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Kanji, Hanmoon, and Hanzi, Part 23 (感じ(かんじ)(kanji), 한문 (hanmoon), and the Chinese Characters Used in China)

We are working on characters that are a combination of two characters and have one that we have already learned to the left of them that combined mean something else. Here are the characters we have worked with so far:

  1. 口 = mouth, opening, or entrance. This is pronounced: くち (kuchi) in Japanese, 입 (eeb) in Korean, and “kou” in Chinese.

The characters coming from this:

A. 味 = taste. In Japanese, this is pronounced: あじ (aji). In Korean, this is pronounced: 마시 (mashee), and in Chinese, it is pronounced: wei.

B. 呼 = call. In Japanese, this is pronounced: よぶ (yobu). In Korean, this is pronounced: 요구 (yogoo), and in Chinese, it is pronounced: ghu.

C. 吸 = inhale. In Japanese, this needs an extra vowel, and is pronounced: 吸う (su-u). In Korean, this is: 흡입 (hubeeb). In Chinese, this is pronounced: xi.

2. 土 = earth. In Japanese, this is pronounced: ち (chi) orど (do). In Korean, this is pronounced: 지구 (jeegyoo) or 토류 (toryoo). In Chinese, it is pronounced: di.

The characters coming from this:

A. 地 = earth. In Japanese, it is pronounced: ち (chi). In Korean, it is pronounced: 지구 (jeegoo) or 먼지 (meonjee), 어스 (eosu), or 대지 (dejee) (There are many pronunciations in Korean, even more than this.) In Chinese, this is pronounced: di or tudi.

B. 場 = place. In Japanese, this is pronounced: ば (ba), and if you add a bit more: 場所 is pronounced: ところ (tokoro). In Korean, this is pronounced: 장소 (jangso). In Chinese, another hanzi is added: 地方, and this is pronounced: difang.

C. 坂 = slope. In Japanese, this is pronounced: さか (saka). In Korean, it is pronounced: 경사 (gyeonsa). In Chinese, it is pronounced: po.

D. 土曜日 = Saturday. In Japanese, this is pronounced: どよび (doyobi). In Korean, it is pronounced: 토요일 (toyo-eel), and in Chinese, a different character is used: 週六 in traditional Chinese, and 周六 in modern simplified Chinese, and it is pronounced: zhou liu.

3. 女 = woman. In Japanese, this is pronounced: おんな (on-na). In Korean, this is pronounced: 여자 (yojah) or 여성 (yeoseong), and in Chinese: nuren, and in Chinese, they usually add 人 which means “person,” and is pronounced: “ren” in Chinese: 女人.

The characters coming from this are:

A. 好 = like (the verb). In Japanese, you need a bit more added to it: 好きです, and it is pronounced: sukidesu. In Korean, this is: 좋아한다 (joh-ah-handa), 좋아하다 (joh-ah-hada) or 좋아해요 (joh-ah-heyo). In Chinese, it is pronounced: hao.

B. 姉 = older sister. In Japanese, this is pronounced: あね (ane). In Korean, this is pronounced: 언니 (eon-nee). In Chinese, this is a bit different, but with the same character to the left: 姐姐. This is pronounced: “jiejie” in Chinese.

C. 妹 = younger sister. In Japanese, this is pronounced: いもうと (imo-uto). In Korean, this is pronounced: 여동생 (yodongseng). In Chinese, this is written: 妹妹, and is pronounced: meimei.

4. 子 = child. In Japanese, this is pronounced: こ (koh), and if you add a little more, 子ども (kodomo). Both of these words means “child.” In Korean, this is pronounced: 아 (ah-ee) or 어린이 (eoreenee). In Chinese, just 子 is pronounced: zi, and 孩子 is pronounced: haizi, and they both mean “child.”

I only have one character that this is used on the left side. However, it is also used at the end of numerous names in Japan.

A. 孫 = grandchildren. In Japanese, this is pronounced: まご (mago). In Korean, this is pronounced: 손자 (sonjah), and in Chinese, they add 子 another time, and it becomes: 孫子 which is pronounced: sunzi.

B. 秋子 (akiko) is my oldest daughter’s Japanese name. In English, her name is Autumn K. She lives in Japan with her Japanese husband.

C. 冬 (fuyu) is my youngest daughter’s Japanese name, and it could easily be: 冬子 (fuyuko) meaning “Winter.”

D. 麗子 (reiko) is my Japanese name. My Japanese friends gave it to me. Initially, they didn’t tell me the meaning of the kanji they gave me, but I learned from a friend who wasn’t too embarrassed to tell me, and it means “pretty girl.”

E. 恵子 (keiko) is the name of my Japanese sister, but I never learned the meaning of her name in English.

F. 愛子 (aiko) is the name of 恵子’s (keiko’s) best friend, and you can find 愛子 (aiko) on my Facebook page. 恵子 (keiko) can’t figure the computer out. However, 愛子 (aiko) means “love chid.”

G. One of my best friend’s names in Japan is 真理子(mariko). (However, I am just guessing about her kanji, and I don’t know the meaning of her name in English.) However, you can see the trend in Japan, to put 子 (ko) at the end of the girl’s names. She is also my Facebook friend, but she never gets on. I communicate with her through email if just have to talk to her, and her husband has a Facebook page. She gave me a party a couple of years ago when I visited Japan and invited lots of friends I hadn’t seen in a long time.

5. 弓 = bow, like a bow and arrow. In Japanese, this is pronounced: ゆみ (yumi). In Korean, this is pronounced: 활 (whal). In Chinese, this is pronounced: gong.

A.引 = pull. This is a verb, so a little more is addes to it. In Japanese, this is: 引きます(hikimasu). In Korean, it is: 당겨 하다 (dang gyeo hada) or 당겨 해요(dang gyeo heyo). In Chinese, this has a bit more to it: 張力, and it is pronounced: lali. The last hanzi in Chinese: 力 is pronounced “li,” and it means “power.”

B. 強 = strong. Since this is an adjective, in Japanese, we have to add a little to it: 強い(tsuyoi). In Korean, it is: 강한 (kanghan). In Chinese, is is pronouned: quiang.

C. 弱 = weak. Again, we add a bit to it in Japanese because it is an adjective: 弱い (yowai), In Korean, this is: 양한 (yanghan). In Chinese, it is: ruo.

6. 日 = day, sun. In Japanese, this is pronounced either: にち (nichi) if it means “day,” and ひ (hi) if it means “sun.” In Korean, this is: 태양 (teyang) if it means “sun,” and 하루 (haroo), 일 (eel), or 날 (nal) if it means “day.” In Chinese, this is: ri, and if it means “sun,” it can also be: 太陽 (taiyang), like the Korean.

Characters coming from 日:

A. 明 = bright. In Japanese, since this is an adjective, it must end in い (i), and in Japanese, this is written: 明るい (akarui). In Korean, this is: 선명한 (seonmyeonghan) or 빛나는 (beetnanun) as an adjective. In Korean, thee are also verb forms for these words: 선명하다 (seonmyeon hada), 선명해요 (seonmyeon heyo), 빛나다 (beetnahdah), and 빛나요 (beetnayo) all means “it is bright” in Korean. In Chinese, this is pronounced: ming.

B. 時 = time. In Japanese, this is: とき(toki) or じ (ji). In Korean, this is: 시간 (shikan) or 시 (shee). In Chinese, this is: shi, and if you add a little to it: 時間, it is pronounced: shijian. The shorter versions of this word in all three languages is used when they tell time. They put it after the hour. In Japanese: 十時に(jiyu ji ni) means “at 10.00.” In Korean, 十時에 (열시 에) (yolshee eh) means “at 10:00.”

C. 晴 = to clear up, like the rain going away. In Japanese, since this is a verb, it needs a little more to it: 晴れる (hareru) means “to clear up,” and 晴れります (harerimasu) means “it clears up” or “it will clear up.” 晴れています(harete imasu) means “It is clearning up.” 晴れりました(harerimashita) means “It cleared up.” In Korean, 날씨가 맑아진다 (nalshee ga malkah-jindah) means “the weather clears up,” and this is the form you only find on the page. To say in polite conversation, “it clears up,” say: 맑아요 (malkah-yo). To say “it will clear up,” say: 맑을거예요 (malkul keoyeyo). To say “it cleared up,” say: 맑었어요 (malkeosseoyo). If you want to say “it has cleared up,” say: 맑는적이 있어요 (malknunjeokee eeesseioyo).

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Okay, that is a review of everything we have done so far with the characters that have the one simpler character to the left of them added to another. I hope you are enjoying this. For me, studying these characters has always been like a game, but in places where they use them, they are serious academic study for the students in their schools. In Japan, when I worked in the language school there, students were always going to the Japanese teachers for help because they have to pass kanji levels all the way through school. We are lucky that we aren’t pushed hard with these characters. The average man on the street doesn’t know many of these in Korea, only the scholars because when they used only these, only the upper class could read because they take so much time to learn. The rest of the people were too busy trying to earn a living to try to learn to read. The Koreans were right in inventing the hangul, the alphabet they use now because now they have 100% literacy.

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