Friday, March 22, 2019

What does 우듬지 mean?

ANSWER: treetop, top branches of a tree

우듬지 is a pure Korean word. The Chinese character meaning 우듬지 is 梢 (초), which is listed under the "tree" radical 木 (목) in Chinese character dictionaries. If you wanted to describe the sound of treetops rustling in the wind using Chinese characters, you would write 梢梢 (초초).

The human nervous system is divided into the central nervous system (중추신경계 中樞神經系) and the peripheral nervous system (말초신경계 末梢神經系). In the Korean name for the peripheral nervous system, the 말 in 말초 (末梢) means "end," so the word that Koreans use to mean "peripheral" (말초 末梢) literally means "the ends of the top branches of trees." Doesn't that make the Korean word for "peripheral" (말초) easier to remember?

The following is a video of treetops rustling in the wind (梢梢).

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Why should you study Chinese characters (한자 漢字)?

ANSWER: Because they help make the hard words easier to remember and understand. Plus, if you want to be able to read original documents of the Yi Dynasty (Joseon Kingdom) and of ancient China, then you will need to learn a few thousand Chinese characters and the grammar of literary Chinese, which is somewhat different from the grammar of modern Chinese.

The video below shows animations of how to write the 214 Chinese radicals. Radicals are Chinese characters that are used to categorize the thousands of different characters used to write the Chinese language. They work in a way similar to how words like "mammals, "reptiles," "amphibians," and "bony fishes" work in Biology to categorize all the different species of animals in the world. For example, one of the 214 radicals is the Chinese character 水(수), which means "water," so things related to water, including "ice" (氷 빙) and "a river" (江 강), are listed under the radical 水(수). Another radical is 木(목), which means "tree" or "wood," so things related to trees or wood, including "a plum tree" (李 리) and "timber" (材 재), are listed under the radical 木.

Other characters listed under the radicals meaning "water" and "wood" are not always as obvious as the ones mentioned above. For example, it makes sense that the character meaning "sweat" (汗 한) is listed under the "water" radical, but why is the character meaning "to decide" (決) listed there?

By the way, 氵(수) is a variant form of 水 (수), so either 水 or 氵 will be a component of all the characters listed under the "water" (水) radical. When the 水 form is used as a component of a character, it appears at either the top or bottom of the character, such as in the characters 泉 (천), meaning "a spring," and 畓 (답), meaning "rice paddy." When the variant form 氵is used, it appears as the left-side component of a character, such as in the characters 泣 (읍), meaning "to cry," and 流 (류), meaning to "to flow."

One of the reasons some characters have variants is that they help make it easier to write the characters within the imaginary rectangular boxes that Chinese characters are written. Vertically long, thin variants are often used as side components of characters while shorter, flatter variants are used for top or bottom components. And even when there is no variant, the original character itself can be stretched or flattened to fit within the imaginary box. Notice how the 水 (수) character is flattened when it is used as a bottom component in 泉 and as a top component in 畓. That is because you have to fit two characters (白 and 水 in the case of 泉, and 水 and 田 in the case of 畓) within the same size imaginary box that the single character 水 is written.

So, since every Chinese character has, at least, one of the 214 radicals as one of its components or is a radical itself, learning to write the radicals correctly is a good way to start learning to write Chinese characters correctly. By the way, it is important to write Chinese characters in the correct stroke order. And you need to practice writing each character over and over again to develop muscle memory.

I really like the following video because it shows how to write each of the 214 radicals in both slow motion and at normal speed. It also shows the pronunciation of each character in Chinese and its English and Spanish meanings. Unfortunately, the video does not show the Korean pronunciations, so I have made and posted a chart below the video that shows the Korean pronunciations of the characters in the same sequence that the characters appear in the video. That means the number 10 character in the video will be the number 10 character on my chart. 

The Korean script above each of my characters tells first the Korean meaning or name of the character and then its Korean pronunciation. The Korean pronunciation is the last syllable in the Korean script above each character. For example, the first Chinese radical is 一, and the script above it reads 한일. That means 한 is the meaning, and 일 is the pronunciation of that character. Since 한 is the pure Korean word for "one," the radical 一 means "one," and its pronunciation in Korean is 일. The Chinese pronunciation is "," but unless you want to learn to speak Chinese, you do not need to learn the Chinese pronunciation. If a box on my chart has more than one character in it, then the character on the left side of the box is the main character, and the character or characters to its right is its variant or variants.

Finally, from my own experience, practicing writing Chinese characters is a relaxing exercise, almost like a form of meditation. As you write the same character over and over again to develop muscle memory and improve your writing style, your mind will probably start to relax as your hand takes over the task. I used to practice writing Chinese characters at night before going to bed, often writing the same character over and over 10, 15, or more times, and after doing that for 30 or 40 minutes, I would sleep like a baby.


The video is 1 hour and 50 minutes long, so many will probably not do it all in one setting. I suggest doing the first 15, 20, or 30 minutes of the video every night until the characters almost start writing themselves, and then move on to the next 15, 20, or 30 minute segment of the video. The objective is to train your hand to do the writing while you just listen to the relaxing music playing in the background. Don't worry about putting the characters into words or sentences, yet. Many of the radicals are used as words by themselves, but quite a few are just components of other characters. Nevertheless, if you can train your hand to write the components and learn their meanings, then later you will only have to learn how to put the component pieces together, not learn how to write them.







1
1
2
3
4
5
6
2
7
8
(한일)
(뚫을곤)
(점주)
丿(삐침)
(새을)
(갈고리궐)
(두이)
(머리부분두)
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
(사람인)
(인진사람인)
(들입)
(여덟팔)
(멀경)
(덮을멱)
(얼음빙)
(책상궤)
(입버릴감)
(칼도)
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
(힘력)
(쌀포)
(비수비)
(상자방)
(감출혜)
(열십)
(점복)
(무릎절)
(언덕한)
(사사사)
29
3
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
(또우)
(입구)
(에워쌀위)
(흙토)
(선비사)
(뒤져올치)
(천천히걸을쇠)
(저녁석)
(큰대)
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
(여자녀)
(아들자)
(집면)
(마디촌)
(작을소)
(절름발이왕)
(주검시)
(싹날철)
(메산)
(내천),
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
(장인공)
(몸기)
(수건건)
(방패간)
(작을요)
广(터진집엄)
(길게걸을인)
(받을공)
(주살익)
(활궁)
58
59
60
4
61
62
63
64
65
66
(튼가로왈)
(터럭삼)
(조금걸을척)
(마음심)忄㣺
(창과)
(외짝문호)
(손수)
(지탕할지)
(두드릴복)
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
(글월문)
(말두)
(날근)
(모방)
(없을무)
(날일)
(가로왈)
(달월)
(나무목)
(하품흠)
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
(그칠지)
(뼈앙상할알)
(칠수)
(말무)
(견줄비)
(터럭모)
(성씨)
(기운기)
(물수)氵氺
(불화)
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
5
95
(손톱조)
(아비부)
(엇걸릴효)
(널빤지장)
(조각편)
(어금니아)
(소우)
(개견)
(검을현)
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
(구슬옥)
(오이과)
(기와와)
(달감)
(날생)
(쓸용)
(밭전)
(필필)
(병들녁)
(필발머리발)
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
(흰백)
(가죽피)
(그릇명)
(눈목)
(창모)
(화살시)
(돌석)
(보일시변)
(발자국유)
(벼화)
116
117
6
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
(구멍혈)
(설립)
(대죽)
(쌀미)
(가는실멱)
(질그릇부)
(그물망)
(양양)
(깃우)
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
133
134
(늙을로)
(말이을이)
(쟁기뢰)
(귀이)
(붓율)
(고기육)
(신하신)
(스스로자)
(이를지)
(절구구)
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142
143
144
(혀설)
(어그러질천)
(배주)
(볼간)
(빛색)
(풀초)
(범호)
(벌레훼)
(피혈)
(다닐행)
145
146
7
147
148
149
150
151
152
153
(옷의)
(덮을아)
(볼견)
(뿔각)
(말씀언)
(골짜기곡)
(콩두)
(돼지시)
(맹수치)
154
155
156
157
158
159
160
161
162
163
(조개패)
(붉을적)
(달릴주)
(발족)
(몸신)
(수레거)
(매울신)
(별진)
(책밫침착)
(고을읍)
164
165
166
8
167
168
169
170
171
172
(닭유)
(분별할변)
(마을리)
(쇠금)
(길장)
(문문)
(언덕부)
(미칠이)
(새추)
173
174
175
9
177
178
179
180
181
182
(비우)
(푸를청)
(아닐비)
(낯면)
(가죽혁)
(다룸가죽위)
(부추구)
(머리혈)
(바람풍)
183
184
185
186
10
187
188
189
190
191
(날비)
(밥식)
(머리수)
(향기향)
(말마)
(뼈골)
(높을고)
(머리길표)
(싸움두)
192
193
194
11
195
196
197
198
199
200
(술창)
(오지병격)
(귀신귀)
(고기어)
(새조)
(소금밭)
鹿(사슴록)
(보리맥)
(삼마)
12
201
202
203
204
13
205
206
207
208
(누를황)
(기장서)
(검을흑)
(바느질할치)
(맹꽁이맹)
(솥정)
(북고)
(쥐서)
14
209
210
15
211
16
212
213
17
214
(코비)
(가지런할제)
(치치)
(용룡)
(거북귀)
(피리약)