68 – 數 – Good With Numbers

(Originally published November 2018)

hanja su count

This month we are going to look at the character 數 which means ‘count’ or ‘number’. This character is pronounced 수 (“Su”) in Korean. The origins of this character are unclear. On the right is a hand 攵 counting sticks. On the left is a rare character 婁 which originally meant ‘shamaness’, possibly implying chanting, which when combined with the hand and sticks was supposed to imply counting out loud. Many common Korean words use this character, and learning the meaning of the character can help you remember these vocabulary words.

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67 – 算 – You Can Count On It

(Originally publish September 2018)

Hanja san calculate

This month we are going to look at the character 算 which means ‘count’ or ‘calculate’. This character is pronounced 산 (romanized as “San” but sounds like ‘sahn’ or ‘sawn’) in Korean. The top part of the character 𥫗 is bamboo, and the bottom of the character 廾 are hands, meant to represent hands using bamboo rods to count. Many common Korean words use this character, and learning the meaning of the character can help you remember these vocabulary words.

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66 – 上 – The View From Above

(Originally published August 2018)

hanja sang above

This month we are going to look at the character 上 which means ‘top’ or ‘above’. From this original meaning it also came to mean ‘from the viewpoint of’ or ‘according to’. This character is pronounced 상 (romanized as “Sang” but sounds like the English word ‘song’) in Korean. In ancient times it was written as a line with a smaller line above it to represent the area above:

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Many common Korean words use this character, and learning the meaning of the character can help you remember these vocabulary words.

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65 – 圖 – Diagram the perfect plan

(Originally published July 2018)

hanja do chart map

This month we are going to look at the character 合 which originally meant ‘map’, ‘chart’ or ‘diagram’ and then also came to mean ‘plan’ then ‘intend’. This character is pronounced 도 (romanized as “Do” but sounds like the English word ‘dough’ or ‘doe’) in Korean. The form of the character 圖 is thought to represent a drawing 啚 in an enclosure 囗 (perhaps indicating paper). Many common Korean words use this character, and learning the meaning of the character can help you remember these vocabulary words. The first words we will look at will be those where 도 (圖 – “Do”) has the meaning of ‘map’, ‘chart’ or ‘drawing’, and the second set of words will be those where 도 (圖 – “Do”) has the meaning of ‘plan’ or ‘intend’.

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64 – 行 – Let’s Go “Haeng” Out

(Originally published June 2018)

 

Hanja Time Go Heng

This month we are going to look at the character 行 which has a variety of meanings which have evolved over time. It originally meant ‘go’ or ‘move’, it also came to mean ‘carry out’, ‘perform’, and ‘behavior’. All meaning imply some sort of action. The character was originally a pictograph of a crossroads:

heng pictograph

This character is pronounced 행 (romanized as “Haeng” but sounds like the English word ‘Hang’) in Korean. Many common Korean words use this character, and learning the meaning of the character can help you remember these vocabulary words.

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63 – 合 – A Perfect Combination

(Originally publish April 2018)

Hanja Time Hap Combine

This month we are going to look at the character 合 which means ‘combine, join, or come together’ and is pronounced 합 (romanized as “Hap” but sounds like the English word ‘Hop’) in Korean. The original pictograph form of 合 is thought to represent a lid covering some type of dish, suggesting a lid and dish ‘coming together’. Many common Korean words use this character, and learning the meaning of the character can help you remember these vocabulary words.

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62 – 間 – “Gan” With the Wind

(Originally published April 2018)

 

Hanja Gan Interval Between

This month we are going to look at the character 間 which means ‘between’, ‘among’, ‘a moment’, or ‘interval’ and is pronounced 간 (romanized as “Gan” but sounds like the English word ‘gone’) in Korean. The character 間 is a combination of the character for door 門 and the character for sun 日 , meaning the gap in a door through which sunlight can be seen. This gives it the meaning of ‘between’ and then ‘interval’.

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