RE: Q.'s about hanja

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Tue Nov 07 2000 - 11:11:48 EST

SoHee Kim wrote:
> > 1) Is it correct to say that hanja are only used for words
> derived from
> > Chinese, and never for genuninely Korean words?
> What do you mean by genuinely Korean words?

It was just a poor expression. I meant "Korean words that were not derived
from Chinese".

(Of course, all words in a language are "genuine", whether or not they are
loans from other languages.)

> We had our own words even before Hangul was made. But this
> doesn't mean these
> words are derived from Chinese. Before King SeJong made
> Hangul at 1446, since
> we didn't have other characters to write, we used Hanja.
> There are Korean words that can be written in Hangul or
> Hanja. And there are some that can be written only in Hangul.

What I actually wanted to ask is: "Are there any Korean words, *not* derived
from Chinese, that can be written with hanja?"

I know that this is the case for Japanese: kanji are used both for writing
Chinese loanwords (called "on" reading) and Japanese words not known to be
taken from other languages (called "kun" reading).

So what I meant is: does Korean has something like this?


Nice. Thanks!

> > 2) Is it true that hanja have been abolished in North
> Korea? When did this
> > happen?
> I am not sure about this.

Karlsson Kent told me privately that they haven't been abolished.
Maybe they simply are not very commonly used.

> > 3) How often are hanja used today, however? (...)
> As far as I know some newspapers still use Hanja in order to
> convey the meaning clearly. Same at books.
> > 4) How do Koreans input hanja on computers?
> We don't. No need to do so.

Aren't these two answers slightly contraddictory? I think that newspapers
and books are probably composed on computers in today's Korea. So at least
publishers (if not common people) must have some way of typing hanja...

Thank you.

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