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How Korean pronunciations of hanja are linked to Chinese pronunciation

Revision as of 23:00, 10 February 2021 by Mhan (talk | contribs)
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Rough draft 1 (2021/2/10), using mix of Simplified & Traditional

耳溪 洪良浩 (이계 홍양호) went to Qing during 1783, and learned about different things (cart making, brick making, construction, etc.) and reported back to the king. In the same report, he wrote the following (in summary)

  • Chinese and Koreans share a lot of words, however, there were no easy way to connect the sounds of the two since the time of Silla and Goryeo, however, King Sejong created the Hunminjeongeum, by operating on the principles of heaven, and by applying its principles to Chinese language, it was easily unpacked as a knot that is loosed by a sword, and by this, the scholars were able to master Chinese very quickly. However, the study of Chinese language has become formalized in certain way over time and these principles was lost, and even simple words can't be understood without a translator.

The point of this report is that you can learn to speak Chinese easily using Hangeul. This was lost in time.

東國正韻 (1447) was created in Korea after the creation of 洪武正韻 (1446) in China.

As written in Hunminjeongeum, the purpose was to be able to express the sound of all languages and even of animals. The four jamos lost during Japanese occupation need to be restored for this reason. (ㆍㅿㆁㆆ)

For example, "father" in English isn't exactly 파더, or 화더, but it can be accurately replicated with (up/down/right: ㅍㆆㅏ)더. In modern Korean, both Passion and Fashion are transliterated same, but with those old jamos, it's possible to differentiate between the two. In short, P/F, and L/R differentiations become possible. (left,right,right: ㄹㄹㅔ)이디오 instead of 라디오.

There are about 410 phonemes in Chinese, and there are 11,172 phonemes in Korean, and Hangeul can differentiate between P/F & L/R with the restoration of those four jamos. Modern Mandarin and pinyin-based charts are by Lee Hyeon Jun.

According to 東國正韻 Korean pronunciation of Hanja tends to be "fast, and small, and soft" (or abbreviated), and Chinese pronunciations are "slow, and large, and rough/thick."

Same sounding words

About 50% of Hanja (aka hanzi) are essentially pronounced the same way.

e.g. 主 住 主 妇 (주 주 주 부), 民主 (민주), 引用 (인용), 信用 (신용), 移動 (이동), 農民 (농민), 差異 (차이), 已往 (이왕), 觀光 (관광), 住民, etc.

Law of consonants

A conversion chart

ㅋ, ㄲ, ㅉ
ㅌ, ㄸ
ㅆ, ㅊ
ㅊ, ㅉ, ㅌ


孔 공 (韓) -> 콩 (中)

同 동 -> 통

瞳 동 -> 통

瞳孔 동공 -> 통콩

盘 반 -> 판

正, 主, 避, 進, 送, 東, 部, etc.

全部 전부 -> 취앤뿌

加, 家 가 -> 찌아

田 전 -> 티앤

天 천 -> 티앤

乡 향 -> 씨앙

故乡 고향 -> 꾸씨앙

蝦 하 -> 씨아

大蝦 대하 -> 따씨아

Law of vowels

Vowels in Chinese are "slow and large"

Koreans tend to abbreviate sounds.


아이 -> 애

사이 -> 새

반기어 -> 반겨

되었다 -> 됐다

금시에 -> 금세

당초에 -> 당최

새각씨 -> 색시

헐하다 -> 다

생원님 -> 샌님

석류황 -> 성냥

Chinese tend to unpack the sounds.

ㅐ -> ㅏ 이


愛 애 -> 아이

在 재 -> 짜이

开 개 -> 카이

海 해 -> 하이

來 래 -> 라이

太 태 -> 타이

快 쾌 -> 콰이

菜 채 -> 차이

待 대 -> 타이

賣買/买卖 매매 -> 마이마이

ㅗ -> ㅏ오

毛 모 -> 마오

好 호 -> 하오

道 도 -> 따오

保 보 -> 빠오

要, 高, 草, 老, etc.

ㅗ -> ㅜ

smaller to greater, e.g. in Korean, 촐랑촐랑 < 출렁출렁; 몰랑몰랑 < 물렁물렁; 소곤소곤 < 수군수군

Chinese tend to be "larger" therefore, sounds are converted to ㅜ

午 오 -> 우

初 초 -> 추

路 로 -> 루

固 고 -> 구

苦 고 -> 쿠

損 손 -> 쑨

圖書館 도서관 -> 투슈꾸안

ㅕ -> ㅣ

In North Korean dialect, 평양 (Pyeongyang) is pronounced closer to 핑양, because it's closer to Chinese pronunciation. Chinese also can't pronounce ㅕ very well.

歡迎 환영 -> 환잉

明洞 명동 -> 밍똥

明天 명천 -> 밍티앤

平和 평화 -> 핑허

零 령 -> 링

命令 명령 -> 밍링

警 景 經 京 境 경 -> 찡

ㅏ -> ㅡ (which is larger? 살금살금 < 슬금슬금, following the stated principle, Chinese tend to use ㅡ)

士 事 史 師 사 -> 쓰

四肢 사지 -> 쓰즤

從事 종사 -> 총쓰

字 자 -> 쯔

ㅎ -> ㅣ

中 pinyin conversion chart examples
zh ㅉ ㅎ ㅉ ㅎ ㅓ -> ㅉ + ㅣ + ㅓ = 쪄
ㅉ ㅎ ㅡ -> ㅉ + ㅣ + ㅡ = 쯰
折 (zhe) ㅈ허 -> 쪄
重 (zhong) ㅈ홍 - 쭁
只(zhi) ㅈ흐 - 쯰
ch ㅊ ㅎ ㅊㅎ ㅏ -> ㅊ + ㅣ + ㅏ = 챠
ㅊ ㅎ ㅓ -> ㅊ + ㅣ + ㅓ = 쳐
ㅊ ㅎ ㅡ -> ㅊ + ㅣ + ㅡ = 츼
场 (chang) ㅊ 항 - 챵
车 (che) ㅊ허 - 쳐
迟 (chi) ㅊ흐 - 츼

Law of final consonants

There are only ㄴ or ㅇ final consonants in Chinese. So just remove any final consonants except for ㄴ or ㅇ. Hunminjeongeum already explained the reasons why language eventually gets left with ㄴ and ㅇ ending sounds (fire & water sounds per 五行 explanation in Huminjeongeum), and it is true with Mandarin, where many groups of people have linguistic contacts with each other.


出發 출발 -> 츄(up, down, right: ㅍㅇㅏ)

1 일 -> 이

6 육 -> 류

7 칠 -> 치

8 팔 -> 파

必須 필수 -> 삐쒸

警察 경찰 -> 찡챠

雜 잡 -> 짜

哈 합 -> 하

拉 랍 -> 라

垃 랄 -> 라

歷史 역사 -> 리쓰

ㅁ -> ㄴ

林 림 -> 린

南 남 -> 난

三 삼 -> 산

暫 잠 -> 짠

暗 암 -> 안

心痛 심통 -> 씬통

擔當 담당 -> 딴땅

感動 감동 -> 깐똥

愛心 애심 -> 아이씬

暫時 잠시 -> 짠

海南 해남 -> 하이난

包含 포함 -> 빠오한

ㄴ -> ㅣ앤

变 변 -> 삐엔

間 간 -> 찌앤

面 면 -> 미앤

天 천 -> 티앤

缏 편 -> 삐앤

戰, 蓮, 見, 原, 現, 年, etc.