3

enter image description here

I didn't find any translation that matches the context, like "lion, envoy or emissary" since that sentence was used for an oath in front of the emperor. Or was it a lion as a symbol for the emperor?

And can you suggest a reference where I can learn these kind of words that are commonly used in historical settings?

  • Why don't you tell us a bit more about this scene? In particular, what was happening just before this scene? If hanja is not provided, all we can do is guess. – droooze Mar 26 at 5:52
  • Honestly, I think the so-called context is pretty obvious in this picture. 사자에게 영광을 is a common phrase in a fiction like this so it's not hard to get what it really means. Hanja is convenient sometimes but that doesn't mean that you need it in Korean. This is good enough question therefore. – Coconut Mar 26 at 6:12
  • 1
    @Coconut I don't agree that it is 使者; Klmo's answer is more convincing. The divine right of kings, in a European cultural context, never described Kings as messengers; the divine messengers are confined to biblical angels. – droooze Mar 26 at 6:17
  • @droooze this is a scene where the new recruit knights swear an oath in front of their emperor, that's why i thought messenger seems a bit off – Arin Mar 26 at 7:56
  • Well... then it was my own opinion. As soon as I saw this picture 使者 was just the first thing that came to my mind almost without a doubt, but if others disagree, I admit that it was much more arguable than that I thought. I agree Klmo's answer makes more sense than that since I can't provide more relevant sources... Okay I already upvoted Klmo's answer. – Coconut Mar 26 at 8:04
9

Understading homonyms always requires the context. In that webtoon, I thought the word was 사자(嗣子) which means one who perpetuates the lineage. It's like an heir, although 태자 and 황태자 (For your information, 루블리스 카말루딘 샤나 카스티나 is described as 제국의 황태자.) are better to refer to an heir to the throne. 사자(嗣子) can also be found in Chapter 11 of an old novel, "운현궁의 봄", written by 김동인. This novel could be too difficult for language learners to read.

The thing was that 사자(嗣子) is not a commonly used word at all. Since the webtoon is not as old as "운현궁의 봄", 사자 is supposed to be either a lion or messenger. The picture has "사자에게 충성을." No one, however, will swear allegiance to a messenger. I've just read part of the novel version and noticed "황금 사자" (a gold lion) is used as the royal emblem. Hence, the word should mean a lion (獅子). If I am right, the lion indicates the empire or the king. "사자에게 충성을." is translated as (I pledge) Allegiance to the lion (emblem).

  • I'm in my 40s and never heard of the word 사자(嗣子) "one who perpetuates the lineage". Considering that these webtoons are usually targetted at young readers, the chance that a typical reader of this comic knows that word is close to zero (unless the author somehow introduced the word as a part of world-building). – jick Mar 30 at 0:07
4

Even though I am a native speaker of Korean, I can't specify the exact meaning of it. I think it has a somewhat story specific context. Though I'm not aware of the context, I think it can mean 'lion' as a symbol of the emperor. One thing I can tell you confidently is that it is not common to use the word '사자' such way.

1

사자 : an errand boy or a messenger

Here we can view a king as God's messenger. That is, king speaks God's opinion.

1

HK Lee nailed it. It's a Christian thing.

The king is often considered 사자(使者) of God's message.

So 사자 here means the divine right, literally translated to God's mandate.

Reference to the Divine Right of Kings; that's known as 왕권신수설(王權神授說) in Korean.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.