Kanji, Hanmoon, and Hanzi, Part 9, 感じ(かんじ)(kanji), 한문 (hanmoon), and Chinese Characters used in China

We have talked about what the Japanese called “shokei moji,” pictorial kanji. We have also talked about “shiji moji,” indicative kanji. After that, we also talked about “kaii moji, compound idiographic kanji. Today, we will talk about “keisei moji,” phonetic idiographic kanji, which is a combination of two or more simple characters that have taken on a new meaning. With these kanji, one of the characters takes on the meaning and the other one takes on the “on” pronunciation which is the original Chinese pronunciation. These are the most advanced characters, and they make up about 90% of all the characters.

We have already looked at: 川 which means “river.” In Japanese, this is pronounced: かわ (kawa). In Korean, “river” is 강 (kahng). In Chinese, “river” is “he’ ,” and in both the traditional and simplified Chinese, they don’t use the character: 川. They use the character:河.In Japanese, they call this the “keisei moji” form of the kanji because they also use this form of the kanji to mean “river.” In Japanese, they pronounce this kanji “ka” which is very similar to the Korean pronunciation: “kang.”

これは 河 です。(Kore wa ka desu.) = This is a river. = 이석은 캉 이예요. (eegeosun kahng eeyeyo) = 這是一條河 (Zhè shì yītiáo hé).

Japanese: = river. In Japanese hiragana, this is か (ka).

Korean: = river. In Korean hangul, this is 강 (kahng). This is also a Korean name. I know at least two people in Korea with this as a family name.

Chinese: = river. In Chinese, this is pronounced: he’.

は きれい です (ka wa kirei desu.) = The river is beautiful

강은 아름다워요. (kahng un ahrumdahwoyo) = The river is beautiful.

這條河很美 (Zhè tiáo hé hěn mě) = The river is beautiful.


The next character also has to do with water. It is “ocean”: 洋. When they make these characters that have to do with “water,” it seems all the ones I know have small marks next to them that look like drops of water to me. In Japanese, this character is read: yo, In Korean, it is read: 대양 (deh-yahng). In Chinese, it is read: yahng.

これは 洋 です。(kore wa yo desu.) = tThis is the ocean.) = 이것은 대양 이예요 (eegeosun deh-yahng eeyeyo) = 這是海洋 (Zhè shì hǎiyáng)

Japanese: = ocean. In Japanese hiragana, this is: よ (yo). Another word for “ocean” in Japanese is: うみ (umi).

Korean: = ocean. In Korean hangul, this is: 대양 (deh-yahng). Another word in Korean for “ocean” is: 바다 (bahdah).

Chinese: = In Chinese, this is pronounced: yahng.

は 大きい です。(yo wa ookii desu.) = The ocean is big.

대양이 켜요. (deh-yahng ee kyeoyo) = The ocean is big.

洋很大 (Hǎiyáng hěn dà) = The ocean is big.  (Do you recognize the character for "big":大 at the end? Sometimes, the Chinese say "haiyang" instead of just "yang" for ocean.  Also, the last hanzi here:大 is pronounced "da'," and in Japanese, if you want to emphasize something as the most or the biggest, you say "dai." In Korean, the 대 (deh) before 대양 (deyahng) also means "big." The word order in Chinese has been taken from English.  Before the Chinese were introduced to English, they used whatever word order and grammar they decided to use. It was all random, but when they began learning English, they realized we had something they didn't have: grammar and word order, so they borrowed ours just like the borrowed our alphabet to use for pronunciation.)
これは 江 です。(kore wa ko desu.) = This is a bay. = 아것은 만 이예요. (eegeosun mahn eeyeyo) = 這是一個入口 (Zhè shì yīgè rùkǒu)

If you look on the left side of this character: , it also has drops of water like the other two characters we looked at today. Those are meant to be water. The right side of the character tells you the pronunciation. This is a “bay” or an “inlet.” In Japanese, this the “on” pronunciation is:こ (ko), which is like the pronunciation in Chinese: kou. The Korean pronunciation is: 만 (man). There are more kanji and hanzi that mean “bay” or “inlet.” This is the predominant one I am finding: 人口. The meanings of these two characters separately is: person opening. If I put “bay” through the google translate in Korean, I get 만 (mahn), and if I put “inlet” through the google translate in Korean, I get 입구 (eebkoo) which means entrance. In Chinese, I only get 人口 or 灣. If I put it through the google translate for Japanese, I get 灣 ,人口, or . The character in the book is:.

Japanese: = bay or inlet. In hiragana, this is pronounced: こ (ko).

Korean: = bay or inlet. In hangul, this is pronounced: 만 (mahn).

Chinese: 灣 or 人口 = bay or inlet. In Chinese, this is pronounced: wan or kou. It looks like the Korean pronunciation: mahn, comes from “wan,” and the Japanese pronunciation: ko, comes from: kou.

は 大きい です。(ko wa ookii desu.) = The bay is large.

만은 켜요. (mahn un kyeoyo) = They bay is large. (Don’t confuse 만 (mahn) with 많(mahn) which means “many” or ” a lot.” This is why the scholars in Korea still use the 한문 (hanmoon), the characters used in Korea, to help them know the difference in meaning when two things are pronounced the same.)

進水口大 (Jìn shuǐkǒu dà) = The bay is large.  (If you look at the hanzi, the last three say "water, entrance, and large." 進 is the hanzi that means "bay" or "inlet.")

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