What do these sentences translate to?

"당과 그 이전의 왕조들은 국가를 경영하는 엘리트를 극소수의 귀족 집안에서 충원하였다. 송대 이전까지 '사'와 '사대부'는 이들을 지칭하였다."

What exactly does "지칭하다" mean? Is that sentence saying... "The elite class during pre-Tang and those elites who ruled the dynasties were replaced by a small number of noble families."

And the second sentence... "Until before Song era, 'Sa' and 'Sadaebu' were called that."

Did I understand it correctly? If not, please correct me! Thanks.

3 Answers 3


"충원하다" means to hire or conscript (literally, "fill a vacant position"). So the first sentence means:

In the Tang dynasty and its predecessors, the ruling elites of the nation were hired out of a very small number of noble families.

The sentence basically says that only people from those noble families could get an opportunity to join the ruling elites.

In the second sentence, "지칭하다" means "refer to". You can understand the sentence as "...'사'와 '사대부'는 이들을 지칭하는 단어였다." That is:

Until before the Song dynasty, the terms "Sadaebu" and "sa" were used to denote these people.


A를 B라고 지칭하다 -> Call A B.

신세대로 지칭되는 젊은이. The youngs called/designated as new generation.

C를 D로 충원하다. -> Fill/Support missing peoples with/by hiring/exploiting D.

I hope it helped.


If we do not care refined English, I believe that you are correct except the minors :

(1) In my thought, for the better, were replaced -> were supplemented.

Note that only king and king's family can not rule the country. They need more office mans arranging the country.

(2) They (=a small number of noble familes) are called 'Sa' and 'Sadaebu'.

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