Elwood 5566

Useful Hanja Sources 漢字

Posted in Korean language by 노강호 on June 14, 2010


I am absolutely no authority on hanja, the 1800 Chinese characters which have entered the Korean language and appear fairly frequently in newspapers and on hoardings. Everything I have learned about hanja has been self taught and probably pretty pointless given that I could have used my time increasing my Korean spoken ability – which despite much endevour is still totally at the totally beginner level. So, the sole purpose of any posts on this blog is to share information with others who are struggling to find meaning in those beautiful squiggles. This process is fraught with problems as I have never had the luxury of a ‘teacher’ who has been adept enough in English to render character meanings with precision and clarity and hence I find myself dragging bits of information from various sources few of which are designed for purely English speaking people.

There are numerous children’s television programs designed to teach children hanja, all of course, in Korean, and often based on the Thousand Character Classic. (千字文), as is a children’s play.

Link to: '문법천자문' Advert for the series book based on the 'Thousand Character Classic'

I’m quite sure this comic series has been produced for television and I’m currently trying to track it down.  Another useful source, a series of lectures for adults, can be found on Daum. As expected, it is in Korean. (http://pino.peeringportal.co.kr/pino/install/check.htm) The Daum site has a number of lectures and if the blue pop up blocks the screen, press the white characters (이곳) and then the blue arrow exposed underneath.

A book is also available which is used in many middle and high schools (생활 한자 쓰기 교본) which cost about 5000 Won. It provides fairly straight forward visual guides lines for the balancing of the various components within a character. This is is particularly useful for more complex characters.

Middle school and high school hanja book. (2007)

Useful for the visual guide to balancing internal components of more complex characters

The most important aspect of trying to learn hanja is writing characters out. It’s probably not possible to learn hanja, unless you have a photographic memory, without writing them – hundreds of times! As with all other forms of writing resources, for English, maths, music etc, Korean bookstores and stationers  provide a vast range of various types of hanja writing exercise books.

Exercise books for writing hanja

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