Originally published March 2017
This month we are going to look at the character 運 which means move, transport, carry, or ship. It can also mean fortune, luck, or fate. This character is pronounced 운 (usually written “Un” but rhymes with ‘tune’ or ‘goon’) in Korean. This character can be found in many Korean words, and knowing its meaning will help you learn these words. We will start by looking at words in which it means fortune, luck, or fate, and then look at the move, transport, carry, or ship words.
When the word 운 (運 “Un”) used by itself it simply means luck, either good or bad.
운이 좋다 (“Un-Ee Choh-da”) – have good luck
운이 나쁘다 (“Un-Ee Na-bbeu-da”) – have bad luck
The word 운명 (運命 – “Un-Myeong”) means fate, destiny. The first character 運 (운 – “Un”) means fortune, luck, or fate. The second character 命 (명 – “Myeong”) is very similar in meaning as it means destiny, fate, luck.
사람과 만난 것은 운명이다 (“Sa-ram-gwa Man-nan Geos-eun Un-myeong Ee-da)
– Meeting him was fate
The word 행운 (幸運 – “Heng-Un”) means good luck, or good fortune. The first character 幸 (행 – “Heng”) means fortunate or lucky and the second character 運 (운 – “Un”) means fortune, luck, or fate.
행운을 빌어 주세요 (“Heng-un-eul Bil-eo Ju-Seh-yo”)
– Wish me luck.
Now let’s take a look at the character 運 when it has the meaning of move, transport, carry, or ship.
For example, the word 운동 (運動 – “Un-dong”) means exercise. The first character 運 (운 – “Un”) means move or transport and the second character 動 (동 – “Dong”) has a similar meaning of movement or action. If you add the character for clothes 服 (복 – “Bok”) to the end of the word for exercise 운동 (運動 – “Un-dong”) you get 운동복 (運動服 – “Un-dong-bok”) which means exercise clothes. Similarly if you add the character for shoes 靴 (화 – “Hwa”) to the end exercise 운동 (運動 – “Un-dong”) you get 운동화 (運動靴 – “Un-dong-hwa”) which means tennis shoes or athletic shoes.
The word 운반 (運搬 – “Un-ban”) means transportation, transport, or carry. The first character 運 (운 – “Un”) means move or transport and the second character 搬 (반 – “Ban”) means a carrier or transporter of things. If you add the character for cart or car 車 (차 – “Cha”) you get 운반차 (運搬車 – “Un-ban-cha”) which means cart, wagon.
상자를 운반차로 운반하고 있다. (“Sang-ja-reul Un-ban-cha-ro Un-ban-ha-go Iss-da”)
Boxes are being transported by wagon.
The word 운영 (運營- “Un-yeong”) means manage, run, operate. The first character 運 (운 – “Un”) means move or transport and the second character 營 (영 – “Yeong”) means to operate, manage, or handle.
상점을 운영하다 (“Sang-jeom-eul Un-yeong-ha-da”)
-To run/manage/operate a store
The word 운전 (運轉 – “Un-jeon”) means driving. The first character 運 (운 – “Un”) means move or transport and the second character 轉 (전 – “Jeon”) means turn or change direction.
Finally, the word 운행 (運行 – “Un-heng”) means run, operate as in the buses are operating on time. Again, The first character 運 (운 – “Un”) means move or transport, and the second character 行 (행 – “Heng”) means to move, to carry out.
기차는 제시간에 운행된다 (“Gi-cha-neun Jae-shi-gan-eh Un-heng-doen-da”)
-The trains are running on time.
I hope that learning the character運 (운 – “Un”) will make remembering all these different vocabulary words easier!
Have a word or character that you would like to know more about? Post your questions in the comments section!