35 – 心 – Have A Heart

(Originally published February 2016)

This month we are going to take a look at the character 心 which means heart and is pronounced 심 (“shim”) in Korean. Just like in English, the ‘heart’ can refer to the internal organ that pumps blood, or it can mean the mind, feelings, or consciousness.

Heart01

For example, the word 심장 (心臟 – “Shim-jang”) means heart as in the organ that pumps blood. The first character 心 (심 – “Shim”) means heart, and the second character 臟 (장 – “Jang”) means internal organ. The two characters combine to form the word ‘heart-organ’.

The word 결심 (決心 – “Gyeol-Shim”) means decision. The first part 결 (決 – “Gyeol”) means to decide or conclude.  The second part 심 (心 – “Shim”) means heart but in the figurative sense of emotion or sense. Together the word gives a sense of ‘making up your mind’.

Similarly, the word 관심 (關心 – “Gwan-Shim”) means interest, as in to have an interest in something.  The first part 관 (關 – “Gwan”) means to have some kind of relation, or ‘to be related to’.  The second part 심 (心 – “Shim”) means feeling or emotion.  So when combined the word implies having a feeling of relation to something, or an interest.

The word 심리 (心理 – “Shim-Ni”) means psychology.  The first part 심 (心 – “Shim”) means feeling or emotion. The second part 리 (理 – “Ri/Ni”) means logic.  Combined, the word  심리 (心理 – “Shim-Ni”) forms a meaning of ‘the logic of emotions’ which is a great word for psychology.

The word 열심히 (熱心- “Yeol-Shim-Hi”) means hard, diligently, or enthusiastically.  The first part 열 (熱 – “Yeol”) means heat, excitement, or fever. The second part 심 (心 – “Shim”) means feeling or emotion.  Combined, the implication is a feeling or sense of fever and excitement to whatever is being done. The third part 히 (“Hi”) is not Hanja, it is simply a grammatical addition to make an adverb (just like adding “ly” to the end of a verb in English).

Here are some other common words that use the character 心 (심 -“shim”)

욕심 (欲心 – “Yok-Shim”): Greed

의심 (疑心 – “Eui-Shim”): Doubt, suspicion

자부심 (自負心 – “Ja-Bu-Shim”): Self-respect, pride, self-esteem

조심하다 (操心 – “Jo-Shim Ha-da”): Careful, cautious

진심 (眞心 – “Jin-Shim”): Sincerity

I hope that knowing the meaning of 심 (心 – “Shim”) makes learning these vocabulary words easier. Have a word or character that you would like to know more about?  Leave a question or comment in the comments.

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