[漢字 배우자! 6 ] 자연

It’s been a long time since I last made a 漢字 배우자! post! This time, we’re going to be looking at characters referring to things that we can find in nature, and nature itself.

The Korean word for “nature” is 자연. Let’s look at the characters in that word first:

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[漢字 배우자! 5 ] 야!

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Welcome to another 漢字 배우자! post~! Today we’ll be looking at “야.”

If you watch Korean dramas, I’m sure you’ve heard “야!” being yelled at someone plenty of times. It’s sort of like yelling “Hey!” at someone to get their attention or let them know they need to back off. However, the 야—or, rather, the 야s—that we will be looking at today are a bit different.

I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of words using “야” in them over the course of your Korean studies, including (but certainly not limited to) words like 야근, 야구, 야채, 야시장, 야외, 야생… The list goes on! But did you know these words are derived from 한자? In the short list of vocab above, we have two different 야s. Let’s check them out to see how they contribute to the meaning of the words we find them in.

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[漢字 배우자! 4 ] Countries

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Back with more 한자 for you! This time we’ll look at the characters associated with different countries’ names. These characters are often used on the news and in newspapers to unambiguously reference those specific countries. Of course, this varies from station to station and paper to paper. Some news stations and newspapers make more extensive usage of 한자 than others, so depending on what you’re watching or reading, you might see a lot of 한자, or you might not see many at all! For example, the 한겨레 newspaper entirely rejects the usage of 한자, and it also limits it usage of loanwords and the Roman alphabet. It was also Korea’s first newspaper to be printed horizontally instead of vertically!

Two other newspapers with wide circulation in Korea are the 동아일보 and the 조선일보. Both of them use 한자, but the 조선일보 does so more extensively than the 동아일보.

Anyway, let’s dive into some of the country 漢字 most commonly seen on the news and in newspapers. You can find stroke order diagrams for each character at the bottom of the post.

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[漢字 배우자! 3 ] Days of the week and dates

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Welcome to another 漢字(한자) 배우자! Did you know that the days of the week in Korean are 한자 words? Each is named after an element or force in nature.

Before we get into the individual days, let’s take a look at the two characters each of the day words has in common. Those are 빛날 (to shine) 요 曜 and 날 (day) 일 日.

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Now let’s check out the individual days.

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[漢字 배우자! 2 ] Let’s count!

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Welcome to another 漢字 배우자 section! This time, we’ll look at numbers. The Korean word for “numbers” is 숫자 (數字), which is of course also a 漢字 word! The characters in this word are 셀 (count) 수 數 and 글자 (letter) 자 字, which we saw in [漢字 배우자! 1].

Korean uses two sets of numbers. One of them is the native Korean set of numbers: 하나, 둘, 셋, 넷, 다섯, 여섯, 일곱, 여덟, 아홈, 열… The other set of numbers is Sino-Korean, meaning that it is derived from Chinese characters! Let’s take a look:

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Study Sneak Peek—Hanja practice

What with being so focused on my main content posts, I’ve fallen off of posting random study updates… so here’s an update on what I’ve been doing lately!

As you can see in the photo, I’ve been working on getting my Hanja back up. I studied over 500 before, but I just let my knowledge sort of just sit and I lost some. So, now I’m going through again level by level, taking past 한자능력 tests once I finish studying each level. I feel like I’ll be back up to where I was in no time, because I’m breezing through so far, taking less than ten minutes to finish what are supposed to be 50-minute exams. One thing that is proving to be mildly annoying is stroke order, though. Did you know that there are some minor differences in stroke order between Chinese and Korean? I’m more used to writing the characters using the Chinese stroke order which is usually not an issue, but I still have to retrain myself for some of them.

I’ve also been slowly getting back into studying grammar, and I’ve been spending a lot more time reading. The novel that I’m working on at the moment is one that I just picked up at a secondhand bookstore because the cover looked interesting. I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would and so, I think I’ll finish it up fairly soon (and of course write a review on it)!

Finally, I’ve been doing some reading for my upcoming grad program, which starts in August. Considering that my studies will almost certainly have an impact on my upload schedule here, I’ll write more on that when it gets a bit closer.

Anyway, this is my little update. Happy studying, everyone <3