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Exploring Korea & Learning Korean

Hanja Word Drill: 弟 – 아우 제

Nov 12,17

Yep, I’m totally hanja crazy, but I must keep going. The next hanja is a hanja related to family vocabulary and as you know there is a lot of family vocabulary out there. The hanja is 弟 제, the brother of 兄 형. Let’s go take a look at this family, shall we?

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Hanja Word Drill: 門 – 문 문

Nov 11,17

After doing numerals, I always feel wanting for hanja that is more than just a number. So I’ll wrap this post up by discussing a non-numeral hanja. That hanja is 門 문, one that is both a word and a character. Let’s take a look at this basic hanja, shall we? Hanja #34: 門 – 문 문 門 문 is a simple character you will see a lot in Korea. It is in the name of many of Seoul’s tourist attractions: The Eight Gates of Seoul. I guess with this little tidbit of information you can already guess what the character represents. It, indeed, represents “door” and “gate”. You have to see this as a very broad concept and you will see it used in a quite a few Korean words. Gates of Seoul However as I mentioned, the in Seoul, 門 문 is a character that is part of the name for all 8 of its gates. So why don’t we talk about those. The eight gates are divided into two groups: 사대문 四大門 (The Four Great Gates) and 사소문 四小門 (The Four Small Gates). The large gates are at the cardinal points (North, East, South and West) and the four smaller gates are in the cardinal points in-between (Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest). Furthermore each gate has an official name and direction name. Let’s go over all of them: Sukjeongmun: 숙정문 肅靖門 or 북대문 北大門 (‘North Big Gate”) Heunginjimun: 흥인지문 興仁之門 or 동대문 東大門 (“East Big Gate”) Sungnyemun: 숭례문 崇禮門 or 남대문 南大門 (“South Big Gate”) Donuimun: 돈의문 敦義門 or 서대문 西大門 (“West Big Gate”) | No longer exist, location simply marked. Changuimun: 창의문 彰義門 or 북소문 北小門 (“North Small Gate”) Hyehwamun: 혜화문 惠化門 or 동소문 東小門 (“East Small Gate”) Gwanghuimun: 광희문 …

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Hanja Word Drill: 一 – 한 일

Nov 11,17

Another hanja numeral for today, but this numeral is perhaps the most useful numeral hanja there is. The hanja is 一 일 and it is used for a lot more things than most other numeral hanja are used for. If there is one of the numbers you ought to remember, it is this little, simple character.

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Hanja Word Drill: 三 – 석 삼

Nov 11,17

Time for another Sino-Korean number and this time the character the plain-looking 三 삼. However, this little hanja is a bit unlike most other numeral hanja. This one is infrequently used in a few common words seemingly not related to numbers or the order of things. Let’s take a look, shall we?

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Hanja Word Drill: 外 – 바깥 외

Nov 10,17

Time for another hanja word drill and this word drill is about a very important hanja. The hanja is 外 외 and in a way expresses location in the same way as 西 서 and 北 북 do. However, it is a far more expressive character than those. So let’s take a look at this expressive hanja. Hanja #31: 外 – 바깥 외 外 외 is a rather simple character that expresses a location. The location it expresses is ‘outside’. However, you will quickly learn that you will use this little character for a lot of different interpretations of outside. So it is best not to think of it as just a location hanja, but the character that shows all forms of outside. So you will see it pop up in vocabulary expressing something that is not part of something, things outside the other thing and so on. The possibilities of this single character are numerous. One important use of 外 외 is in family vocabulary. This little hanja you will use to signify that someone is part of your mother’s side of the family. Your mother’s side of the family is known, for example, as your 외가 外家. Your maternal grandmother is your 외할머니 外할머니. This goes for almost all your family members on your mother’s side. The rule is simple: if there is no specific word for the maternal family member, you can simply attach 외 to the generic word. For example, you can turn 사촌 四寸 into 외사촌 外四寸 to make it explicit that, that cousin is from your mother’s side of the family. (I will only add the most important of these words in the vocabulary list because of this.) If …

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Experience and Trying Things Out: -(으)ㄴ 적이 있다/없다

Nov 9,17

Beside the expression -어/아 보다, there is another way to tell others what you have or haven’t experienced. That Korean grammar pattern is -(으)ㄴ 적이 있다/없다. This pattern is a bit more directly telling what you have or haven’t experienced, though, than the previous pattern. Let’s take a look.

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Experience and Trying Things Out: -어/아 보다

Nov 9,17

When we meet people from different countries, we want to ask them if they tried this and that. Koreans love to ask those things when to you when you are in Korea too. So we better go take a look how you discuss trying things out in Korean and the first Korean grammar pattern we’ll look at is -어/아 보다.

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Word Of The Day #10: 인품

Nov 9,17

Side note: When you want to say someone has a certain kind of personality with the noun 인품, you cannot use 있다/없다. In Korean, you will have to use verbs that explicitly express possession, such as verbs meaning ‘carry’ like: 가지다, 지니다, etc. This is just a Korean language convention you need to get used to so it is best to memorize it. However, you can also use simple adjectives such as 좋다 as the verb so things aren’t that strict as it might seem. Vocabulary In Example 우리: We, us, our 이웃: Neighbour 정말: Really 친절하다: To be kind 인품: Personality, character 가지다: To carry, to have Related hanja of word of the day: 人 – 사람 인 and 品 – 물건 품. Grammar In Use -은/는 -(으)ㄴ / -는 / -(으)ㄹ -을/를 Progressive tense

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Hanja Word Drill: 寸 – 마디 촌

Nov 9,17

Today we are talking about another hanja that is often used regarding family. This character is 寸 촌 and it is a rather important hanja when talking about Korean family and the concept of kinship. So to Koreans this is character represents a rather important aspect in their culture so let’s give this one a look over.

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Hanja Word Drill: 土 – 흙 토

Nov 8,17

After a number hanja, I always do another hanja word drill as a number rarely offers a lot of vocabulary opportunities. Today is no different and we are also covering the hanja 土 토. This down-to-earth character will give a lot of words to think about. Let’s take a look.

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