Hanja Lesson 40: 辛, 油, 肉

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In this lesson, you will learn three characters related to food.


辛 = 신 = Spicy
(Korean name:  매울 신)


This character isn’t very common in words, but you see it all the time because it is on the cover of the “辛라면” box.


油 = 유 = Oil, Fat
(Korean name: 기름 유)


Common Words using this Character:
注油所 = gas station
原油 = crude oil
食用油 = cooking oil
석油 = petroleum


肉 = 육 = Meat
(Korean name:  고기 육)

You will often see this character outside restaurants, especially if they are Chinese restaurants. Of course, you will often see this character on menus in China, because most types of meet would end in 肉. For example, the word for “cow” in Chinese is 牛 and the word for “beef” is 牛肉. Likewise, the word for pig is 猪 and the word for “pork” is 猪肉.


Common Words using this Character
肉水 = meat broth
肉食動物 = carnivore
수肉 = boiled beef/pork
근肉 = muscle
肉개장 = hot meat stew
肉회 = raw Korean beef dish

Your ability to understand the word 肉食動物is an example that shows the importance of Hanja study. The word “육식동물” in Korean is quite difficult, and it typically wouldn’t be a word that Korean learners would need to study within their first few years. However, understanding the Hanja characters allows Korean learners to intuitively understand the meaning of the word without much struggle. If we break down the meanings of each Hanja character in 肉食動物 – this is what we come up with:

육 = meat
식 = eat
동 = moving
물 = thing

If we put them together, we get a – “meat eating moving thing (animal).”
If you didn’t know the Hanja characters within this word, I would argue that it would be more difficult to remember “ 육식동물.” However, now that you know the Hanja characters, it should be no problem for you to remember this word.


That’s it for Unit 2! You have now learned the first 200 characters that any learner of Korean should know.

You can test yourself on the 95 Hanja characters you learned in Unit 2 with our Hanja Unit 2 Test.

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