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’.

For example, the word 시간 (時間 – “Shi-gan”) means ‘time’
The first part of the word, 시 (時 – “Shi”) means ‘time’ or ‘hour’, and the second part 간 (間 – “Gan”) means ‘interval’ or ‘moment of time’.
Example Sentence:
그것은 시간 낭비다
(“Geu-geos-eun Shi-gan Nang-bi-da”)
That is a waste of time.

The word 연간 (年間 – “Yeon-gan”) means ‘annual’, ’for a year’, or ‘during the course of a year’. The first part 연 (年 – “Yeon”) means ‘year’ and the second part 간 (間 – “Gan”) means ‘interval’. Together the word means literally ‘an interval of a year’.
Example Sentence:
연간 소득이 얼마나 됩니까?
(“Yeon-gan So-deuk-i Eol-ma-na Doem-ni-kka?”)
How much do you earn a year?

 

The word 당분간 (當分間 – “Dang-bun-gan”) means ‘for a while’, or ‘for the time being’. The first part 당 (當 – “Dang”) means ‘suitable’ or ‘appropriate’. The second part 분 (分 – “bun”) means ‘divide’ or ‘portion’ and the third part 간 (間 – “Gan”) means ‘interval’. So the word literally means something like ‘a properly divided interval’
.
Example Sentence:
난 당분간 좀 쉬어야 해요.
(“Na-neun Dang-bun-gan Jom Swi-eo-ya Hae-yo”)
I need to relax for a while.

The word 공간 (空間 – “Gong-gan”) means ‘space (for something)’ or ‘room (for something)’. The first part of the word 공 (空 – “Gong”) means ‘sky’ or ‘empty space’ and the second part 간 (間 – “Gan”) means ‘portion’. The word literally means ‘a portion of empty space’.
Example Sentence:
내 차를 주차할 공간이 없네.
(“Nae Cha-reul Ju-cha-hal Gong-gan-i Eom-Ne”)
No space for parking my car.

Finally, 간 (間 – “Gan”) can be used to indicate a period of time in general, ex. 15 일간 (15 “Il-gan”) ‘a 15 day period’ or 이틀간 (“I-teul-gan”) ‘for two days’. It also means a relation, ex. 형제 간 (“Hyeon-je Gan”) ‘between brothers and sisters. or 서울-부산 간 (“Seoul – Busan Gan”) ‘between Seoul and Busan’.

 

Here are some other common Korean words that use this character:
간격 (間隔 – “Gan-gyeok”): Price
간식 (間食 – “Gan-shik”): Snack, literally ‘between meals’
간접 (間接 – “Gan-jeob”): Indirect, roundabout, secondhand (smoke)
간혹 (間或 – “Gan-hok”): Sometimes, occasionally
그간 (-間 – “Geu-gan”) Meanwhile, in the meantime
기간 (期間 – “Gi-gan”) Period of time, term
민간 (民間 – “Min-gan”) Civilian, non-government
순간 (瞬間 – “Sun-gan”) Moment, instant
야간 (夜間 – “Ya-gan”) Nighttime
얼마간 (-間 – Eol-ma-gan”) For some time, a while

 

I hope that learning the meaning of 間 (간 – “Gan”) will make learning these vocabulary words easier. Have a word or character that you would like to know more about? Send your questions and comments to newhanja@gmail.com. And also you can now find all of the previous Hanja Time articles online at hanjatime.wordpress.com.

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