경; 易經; Yeon-gyeong), Spring and Autumn Annals (춘추; 春秋; Chuncho) and Book of Rites (예기; 禮記; Yegi). Other important works include Sūnzǐ's Art of War (손자병법; 孫子兵法; Sonja Byeongbeop) and Selections of Refined Literature (문선; 文選; Munseon).

The Korean scholars were very proficient in literary Chinese. The craftsmen and scholars of Baekje were renowned in Japan, and were eagerly sought as teachers due to their proficiency in hanmun. Korean scholars also composed all diplomatic records, government records, scientific writings, religious literature and much poetry in hanmun, demonstrating that the Korean scholars were not just reading Chinese works but were actively composing their own. Well-known examples of Chinese-language literature in Korea include Three Kingdoms History (삼국사기; 三國史記; Samguk Sagi), Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms (삼국유사; 三國遺事; Samguk Yusa), New Stories of the Golden Turtle (금오신화; 金鰲新話; Geumo Sinhwa), The Cloud Dream of the Nine (구운몽; 九雲夢; Gu Unmong), Musical Canon (악학궤범; 樂學軌範; Akhak Gwebeom), The Story of Hong Gildong (홍길동전; 洪吉童傳; Hong Gildong Jeon) and Licking One's Lips at the Butcher's Door (도문대작; 屠門大嚼; Domun Daejak).

Adaptation of hanja to Korean[edit]

The Chinese language, however, was quite different from the Korean language, consisting of terse, often monosyllabic words with a strictly analytic, SVO structure in stark contrast to the generally polysyllabic, very synthetic, SOV structure, with various grammatical endings that encoded person, levels of politeness and case. Despite the adoption of literary Chinese as the written language, Chinese never replaced Korean as the spoken language, even amongst the scholars that had immersed themselves into its study.

The first attempts to make literary Chinese texts more accessible to Korean readers were hanmun passages written in Korean word order. This would later develop into the gugyeol (구결; 口訣) or 'separated phrases,' system. Chinese texts were broken into meaningful blocks, and in the spaces were inserted hanja used to represent the sound of native Korean grammatical endings. As literary Chinese was very terse, leaving much to be understood from context, insertion of occasional verbs and grammatical markers helped to clarify the meaning. For instance, the hanja '' was used for its native Korean gloss whereas '' was used for its Sino-Korean pronunciation, and combined into '爲尼' and read hani (하니), 'to do (and so).'[15] Special symbols were sometimes used to aid in the reordering of words in approximation of Korean grammar. It was similar to the kanbun (漢文) system developed in Japan to render Chinese texts. The system was not a translation of Chinese into Korean, but an attempt to make Korean speakers knowledgeable in hanja overcome the difficulties in interpreting Chinese texts. Although it was developed by scholars of the early Goryeo Kingdom (918 - 1392), gugyeol was of particular importance during the Joseon period, extending into the first decade of the twentieth century, since all civil servants were required to be able to read, translate and interpret Confucian texts and commentaries.[16]

The Korean Baegun Hwasang Chorok Buljo Jikji Simche Yojeol (백운화상초록불조직지심체요절; 白雲和尙抄錄佛祖直指心體要節) or roughly 'Anthology of Great Buddhist Priests' Zen Teachings' is the oldest example of a book printed with moveable type and was printed in Korea in 1377, but is written in literary Chinese.

The first attempt at transcribing Korean in hanja was the idu (이두; 吏讀), or 'official reading,' system that began to appear after 500 AD. In this system, the hanja were chosen for their equivalent native Korean gloss. For example, the hanja '不冬' signifies 'no winter' or 'not winter' and has the formal Sino-Korean pronunciation of (부동) budong, similar to Mandarin bù dōng. Instead, it was read as andeul (안들) which is the Middle Korean pronunciation of the characters' native gloss and is ancestor to modern anneunda (않는다), 'do not' or 'does not.' The various idu conventions were developed in the Goryeo period but was particularly associated with the jung-in (중인; 中人), the upper middle class of the early Joseon period.[17]

A subset of idu was known as hyangchal (향찰; 鄕札), 'village notes,' and was a form of idu particularly associated with the hyangga (향가; 鄕歌) the old poetry compilations and some new creations preserved in the first half of the Goryeo period when its popularity began to wane.[10] In the hyangchal or 'village letters' system, there was free choice in how a particular hanja was used. For example, to indicate the topic of Princess Shenhua, the half-sister of Emperor Jiajing of the Ming Dynasty was recorded as '善化公主主隱' in hyangchal and was read as (선화공주님은), seonhwa gongju-nim-eun where '善化公主' is read in Sino-Korean, as it is a Chinese name and the Sino-Korean term for 'princess' was already adopted as a loan word. The hanja '主隱,' however, were read according to their native pronunciation but was not used for its literal meaning signifying 'the prince steals' but the native postpositions () nim, the honorific marker used after professions and titles, and eun, the topic marker. In mixed script, this would be rendered as '善化公主님은.' The idu and its hyangchal variant were similar to the Japanese man'yogana (万葉仮名) system that would develop much later in Japan. Idu and its hyangchal variant were mostly replaced by mixed-script writing with hangul although idu was not officially discontinued until 1894 when reforms abolished its usage in administrative records of civil servants. Even with idu, most literature and official records were still recorded in literary Chinese until 1910.[17][16]

Decline of Hanja[edit]

The foremost problem at the centre of this debate is the use of Hanja. Mixed script was a commonly used means of writing, although Hangŭl exclusive writing has been used concurrently, in Korea after the decline of literary Chinese, known as hanmun (Korean: 한문; Hanja: 漢文). Mixed script could be commonly found in non-fiction writing, news papers, etc. until the enacting of Park Chung-hee's 5 Year Plan for Hangŭl Exclusivity[18] hangŭl jŏnyong ogaenyŏn gyehuik an (Korean: 한글전용 5개년 계획안; Hanja: 한글專用 5個年 計劃案) in 1968 banned the use and teaching of Hanja in public schools, as well as forbade its use in the military, with the goal of completely eliminating Hanja in writing by 1972 through legislative and executive means. However, due to public backlash, in 1972 Park's government allowed for the teaching of Hanja in special classes but maintained a ban on Hanja use in textbooks and other learning materials outside of the classes. This reverse step however, was optional so the availability of Hanja education was dependent on the school one went to. Park's Hanja ban was not formally lifted until 1992 under the government of Kim Young-Sam. In 1999 the government of Kim Dae-Jung actively promoted Hanja by placing it on signs on the road, at bus stops, and in subways. In 1999 Han Mun was reintroduced as a school elective and in 2001 the Hanja Proficiency Test hanja nŭngryŏk gŏmjŏng sihŏm (Korean: 한자능력검정시험; Hanja: 漢字能力檢定試驗) was introduced. In 2005 an older law, the Law Concerning Hangul Exclusivity hangŭl jŏnyonge gwahak pŏmnyul (Korean: 한글전용에 관한 법률; Hanja: 한글專用에 關한 法律) was repealed as well. In 2013 all elementary schools in Seoul started teaching Hanja. However, the result is that Koreans who were educated in this period having never been formally educated in Hanja are unable to use them and thus the use of Hanja has plummeted in orthography until the modern day. Where Hanja is now very rarely used and is almost only used for abbreviations in newspaper headlines (e.g. 中 for China, 韓 for Korea, 美 for the United States, 日 for Japan, etc.), for clarification in text where a word might be confused for another due to homophones (e.g. 이사장(李 社長) vs. 이사장(理事長)), or for stylistic use such as the 辛 (Korean: 신라면; Hanja: 辛拉麵) used on Shin Ramyŏn packaging.

A major motivation for the introduction of Chinese characters into Korea was the spread of Buddhism. The major Chinese text that introduced Hanja to Koreans, however, was not a religious text but the Chinese text Cheonjamun (천자문; 千字文; Thousand Character Classic).

Although Koreans had to learn Classical Chinese to be properly literate for the most part, some additional systems were developed which used simplified forms of Chinese characters that phonetically transcribe Korean, including hyangchal (향찰; 鄕札), gugyeol (구결; 口訣), and idu (이두; 吏讀).

One way of adapting Hanja to write Korean in such systems (such as Gugyeol) was to represent native Korean grammatical particles and other words solely according to their pronunciation. For example, Gugyeol uses the characters 爲尼 to transcribe the Korean word "hăni", which in modern Korean means "does, and so". In Chinese, however, the same characters are read in Mandarin as the expression "wéi ní", meaning "becoming a nun". This is a typical example of Gugyeol words where the radical () is read in Korean for its meaning (hă—"to do"), whereas the suffix , ni (meaning "nun"), is used phonetically.

Hanja were the sole means of writing Korean until King Sejong the Great invented and promoted Hangul in the 15th century. Even after the invention of Hangul, however, most Korean scholars continued to write in hanmun, although Hangul did see considerable popular use.

Hangul effectively replaced Hanja in official and scholarly writing only in the 20th century. Since June 1949, Hanja have not officially been used in North Korea, and, in addition, most texts are now most commonly written horizontally instead of vertically. Many words borrowed from Chinese have also been replaced in the North with native Korean words. Nevertheless, a large number of Chinese-borrowed words are still widely used in the North (although written in Hangul), and Hanja still appear in special contexts, such as recent North Korean dictionaries.[19] The replacement has been less total in South Korea where, although usage has declined over time, some Hanja remain in common usage in some contexts.

Character formation[edit]

Each Hanja is composed of one of 214 radicals plus in most cases one or more additional elements. The vast majority of Hanja use the additional elements to indicate the sound of the character, but a few Hanja are purely pictographic, and some were formed in other ways.

The historical use of Hanja in Korea has had a change over time. Hanja became prominent in use by the elite class between the 3rd and 4th centuries by the Three Kingdoms. The use came from Chinese that migrated into Korea. With them they brought the writing system Hanja. Thus the hanja being used came from the characters already being used by the Chinese at the time.

Since Hanja was primarily used by the elite and scholars, it was hard for others to learn, thus much character development was limited. Scholars in the 4th century used this to study and write Confucian classics. Character formation is also coined to the Idu form which was a Buddhist writing system for Chinese characters. This practice however was limited due to the opinion of Buddhism whether it was favorable at the time or not.

Eumhun[edit]

To aid in understanding the meaning of a character, or to describe it orally to distinguish it from other characters with the same pronunciation, character dictionaries and school textbooks refer to each character with a combination of its sound and a word indicating its meaning. This dual meaning-sound reading of a character is called eumhun (음훈; 音訓; from "sound" + "meaning," "teaching").

The word or words used to denote the meaning are often—though hardly always—words of native Korean (i.e., non-Chinese) origin, and are sometimes archaic words no longer commonly used.

Education[edit]

South[edit]

South Korean primary schools ceased the teaching of Hanja in elementary schools in the 1970s, although they are still taught as part of the mandatory curriculum in grade 6. They are taught in separate courses in South Korean high schools, separately from the normal Korean-language curriculum. Formal Hanja education begins in grade 7 (junior high school) and continues until graduation from senior high school in grade 12.

A total of 1,800 Hanja are taught: 900 for junior high, and 900 for senior high (starting in grade 10).[20] Post-secondary Hanja education continues in some liberal-arts universities.[21] The 1972 promulgation of basic Hanja for educational purposes changed on December 31, 2000, to replace 44 Hanja with 44 others.[22]

South Korea's Ministry of Education generally encourages all primary schools to offer Hanja classes. Officials said that learning Chinese characters could enhance students' Korean-language proficiency.[23] Initially announced as a mandatory requirement, it is now considered optional.[24]

North[edit]

Though North Korea rapidly abandoned the general use of Hanja soon after independence,[25] the number of Hanja taught in primary and secondary schools is actually greater than the 1,800 taught in South Korea.[26] Kim Il-sung had earlier called for a gradual elimination of the use of Hanja,[27] but by the 1960s, he had reversed his stance; he was quoted as saying in 1966, "While we should use as few Sinitic terms as possible, students must be exposed to the necessary Chinese characters and taught how to write them."[28]

As a result, a Chinese-character textbook was designed for North Korean schools for use in grades 5–9, teaching 1,500 characters, with another 500 for high school students.[29] College students are exposed to another 1,000, bringing the total to 3,000.[30]

Uses[edit]

Because many different Hanja—and thus, many different words written using Hanja—often share the same sounds, two distinct Hanja words (Hanjaeo) may be spelled identically in the phonetic Hangul alphabet. Hanja's language of origin, Chinese, has many homophones, and Hanja words became even more homophonic when they came into Korean, since Korean lacks a tonal system, which is how Chinese distinguishes many words that would otherwise be homophonic. For example, while , , and are all phonetically distinct in Mandarin (pronounced dào, dāo, and dǎo respectively), they are all pronounced do (도) in Korean. For this reason, Hanja are often used to clarify meaning, either on their own without the equivalent Hangul spelling or in parentheses after the Hangul spelling as a kind of gloss. Hanja are often also used as a form of shorthand in newspaper headlines, advertisements, and on signs, for example the banner at the funeral for the sailors lost in the sinking of ROKS Cheonan (PCC-772).[31]

Print media[edit]

A packet of Shin Ramyun, the Chinese character , meaning "spicy", is prominently reflected

In South Korea, Hanja are used most frequently in ancient literature, legal documents, and scholarly monographs, where they often appear without the equivalent Hangul spelling. Usually, only those words with a specialized or ambiguous meaning are printed in Hanja. In mass-circulation books and magazines, Hanja are generally used rarely, and only to gloss words already spelled in Hangul when the meaning is ambiguous. Hanja are also often used in newspaper headlines as abbreviations or to eliminate ambiguity.[32]

In formal publications, personal names are also usually glossed in Hanja in parentheses next to the Hangul. Aside from academic usage, Hanja are often used for advertising or decorative purposes in South Korea, and appear frequently in athletic events and cultural parades, packaging and labeling, dictionaries and atlases. For example, the Hanja (sin or shin, meaning spicy) appears prominently on packages of Shin Ramyun noodles.[33] In contrast, North Korea eliminated the use of Hanja even in academic publications by 1949 on the orders of Kim Il-sung, a situation that has since remained unchanged.[28]

Dictionaries[edit]

In modern Korean dictionaries, all entry words of Sino-Korean origin are printed in Hangul and listed in Hangul order, with the Hanja given in parentheses immediately following the entry word.

This practice helps to eliminate ambiguity, and it also serves as a sort of shorthand etymology, since the meaning of the Hanja and the fact that the word is composed of Hanja often help to illustrate the word's origin.

As an example of how Hanja can help to clear up ambiguity, many homophones can be distinguished by using hanja. An example is the word 수도 (sudo), which may have meanings such as:[34]

  1. 修道: spiritual discipline
  2. 囚徒: prisoner
  3. 水都: "city of water" (e.g. Venice or Suzhou)
  4. 水稻: paddy rice
  5. 水道: drain, rivers, path of surface water
  6. 隧道: tunnel
  7. 首都: capital (city)
  8. 手刀: hand knife

Hanja dictionaries for specialist usage – Jajeon (자전, 字典) or Okpyeon (옥편, 玉篇) – are organized by radical (the traditional Chinese method of classifying characters).

Personal names[edit]

Korean personal names, including all Korean surnames and most Korean given names, are based on Hanja and are generally written in it, although some exceptions exist.[5] On business cards, the use of Hanja is slowly fading away, with most older people displaying their names exclusively in Hanja while most of the younger generation using both Hangul and Hanja. Korean personal names usually consist of a one-character family name (seong, 성, 姓) followed by a two-character given name (ireum, 이름). There are a few two-character family names (e.g. 남궁, 南宮, Namgung), and the holders of such names—but not only them—tend to have one-syllable given names. Traditionally, the given name in turn consists of one character unique to the individual and one character shared by all people in a family of the same sex and generation (see Generation name).[5]

During the Japanese administration of Korea (1910–1945), Koreans were forced to adopt Japanese-style names, including polysyllabic readings of the Hanja, but this practice was reversed by post-independence governments in Korea. Since the 1970s, some parents have given their children given names that are simply native Korean words. Popular ones include Haneul—meaning "sky"—and Iseul—meaning "morning dew". Nevertheless, on official documents, people's names are still recorded in both Hangul and in Hanja.[5]

Toponymy[edit]

Due to standardization efforts during Goryeo and Joseon eras, native Korean placenames were converted to Hanja, and most names used today are Hanja-based. The most notable exception is the name of the capital, Seoul, a native Korean word meaning "capital" with no direct Hanja conversion; the Hanja gyeong (경, 京, "capital") is sometimes used as a back-rendering. For example, disyllabic names of railway lines, freeways, and provinces are often formed by taking one character from each of the two locales' names; thus,

  • The Gyeongbu (경부, 京釜) corridor connects Seoul (gyeong, ) and Busan (bu, );
  • The Gyeongin (경인, 京仁) corridor connects Seoul and Incheon (in, );
  • The former Jeolla (전라, 全羅) Province took its name from the first characters in the city names Jeonju (전주, 全州) and Naju (나주, 羅州) ("Naju" is originally "Raju," but the initial "r/l" sound in South Korean is simplified to "n").

Most atlases of Korea today are published in two versions: one in Hangul (sometimes with some English as well), and one in Hanja. Subway and railway station signs give the station's name in Hangul, Hanja, and English, both to assist visitors (including Chinese or Japanese who may rely on the Hanja spellings) and to disambiguate the name.

Academia[edit]

The Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty, an annual record of the Joseon Dynasty throughout its entire history, was written in Classical Chinese

Hanja are still required for certain disciplines in academia, such as Oriental Studies and other disciplines studying Chinese, Japanese or historic Korean literature and culture, since the vast majority of primary source text material are written in Hanzi, Kanji or Hanja.[35]

Art and culture[edit]

For the traditional creative arts such as calligraphy and painting, a knowledge of Hanja is needed to write and understand the various scripts and inscriptions, as is the same in China and Japan. Many old songs and poems are written and based on Hanja characters.

On 9 September 2003, the celebration for the 55th anniversary of North Korea appeared a float decorated with the situation of North Korean people welcomes Kim Il-Sung, which including a banner with Kim Il-Sung's name written with Hanja.[36]

Popular usage[edit]

This Korean War propaganda leaflet created by the US Army as part of Operation Moolah uses Hangul–Hanja mixed script.

Opinion surveys in South Korea regarding the issue of Hanja use have had mixed responses in the past. Hanja terms are also expressed through Hangul, the standard script in the Korean language. Hanja use within general Korean literature has declined since the 1980s because formal Hanja education in South Korea does not begin until the seventh year of schooling, due to changes in government policy during the time.

In 1956, one study found mixed-script Korean text (in which Sino-Korean nouns are written using Hanja, and other words using Hangul) were read faster than texts written purely in Hangul; however, by 1977, the situation had reversed.[37] In 1988, 65% of one sample of people without a college education "evinced no reading comprehension of any but the most common hanja" when reading mixed-script passages.[38]

Gukja[edit]

A small number of characters were invented by the Koreans themselves. These characters are called gukja (국자, 國字, literally "national characters"). Most of them are for proper names (place-names and people's names) but some refer to Korean-specific concepts and materials. They include (; dap; "paddy field"), (; jang, "wardrobe"), (; Dol, a character only used in given names), (; So, a rare surname from Seongju), and (; Gi, an old name referring to Kumgangsan).

Further examples include ( bu), ( tal), ( pyeon), ( ppun), and ( myeong). See Korean gukja characters at Wiktionary for more examples.

Compare to the parallel development in Japan of kokuji (国字), of which there are hundreds, many rarely used—these were often developed for native Japanese plants and animals.

Yakja[edit]

Yakja (약자, 略字) simplification of

Some Hanja characters have simplified forms (약자, 略字, yakja) that can be seen in casual use. An example is 없을 무 약자.png, which is a cursive form of (meaning "nothing").

Pronunciation[edit]

Each Hanja character is pronounced as a single syllable, corresponding to a single composite character in Hangul. The pronunciation of Hanja in Korean is by no means identical to the way they are pronounced in modern Chinese, particularly Mandarin, although some Chinese dialects and Korean share similar pronunciations for some characters. For example, 印刷 "print" is yìnshuā in Mandarin Chinese and inswae (인쇄) in Korean, but it is pronounced insah in Shanghainese (a Wu Chinese dialect).

One difference is the loss of tone from standard Korean while most Chinese dialects retain tone. In other aspects, the pronunciation of Hanja is more conservative than most northern and central Chinese dialects, for example in the retention of labial consonant codas in characters with labial consonant onsets, such as the characters ( beop) and ( beom); labial codas existed in Middle Chinese but do not survive intact in most northern and central Chinese varieties today, and even in many southern Chinese varieties that still retain labial codas, including Cantonese and Hokkien, labial codas in characters with labial onsets are replaced by their dental counterparts.

Due to divergence in pronunciation since the time of borrowing, sometimes the pronunciation of a Hanja and its corresponding hanzi may differ considerably. For example, ("woman") is in Mandarin Chinese and nyeo () in Korean. However, in most modern Korean dialects (especially South Korean ones), is pronounced as yeo () when used in an initial position, due to a systematic elision of initial n when followed by y or i. Additionally, sometimes a Hanja-derived word will have altered pronunciation of a character to reflect Korean pronunciation shifts, for example, mogwa 모과 木瓜 "quince" from mokgwa 목과, and moran 모란 牡丹 "Paeonia suffruticosa" from mokdan 목단.

There are some pronunciation correspondence between the onset, rhyme, and coda between Cantonese and Korean.[39]

When learning how to write Hanja, students are taught to memorize the native Korean pronunciation for the Hanja's meaning and the Sino-Korean pronunciations (the pronunciation based on the Chinese pronunciation of the characters) for each Hanja respectively so that students know what the syllable and meaning is for a particular Hanja. For example, the name for the Hanja is 물 수 (mul-su) in which (mul) is the native Korean pronunciation for "water", while (su) is the Sino-Korean pronunciation of the character. The naming of Hanja is similar to if "water", "horse" and "gold" were named "water-aqua", "horse-equus", or "gold-aurum" based on a hybridization of both the English and the Latin names. Other examples include 사람 인 (saram-in) for "person/people", 클 대 (keul-dae) for "big/large/great", 작을 소 (jageul-so) for "small/little", 아래 하 (arae-ha) for "underneath/below/low", 아비 부 (abi-bu) for "father", and 나라이름 한 (naraireum-han) for "Han/Korea".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Coulmas, Florian (1991). The writing systems of the world. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-631-18028-9.
  2. ^ "Korean Hanja Characters". SayJack. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  3. ^ "알고 싶은 한글". 국립국어원. National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  4. ^ Fischer, Stephen Roger (4 April 2004). A History of Writing. Globalities. London: Reaktion Books. pp. 189–194. ISBN 1-86189-101-6. Retrieved 3 April 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d Byon, Andrew Sangpil (2017). Modern Korean Grammar: A Practical Guide. Taylor & Francis. pp. 3–18. ISBN 978-1351741293.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "사전소개 | 겨레말큰사전남북공동편찬사업회". www.gyeoremal.or.kr (in Korean). Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  8. ^ "우리말 70%가 한자말? 일제가 왜곡한 거라네". www.hani.co.kr (in Korean). 11 September 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  9. ^ Ledyard 1998, p. 32-33.
  10. ^ a b c Taylor, I. & Taylor, M. M. (2014). Writing and Literacy in Chinese, Korean and Japanese: Revised Edition. (pp. 172-174.) Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins North America. p. 172
  11. ^ Ledyard 1998, p. 34.
  12. ^ Ledyard 1998, p. 34-36.
  13. ^ Ledyard 1998, p. 36-37.
  14. ^ Ledyard 1998, p. 37.
  15. ^ Li, Y. (2014). The Chinese Writing System in Asia: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Chapter 10. New York, NY: Routledge Press.
  16. ^ a b Nam, P. (1994). 'On the Relations between Hyangchal and Kwukyel' in The Theoretical Issues in Korean Linguistics. Kim-Renaud, Y. (ed.) (pp. 419-424.) Stanford, CA: Leland Stanford University Press.
  17. ^ a b Hannas, W. C. (1997). Asia's Orthographic Dilemma. O`ahu, HI: University of Hawai`i Press. pp. 55-64.
  18. ^ (PDF) https://www.korean.go.kr/nkview/nklife/1996_2/1996_0205.pdf. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ "New Korean-English Dictionary published". Korean Central News Agency. 28 May 2003. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007.
  20. ^ Hannas 1997: 71. "A balance was struck in August 1976, when the Ministry of Education agreed to keep Chinese characters out of the elementary schools and teach the 1,800 characters in special courses, not as part of Korean language or any other substantive curricula. This is where things stand at present"
  21. ^ Hannas 1997: 68-69
  22. ^ 한문 교육용 기초 한자 (2000), page 15 (추가자: characters added, 제외자: characters removed)
  23. ^ "Hangeul advocates oppose Hanja classes", The Korea Herald, 2013-07-03.
  24. ^ Kim, Mihyang (10 January 2018). "[단독] 교육부, 초등교과서 한자 병기 정책 폐기" [Exclusive: Ministry of Education drops the planned policy to allow Hanja in elementary school textbooks]. Hankyoreh (in Korean). Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  25. ^ Hannas 1997: 67. "By the end of 1946 and the beginning of 1947, the major newspaper Nodong sinmun, mass circulation magazine Kulloja, and similar publications began appearing in all-hangul. School textbooks and literary materials converted to all-hangul at the same time or possibly earlier (So 1989:31)."
  26. ^ Hannas 1997: 68. "Although North Korea has removed Chinese characters from its written materials, it has, paradoxically, ended up with an educational program that teachers more characters than either South Korea or Japan, as Table 2 shows."
  27. ^ Hannas 1997: 67. "According to Ko Yong-kun, Kim went on record as early as February 1949, when Chinese characters had already been removed from most DPRK publications, as advocating their gradual abandonment (1989:25)."
  28. ^ a b Hannas 1997: 67
  29. ^ Hannas 1997: 67. "Between 1968 and 1969, a four-volume textbook appeared for use in grades 5 through 9 designed to teach 1,500 characters, confirming the applicability of the new policy to the general student population. Another five hundred were added for grades 10 through 12 (Yi Yun-p'yo 1989: 372)."
  30. ^ Hannas 2003: 188-189
  31. ^ Yang, Lina (29 April 2010). "S. Korea bids farewell to warship victims". Xinhua. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  32. ^ Brown 1990: 120
  33. ^ "신라면, 더 쫄깃해진 면발…세계인 울리는 '국가대표 라면'". hankyung.com. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  34. ^ (in Korean) Naver Hanja Dictionary query of sudo
  35. ^ Choo, Miho (2008). Using Korean: A Guide to Contemporary Usage. Cambridge University Press. pp. 85–92. ISBN 978-1139471398.
  36. ^ (in Chinese) (in Korean) 2003年9月9日朝鲜阅兵 on Bilibili. Retrieved 18 Sep 2020.
  37. ^ Taylor and Taylor 1983: 90
  38. ^ Brown 1990: 119
  39. ^ Patrick Chun Kau Chu. (2008). Onset, Rhyme and Coda Corresponding Rules of the Sino-Korean Characters between Cantonese and Korean. Paper presented at the 5th Postgraduate Research Forum on Linguistics (PRFL), Hong Kong, China, March 15–16.

Sources[edit]

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