Hanja Lesson 7: 王, 天, 手, 字, 員

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In the previous Lesson, I mentioned that I always try to introduce groups of characters that share a similar theme in the same lesson. The theme in this lesson has nothing to do with the meaning of the characters. Instead, all the characters in this lesson are easy to draw. Of course, because you are still at Lesson 7, each character is very common in and around Korea. Because of their simplicity, the characters in this lesson are recognized by the majority of Koreans.

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= = King
(Korean name:
임금 )

There are a few words that contain this character, but it is usually just used by itself to mean “king.” There are a few other words that you may find, but there usage is fairly limited (how often would you say “king’s chamber”?). Nonetheless, this is one of the most recognizable characters in Korea, and is very simple to draw.

Lesson7pic1Common Words using this Character:
王 = king
세종大王 = Sejong the great (“big king”)
女王 = queen (female king)
王비 = queen

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= = Heaven
(Korean name:
하늘 )

Another common character with a simple meaning that is easy to draw.

Lesson7pic2Common Words using this Character:
天국 = heaven (heaven country)
天下 = the world (below heaven)
天사 = an angel
天주교 = the Catholic Church

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= = Hand
(Korean name:
)

While this character technically means “hand,” you can find it in a number of words where the connection to a “hand” is not very apparent. For example, 手 is found in the word “실수” (a mistake). However, it is hard to connect the word “mistake” to a hand. Nonetheless, there are other words where the connection to “hand” is more obvious. As with the other characters in this lesson, the simplicity of 手 makes it very recognizable amongst Korean people.

Lesson7pic3Common Words using this Character:
실手 = mistake
手술 = surgery
선手 = player/athlete
세手하다 = to wash one’s hands
박手하다 (usually said as “박手 치다”) = to clap one’s hands
악手하다 = to shake hands
手건 = towel
手표 = a check
가手 = singer

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= = Letter/Writing
(Korean name:
글자 )

Literally the “자” in “한자.” Used in a variety of common words to have the meaning of “letter” or “writing.” Also notice that this character contains “” (아들 자) which is also pronounced as “자” .

Lesson7pic5Common Words using this Character:
글字 = letter, character
大문字 = upper-case letter
小문字 = lower-case letter
한字 = Korean Chinese characters

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= = Person
(Korean name:
수효 )

The name of this character is “수효 원,” which translates to “number 원.” It would be much better if this character was called “사람 원” because this character is usually used to indicate that something is a person. Only in some words will you see this character have the meaning of “number.”

You will often find this as the last character in a noun. The characters before “員” are usually other Hanja characters that describe the type of person. For example, “연구” means research, and can be represented as 硏究 in Hanja. By placing “員” as the last character, we get “硏究員”, which means “researcher.”

Also notice that the picture itself actually looks like a person, which makes this an easy character to remember.

Lesson7pic4gCommon Words using this Character:
직員 = employee/staff member
공무員 = government worker
회員 = member (of a gym, for example)
사員 = employee/staff member
종업員 = employee/worker
人員 = number of people
연구員 = researcher
의員 = member of some important government position (congress or something similar)

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.Okay, I got it! Take me to the next lesson! Or,
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