Elwood 5566

Learning Hanja Through Pictures

Posted in Korean language by 노강호 on May 9, 2010

I bought this series of children’s Hanja in 2002 and I’ve been using them on and off for eight years. Currently I’m 20 pages into book 3 and at the earliest I should finish them when I retire. Don’t ask me why! I find scribbling hanja intensely therapeutic.

Children's Hanja: Study through Pictures.

The series will introduce you to around 1000 of the required 1800 main hanja characters. Book 1 is particularly useful and is self explanatory despite being written in Korean.  100 basic characters are introduced using between 2 and about 10 strokes. The characters are grouped in themes such as numbers, compass directions, seasons, etc. Characters are introduced individually and in groups of two. EG: 동,방. (東, 方), east, direction = 동방 – (東方), eastern. At the back of each book is a listing for all the introduced characters.

Each book has ample space for practicing the strokes, a relevant cartoon containing many Confucian Idioms plus small explanatory passages. However, unless your Korean is fairly good, you will need a Hanja dictionary to explain the characters.

Book 1

Cartoon strip

Characters introduced in Book 1

Book 2

Books 2 gets progressively more difficult as the required strokes increase.

Book 2, More complex characters

Book 3

Books 3-4 are no more difficult than the latter stages of book 2 the only problem is remembering characters.

Book 3

Back cover details

When I bought these books they were probably one of the most  popular middle school supplementary support materials. Once well into book 2 it takes time discovering the meaning of each character as this necessitates using a dictionary, discovering radicals and so forth. Asking Koreans isn’t always helpful as often they are unable to clarify the meaning adequately in English. Understanding hanja, unless you’re  in a unique position, is an uphill struggle. If you’re just wanting to learn some simple, basic hanja, book 1 is excellent.

Title: 어린이 한자 (100, 200, 300, 400)

Cost; 4000W each.

Published by 예림당.

Author 심경석. (엮음)

ISBN (전 4권) 89-302-9804-4

Published in 2001.

http://www.yearim.co.kr (The series is still available and the site information is in both Korean and English however, if you use the online catalogue you may have to key ‘한자’ into the search facility to find relevant information)

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