Kanji, Hanmoon, and Hanzi, Part 22, (感じ(かんじ)(kanji), 한문 (hanmoon), and The Chinese Characters Used in China)

We are talking about characters that have one that you have probably already seen to the left of them, and combined, the two characters mean something else. Sometimes Japanese, Korean, and Chinese use the same character, and sometimes, they only use similar characters. However, the basis for all the characters is usually the same.

The characters we are going to talk about today are based on this kanji, hanmoon, or hanzi: 日. This character means “sun” or “day.” In Japanese, the pronunciation is: ひ (hi) as “sun,” and にち ( nichi) as “day.” In Korean, the pronunciation is:태양 (teyang) as “sun,” or 하루 (haru), 일 (eel), or 날 (nal) as “day.” In modern Chinese,太阳 (taiyang) means “sun,” 日期 (riqi) means “date,” and 日 (ri) means “day, date, or sun.” In traditional Chinese which are the characters the Koreans use, 太陽 (taiyang) is “sun,” and 天 (tian) means “day.” And, 天 in all three languages is used for “Heaven.” In Japanese, this is said “ten,” in Korean, this is said “천국 (cheonguk), and in Chinese, this is: “tian.” You see, sometimes, they have almost completely borrowed a word from one of the other languages.

これは日です (kore wa hi desu.) = This is the sun. = 이것은 태양 이예요 (dlgeosun teyang eeyeyo) =这是太阳 (Zhè shì tàiyáng)

Japanese: 日 = sun or day. ひ (Sun) is pronounced “hi” in Japanese, and にち (nichi) is “day” in Japanese.

Korean: 太陽 = sun or day. 日 = day, date, time, or sun. there are several pronunciations for this in Korean. 태양 (teyang) means “sun,” the first hanmoon. 일 (eel) or 날 (nal) mean “day,” and 시간 (sheekan) means “time.”

Modern Chinese: 太阳 = sun, 日 = day, date, time, or sun. The first hanzi is said: “taiyang.” The second hanzi is pronounced “ri.”


The first character based on 日 is 明. This character means “bright.” In Japanese, since it is an adjective, it has an ending and is pronounced: 明るい ( あかるい)(akarui). In Korean, it is pronounced: 빛나는 (beetnanun) as an adjective, and 빛나다 (beetnada) or 빛나요 (beetnayo) as a simple present tense verb. In Chinese, it is written: 明亮的 and pronounced: (mingliang de), and I recognize the final characters here:的 as post position particles. Since this is is an adjective, this post position particle must mark adjectives: 的.

彼女の頭には明るい光があります。(Kanojo no atama ni wa akarui hikari ga arimasu.) = There is a bright light over her head. = 그녀의 머리 위에 밝은 빛이 있예요 (kunyeo oo-ee meorii weeree we-eh balkun beetee eesseoyo) = 她头顶上有一束亮光 (Tā tóudǐng shàng yǒuyī shù liàngguāng.)

Japanese: 明るい = bright. In hiragana, this is あかるい (akarui)/

Korean: 明亮 = bright. In hanmoon, this is: 빛는 (beetnun) as an adjective, 빛나다 (beetnadah) as the basic simple present tense verb on the page, and 빛나요 (beetnayo) as the simple present tense polite speaking form of the verb. If you want to make it formal, the simple present tense verb becomes: 빛납니다 (beetnabneedah).

Chinese: 明亮 的= bright. In Chinese, this is pronounced: mingliang de.

明るいです= (akarui desu.) = It is bright.

빛나요 (beenayo) = It is bright.

它是明亮的 (ta shi mingliang de) = It is bright. 
The next character based on 日 (sun or day) is 時.  This character means "time."  In Japanese, it is pronounced: とき (toki) or じ (ji).  In Korean, it is pronounced: 시간 (sheekan)or 시 (shee).  In traditional Chinese, it is pronounced: shi, and in modern Chinese, it is changed to: 时.  
何時ですか (nan ji desuka) = What time is it? = 매 시 예요? (me shee yeyo?) = 現在是幾奌 (Xiànzài shì jǐ diǎn)

Japanese: 時 = time. This is pronounced: とき (toki) or じ(ji).

Korean: 時 = time. This is pronounced: 시간 (sheekan) or 시 (shee).

Modern Chinese: 时 = time. In Chinese, this is pronounced: shi.

十二時です (juniji desu) = It is twelve o'clock.

열두 시 이예요. (yoldu shee eeyeyo) = It is twelve o'clock.

Traditional Chinese:
十二點了(Shí'èr diǎnle) = It is twelve o'clock.
Modern Chinese:
十二点了 (Shí'èr diǎnle) = It is twelve o'clock.
The next character based on 日 (sun or day), is 晴. This character means "clear up" like after the rain.  In Japanese, since this is a verb, it needs a bit more to it: 晴れる(hareru) is the infinitive that you find in the dictionary, and 晴れります (harerimasu) is simple present tense and future tense. 晴れりました (harerimashita) is past tense.  In Korean, this is: 맑다 (malkdah) in the basic form on the page and in the dictionary. 맑기 (malkgee) is the infinitive form. 맑아요 (malkahyo) = clear up or clears up. 맑을거예요 (malkul keoyeyo) is "will clear up," and 맑었어요 (malkeosseoyo) is "cleared up." 맑는적이 있다 (malknun jeokee eettda) is "has or have cleared up." 맑돈적이 있다 (malkdonjeokee eettda) is "had cleared up."  In Chinese (both traditional and modern) 晴 is changed to: 清理 and pronounced: Qinglin.  
雨は晴れました。 (ame wa haremashita.) = The rain has cleared up. =비가 맑는 적이 있어요. (beenun malknun jeokee eetteoyo) =雨已經清除了 (Yǔ yǐjīng qīngchúle.)

Japanese: 晴れる (hareru) = to clear up. 晴れります (harerimasu) = clears up, are clear up, will clear up. 晴れりました (harerimashita) = cleared up, has or have had cleared up.

Korean: 清理 = clear up. In hangul, this is 맑다 (malkda) in the basic form you find on the page and in the dictionary. 맑기 (malkgee) is the infinitive form: “to clear up.” 맑어요 (malkah-yo) = clear up, clears up. 맑었어요 (malkeosseoyo) = clearned up. 맑을거예요 (malkul keoyeyo) = will clear up. 맑는 적이 있다 (malknun jeokee eettda) or 맑눈 적이 있어요 (malknun jeokee eesseoyo) = has or have cleared up/ 맑돈적이 있다 (malkdon jeokee eettdah) or 맑돈족이 있어요 (malkdon jeokee eesseoyo) = had cleared up. (And, there are many more forms in Korean.)

Chinese: 清理 = clear up. In Chinese, this is pronounced: 清理.


When you see how complicated the Korean language is, you might understand why when they used hanmoon all the time, most of the country except the scholars were illiterate. One of the best things they could have done for themselves and for the rest of the world is to invent the hangul. Because King Sejeong invented the hangul, all of Korea can read now, 0% illiteracy. However, they haven’t completely gotten rid of the hanmoon because they can see value in it. The scholars in Korean use the hanmoon while the average man on the street uses only hangul The Japanese and the Chinese have tried to simplify what they do also. They went through a reform period when they tried to simplify the kanji and the hanzi. The Chinese have adapted a lot. They use the English word order, but still have the post position particles, and if they want to transcribe their hanzi, they use English letters. The Japanese still use several alphabets: hiragana, katakana, romaji, and the kanji. If I were the Japanese, I would be pushing for more simplification of the writing system. As an American, I would like to simplify the spoken Korean a bit, but the spoken Korean, with all its complexities tells you about the Korean culture, and they feel the need for so many different ways to say the same thing because there are things in their society that are very important that other countries don’t quiet understand except Japan and China. The Japanese I use here is Tokyo ben (Tokyo dialect.) It is the most polite Japanese, and really the only Japanese I can speak except a few words of Ibaraki ben (Ibaraki dialect) because that is what they teach to foreigners and that is how they speak with people from other parts of Japan. The dialects in Japan are so different, they are close to being different languages like the difference between Italian and Romanian. They are very close. Some of the words in Italian and Romanian are exactly the same, and some are only similar, and that s how the different dialects are in Japan. I have known Romanians who never studied Italian, but sent on vacation here and came back speaking Italian. That is how the dialects are in Japan, but no one thinks of them as separate languages.

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