64 – 行 – Let’s Go “Haeng” Out

(Originally published June 2018)

 

Hanja Time Go Heng

This month we are going to look at the character 行 which has a variety of meanings which have evolved over time. It originally meant ‘go’ or ‘move’, it also came to mean ‘carry out’, ‘perform’, and ‘behavior’. All meaning imply some sort of action. The character was originally a pictograph of a crossroads:

heng pictograph

This character is pronounced 행 (romanized as “Haeng” but sounds like the English word ‘Hang’) in Korean. Many common Korean words use this character, and learning the meaning of the character can help you remember these vocabulary words.

For example, the word 비행기 (飛行機 – “Bi-haeng-gi”) means ‘airplane’. This word, through written using Chinese characters, was actually coined in Japan, and then later borrowed by China and Korea. The first part 비 (飛 – “Bi”) means ‘to fly’. The second part 행 (行- “Haeng”) means ‘go’, and the third part 기 (機 – “Gi”) means ‘machine’. So together the combined word literally means ‘Machine to go by flying’.
Example Sentence:
나는 뉴욕행 비행기로 떠납니다.
(“Na-neun Nyu-yok-haeng Bi-haeng-gi-ro Ddeo-nam-ni-da”
I’m leaving on the New York flight.

When used by itself 행 (行- “Haeng”) means ‘going to’ in the sense of a train or airplane which goes to a certain place. Notice that in the above example sentence the New York Flight was referred to as 뉴욕행 (“Nyu-yok-haeng”). In this case the 행 (行- “Haeng”) after ‘New York’ means ‘bound for’.

The word 여행 (旅行 – “Yeo-haeng”) means ‘trip’, ‘travel’ or ‘journey’. The first part of the word 여(旅 – “Yeo”) means ‘trip’ or ‘travel’ and the second part 행 (行- “Haeng”) means ‘go’.
Example Sentence:
여행은 여섯시간 걸렸다.
(“Yeo-haeng-eun Yeo-seot-shi-gan Geol-leot-da”)
The length of the trip was six hours.

The word 은행 (銀行 – “Eun-Haeng”) means ‘bank’. In Chinese it originally meant ‘jewellery dealer’ until it was later repurposed to mean ‘bank’. The first part 은(銀 – “Eun”) means ‘silver’ and the second part 행 (行- “Haeng”) means ‘go’.
Example Sentence:
은행은 몇 시에 문을 닫나요?
(“Eun-haeng-eun Myeot Shi-eh Mun-eul Dan-na-yo?”)
What time do banks close?

Finally, the word 유행 (流行 – “Yu-haeng”) means ‘fashion’, ‘trend’, or ‘popular’.The first part 유 (流 – “Yu”) means to ‘flow’, ‘spread’, or ‘circulate’ (like how a trend spreads), and the second part 행 (行- “Haeng”) means ‘go’.
Example Sentence:
이 코트가 다시 유행했으면 좋겠어.
(“I ko-teu-ga da-shi Yu-haeng hess-eu-myeon jok-ket-da”)
I hope this coat comes into style again.

I hope that learning the meaning of 행 (行- “Haeng”) 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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