Saturday, December 31, 2005

Who are the Brothers 반?

Once upon a time, there were three brothers of the family 반. One was called 절반 반(), one was called 돌이킬 반(), and the other was called 옮길 반(). In English 절반 means “half”; 돌이킬 can mean either “turn around,” “restore,” “reflect on,” or “reconsider”; and 옮길 means “move.” As you can see, even though they were brothers, they looked nothing alike. 절반 반() stood tall and straight while 돌이킬 반() always seemed to be bent over and looking over his shoulder. 옮길 반() is more difficult to describe, but he was often ill-tempered and always carried a "ship" on his shoulder. Even though the three brothers did not look alike, their children did have certain features of their fathers.

Here are the four eldest children of 절반 반() with their Korean names and English meanings:
  • - 짝 one of a pair
  • – 버릴 throw away
  • – 두둑 a levee
  • – 줄 thread
Here are the three eldest children of 돌이킬 반() with their Korean names and English meanings:
  • – 밥 cooked rice
  • – 배반할 betray
  • – 돌아올 return
And here are the three eldest children of 옮길 반() with their Korean names and English meanings:
  • – 소반 a small dining table
  • – 옮길 move (named after his father)
  • – 쟁반 tray
The brothers 반 also had five ugly sisters who never married nor had any children. Here they are with their Korean names and English meanings:
  • – 나눌 divide
  • – 더위잡을 grasp
  • – 얼룩 spot; stain
  • – 나눌 divide (For some reason, named after her sister.)
  • – 광물 이름 name of minerals (e.g. 명반, 녹반, 백반)
Finally, the brothers 반 had a step brother, whose real father’s family name was 번. Their step brother’s name was 차례, which means “order.” Here is what 차례 번 looked like:
For some reason, 차례 never adopted the 반 family name; however, a few of his children did. Here are the names and English meanings of the children of 차례 who adopted the 반 family name:
  • – 뜨물 water from the first washing of rice
  • – 강 이름 name of a river
  • – 서릴 be tangled
On this new year, all the members of the 반 family would like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous 2006.


  1. Gerry,
    You do study Korean! Keep up the good work.

    I am studying English in the US and you are studying Korean in Korea.

    Actually, we are very similar. The only difference is that you hate Koreans, while I love Americans. Of course, there are some exceptions.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Very cute story for teaching Chinese characters. What was the source?

  3. Baduk,

    Just because I do not always agree with Koreans does not mean I hate them. I do not understand why that is so difficult for some Koreans to understand.


    The source of the story was my head. I was studying Chinese characters that day and just started making up goofy associations.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.