In this lesson, you will learn the Hanja characters for the numbers 1 to 10. You will learn how to read, write and recognize 일, 이, 삼, 사, 오, 육, 칠, 팔, 구 and 십.
Numbers in Hanja
I have some bad news.
In this lesson, one of the Hanja characters you will learn is “일.”
You might be thinking to yourself: “Oh! I know the Hanja character for “일.”
You know one of the characters for “일.” Just because you have learned a Hanja character that corresponds to a Korean syllable, does not mean that is the only character that represents that syllable. In fact, one Korean syllable can be represented by many different Hanja characters – each with a different meaning. For example:
日 is pronounced in Korean as “일.” It has the meaning of “day.”
一 is pronounced in Korean as “일.” It has the meaning of “one.”
The same can be said for many other Korean syllables. You do not need to know these characters yet, but I want to present them to you to explain my point further:
子 is pronounced in Korean as “자.” It means “son.” (자식 = children)
者 is pronounced in Korean as “자.” It means “person..” (환자 = patient)
字 is pronounced in Korean as “자.” It means “writing.” (한자 = Hanja)
自is pronounced in Korean as “자.” It means “automatic” or “oneself” (자유 = freedom)
In addition to the above, there are more Hanja characters that can represent “자.” Each with a different meaning.
You can see the same thing with many Korean syllables. For example, 동 can be represented by 洞, 東, 動, 同, etc. All with the same pronunciation in Korean, but each with a different meaning.
When I first learned of this fact, I thought it was terrible because it meant that there were going to be significantly more characters to learn than I originally thought. However, you don’t need to worry because you will be introduced to each character as they become important. For now, just sit back and enjoy the ride.
一 = 일 = One
(Korean name: 한 일)
The easiest Hanja character. Takes no effort to learn or reproduce.
二= 이 = Two
(Korean name: 두 이)
Slightly more difficult than 一. But I don’t know if drawing two lines should be thought of as “difficult.”
三 = 삼 = Three
(Korean name: 석 삼)
Same as above. Draw three lines.
四 = 사 = Four
(Korean name: 넉 사)
Okay, now we are back to something that is a little bit more difficult. I always remembered this character because the box has four sides.
五 = 오 = Five
(Korean name: 다섯 오)
六 = 육/륙 = Six
(Korean name: 여섯 륙)
Don’t confuse this character with 大:
七 = 칠 = Seven
(Korean name: 일곱 칠)
八 = 팔 = Eight
(Korean name: 여덟 팔)
九 = 구 = Nine
(Korean name: 아홉 구)
十 = 십 = Ten
(Korean name: 열 십)
That’s it for this lesson!