After a long post on the Korean writing system hangeul (한글), it is time to return to the olden times of Hanja. We return to our Hanja word drills with one of the four cardinal directions 西 [서]. As you can imagine there are four of these characters and you can mix them to make even more directions. Let’s take a look.

Hanja #13: 西 – 서녘 서

The first of the four cardinal directions we’ll talk about in our hanja word drills is “West”. In Hanja the character for “West” is 西 [서]. The cardinal hanja are hardly ever used on their own in Korean. In Korean you need to add something to these hanja to make more clear what aspect of these cardinal points you mean.

The clarity is often given not using more hanja, though. Instead, Korean uses native Korean suffixes. One of these common native Korean suffixes you use with the cardinal points is 쪽, which literally translates as “side”. Together they form the Korean word 서쪽 (west). Pretty nifty, no?

By the way the 음훈 (=meaning and pronunciation) of this hanja 西 [서] is an example of it using a antiquated Korean word. 서녘 is hardly used these days, outside perhaps literature.

Our 西 Vocabulary List

The vocabulary list of 西 [서] will be the first list that contains words using both hanja and native Korean parts. Of course, we will always write the native Korean parts in hangeul.

*Meanings written in italics are the meanings when you use the noun as a 하다 verb.

¹ You can change the places of the syllables. The meaning remains the same. (e.g. 서북 = 북서).

한국어 Meaning 한자어
서쪽 West 西
동서 East and West 西
서북¹ Northwest 西
서남¹ Southwest 西
 Hanja Word Drill: 西 – 서녘 서
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Hanja Word Drill: 西 – 서녘 서