17 – A Military Advantage 軍

(Originally published June 2014)

Many other Korean words related to the military have the sound 군 (‘Goon’) in them. This sound comes from the Chinese character軍which means ‘Military.’


For example the word for ‘Air Force’ is 공군 (空軍– ‘Gong-Goon’). The first syllable 공 (‘Gong’) comes from the character 空 which means ‘Sky’. When combined with 군 (‘Goon’ – military) it literally means ‘Sky Military’.

The word for ‘Army” is 육군 (陸軍 – ‘Yook-Goon’). The first syllable 육 (‘Yook’) comes from the character 陸 which means ‘earth’ or ‘ground’. When combined with 군 (‘Goon’) it literally means ‘Ground Military’.

The word for ‘Soldier’ is 군인 (軍人 – ‘Goon-in’). The first syllable means ‘military’ and the second syllable 인 (‘in’) means ‘person’.

The word for ‘military’ itself is 군대 (軍隊 – ‘Goon-Dae’). The second syllable 대 (隊 – ‘Dae) means ‘group’ or ‘troops’. To say ‘Join the military’ you would say:

군대에 가다 (‘Goon-dae ae Ga-da’) which literally means ‘go to the military’.

Here are some other military related words with군 (‘Goon’) in them:

군사 (軍士 – ‘Goon-sa’): Troops

군사 (軍事 – ‘Goon-sa’): The military

여군 (女軍 – ‘Yeo-goon’): Female soldier

장군 (將軍 – ‘Jang-goon’): General, Admiral

As we have been doing, we will end this article with a quiz. The character 海 (해 – ‘Hae’) means “Ocean”. Can you guess what the word 해군 (‘Hae-goon’) means? Send your answer to newhanja@gmail.com. A winner will be picked from among the correct answers and will be announced in next month’s article! Nobody entered last month’s contest- don’t be shy!


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