58 – 年 – Five Years of Hanja Time!

In the winter 2012 Jini Shim announced that she was looking for people who wanted to write articles for the local Korean American Community Magazine, and in December of that year the very first Hanja time article was published. This month marks the five year anniversary, and to celebrate, we will look at the character 年 which means ‘year’ and can either be pronounced 년 (“Neon”) or 연 (“Yeon”), depending on the word, as we will see below.

hanja nyeon year

For example, the word 금년 (今年 – “Geum-nyeon”) means ‘this year’. The first character 今 (금 – “Geum”) means ‘now’, and the second character 年 (년 – “Nyeon”) means ‘year’. So together the word literally means ‘now-year’.

Similarly, the word 내년 (來年 – “Nae-nyeon”) means ‘next year’. The first character 來 (내 – “Nae”) means ‘next’ and the second character 年 (년 – “Nyeon”) means ‘year’.

The word 매년 (每年 – “Mae-nyeon”) means ‘every year’ or ‘annually’. The first character 每 (매 —“Mae”) means ‘every’, and once again the second character 年 (년 – “Nyeon”) means ‘year’.

The word 연말 (年末 – “Yeon-mal”) means ‘year-end’. Notice that this time the first character 年 is pronounced 연 (“Yeon”) rather than 년 (“Nyeon”). The second character in this word 末 (말 – “Mal”) means ‘end’.

The final word we will look at is 중년 (中年 – “Jung-nyeon”) which means ‘middle age, midlife’. The first character 中 (중 – “Jung”) means ‘middle’ and the second character 年 (년 – “Nyeon”) means year. Together, the word literally means “the middle years”.

Here are some other common words with the character 年 in them:

년도 (年度 – “Nyeon-do”): A year
년생 (年生 – “Nyeon-seng”): Year as in “3rd year” or “4th year”
소년 (少年 – “So-nyeon”): A boy
수년 (數年 – “Su-nyeon”): Several years
연간 (年間 – “Yeon-gan”): Annual
연세 (年歲 – “Yeon-se”): One’s age
작년 (昨年 – “Jak-nyeon”): Last year
재작년 (再昨年 – “Jae-jak-nyeon”): The year before last
청년 (靑年 – “Cheong-nyeon”): Young man, young people, youth
학년 (學年 – “Hak-nyeon”): Grade level, year

Before I finish I want to send a very warm thank you to Editor Seo (서 국장님) for continue to allow me to write this article and to Jini Shim, who proofreads the article every month (for five years!) and always manages to find at least one mistake! It has been an honor to work with you both and I hope that someday I can repay all of the kindness you have shown me.

 

 

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