Elwood 5566

Hanja – Bruce K Grant

Posted in Korean language by 노강호 on January 10, 2011

Bruce Grant

For those interested in learning or expanding their knowledge of hanja, the several thousand Chinese characters incorporated into written Korean, one of my favourite books is available outside Korea, via Amazon. A Guide to Korean Characters, by Bruce. K. Grant is an excellent book which I have previously reviewed. The first copy I bought in 2000 at a cost of 15000 Won and ten years later a second copy cost me 15500 Won (£7.50p). Kyobo books in both Seoul and Daegu often have copies readily available.

An excellent and easy to use resource 

The book has excellent reviews and has probably been the most extensive source on Hanja characters since it was first published in 1979.

You don’t have to be an advanced student of Korean to use this book, even if you are a beginner who have just learned Hangul script you should get this inexpensive treasure.
This is pretty much the only book of its kind that is somewhat readily available, so if you see it – buy it.
There is unlikely to be any new books like this one.
For some reason people only seem to bother learning basic Korean, and the publishers know this so they wont bother publishing any new books like this.
But judging by all the positive reviews and remarks for this little book there is a need for material like this.
So, support the learning of Korean outside of South & North Korea and learn more than just the basics – develop and challenge yourself by learning traditional characters and expand your cultural knowledge (one of the 12 reviews currently hosted on Amazon USA).

The book is hardback and durable and even after 10 years of fingering in a sometimes humid climate, my original copy is still in good condition.  Grant has also published books on Korean Proverbs: Dragons Head, Snake Tail and Frog in a Well, (1982),  and White Field Korean (1982).

Also by Bruce Grant

Be careful where you buy Korean Characters as prices vary; in the USA the cost is approx $29 in the UK it is a staggering £35.

Link to Amazon USA

Link to Amazon UK

Previous review on Bathhouse Ballads

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© 林東哲 2011 Creative Commons Licence.


Hanja 'Dictionary' (漢字) PDF

Posted in Korean language by 노강호 on April 14, 2010


Even after years of studying Hanja, I find my skills random and inconsistent. When I first started studying Korean and Hanja, 10 years ago, you had to buy ‘Proofing Tools’ in order to write in various languages and accessing anything on the Korean language or Hanja was difficult. Indeed, even five years ago the information for example, on Korean food or any historical period other than the Korean War, was limited. On my first trip to Korea in 2000, not that long ago, the biggest book shop in the UK, Foyles, only stocked 2 basic language books and a pretty crappy dictionary. A year later I bought a dictionary online and my choice was very limited. Much has changed today.

I started compiling Hanja characters I’d learned and still do today partly as you can’t always rely on IME interfaces and with numerous compatibility problems something can always go wrong. Currently, for example, I have no IME pad, it just doesn’t activate and I see on various forums this seems to be a widespread problem. Neither does ‘Help’ work  on my Language Bar. Often I have had difficulty in finding characters and have imported them from else where. So I have learned not to rely comprehensively on programs and packages as they are so apt to mutate or disappear.

So, I have included here  PDF  and ‘Word’ copies of my working Hanja dictionary which currently has 602 characters. Of course, I can’t guarantee it is 100 % accurate,but it may be useful to others as you can tailor the ‘Word’ copies to your own needs. You will note there are two ‘Word’ copies; on my pc I use the one with an additional side column in which are various notes. However, if you want a more user-friendly A4 size, the version with ‘no sidebar.’ is ready to go.



HANJA DICTIONARY AUGUST 2010. (no side-bar)

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© Nick Elwood 2010. This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

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Hanja (한자. 漢字)

Posted in Five Second Hanja (Theme), Korean language by 노강호 on March 30, 2010

An excellent and easy to use resource.

Bruce K Grant. Published by Hollym. ISBN – 0-930878-13-2

This has been my favourite hanja resource for a number of years and to such an extent that I recently ordered a second copy. The book is organised in stroke  order which means characters easily be found  especially if you are familiar with the radical.  Each character’s stroke order is provided plus a number of examples given highlighting the use of the character. The book lists the 1800 characters (basic 1 stroke through to 26)  taught in Korean schools. In addition, there is an interesting introduction to the history of Chinese characters and an insight into the various types of characters. The author also provides a radical index and a list of the hanja characters associated with Korean family names.

The book hardback and durable, and unlike some books I have bought in Korea, the quality of both the paper and printing is excellent.

A glimpse inside the book. My photo doesn't do it justice!

I originally bought a copy in Kyobo Books, Seoul, in 2002 and last year ordered a copy from Kyobo Books, in Daegu. My original copy cost 15000W (approx £8.80.) and the most recent copy was still 15000 won, something!

Link -for a more recent review with links to Amazon

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.