12

What direction is the text supposed to be read in? Until recently, Korean text was written in columns going down, reading the right-most column first and proceeding leftward. Why are some of the Hangul characters smaller than others? In most cases, the smaller Hangul characters are pronunciations of the previous (above) 한자. Not all the 한자s there have ...


12

The first orthographic descriptions of Hangul was indeed in Hunminjeongeum, 1443. But the Korean language changed a lot over the centuries, so most of the old descriptions got useless in the Modern age. So by the 20th century, Korean spellings were a total mess. People still used letters that described obsolete sounds, and historical sound changes were ...


10

A series of phonological changes regarding word-initial /ㄴ/ and /ㄹ/ are known to have started around Seoul, and spreaded to other regions, as most sociolinguistic changes happen. The change was a very slow and steady one, recorded at least since the 15th century, shortly after the invention of Hangul, which much more properly records Korean phonology than ...


10

According to The Korean Language by Iksop Lee and S. Robert Ramsey, modern Korean dialects have either tones or vowel lengths or neither, but never both (see map below). The authors do recognize that the importance of vowel length is fading especially with the younger generation, so these vestiges of Middle Korean will only be manifest in regional dialects ...


10

Around the time Korea got colonized by Japan, the 한글 맞춤법 통일안 (Unified Hangul Grammar Rules) were written by the 조선어 학회 (Korean Language Society). The first appearance of something related to horizontal writing in Korean language history is found in their revision in the year 1940. There was nothing that stated which direction was the 'default' one, but it ...


9

Quick search found this page but paywalled. Thesis is focusing on Korean education during the annexation. It's anyway 11 years old, there might be more recent studies on this area. Quick summary for those who doesn't have access: The Language education during Korean annexation by Japan can be split to 3-4 stages (author stated he will base his thesis on 3 ...


7

First, don't trust Google Translate, especially if you're learning Korean. Also, keep in mind that the modern Korean sentences you see are already a translation of the original middle Korean, so different people may "translate" the original to slightly different versions of modern Korean. That said, the first translation seems a bit embellished. ...


6

I'm not an expert on old Korean, but some of them look recognizable. 집 떠난 날 = day of departure from home 서울 떠난 날 = day of departure from Seoul 상해 착(着?) = arrive at Shanghai? 상해 발(發) = departure form Shanghai? 마르세이유 상륙(上陸) = arrive at Marseilles I think, there were no standard Hanguel grammar at that time. Not even the official language of the nation. ...


6

In this case, it's because of 두음 법칙 (Initial sound rule), which forbids ㄹ and 냐/녀/뇨/뉴/니 at a word-initial position. ㄹ becomes ㄴ, and 냐/녀/뇨/뉴/니 becomes 야/여/요/유/이 when it's placed in front of a word. Of course, loanwords are an exception (e.g., English radio -> 라디오 (NOT 나디오), Japanese ニス nisu -> 니스 (NOT 이스)). 력(力) turns into 역 when it is the first syllable of ...


6

Most of the letters described below are only introduced in the book Hunminjeongeum and never used afterwards. Also note the IPA sounds are reconstructed and may differ from the actual pronunciation it had, if they were even pronounced at all. The letters ᄼ, ᄽ, ᅎ, ᅏ, ᅔ, (齒頭音) and ᄾ, ᄿ, ᅐ, ᅑ, ᅕ (正齒音) were designed to be used for transcribing the distinction ...


5

卜 (복) ...is the Hanja for 'fortune telling' or 'divination'. From https://kuiwon.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/why-do-voting-stamps-in-korean-polling-booths-use-the-character-%E5%8D%9C/: The first elections in South Korea were held in 1948 under the auspices of the US Army Military Government. Voters at polling booths used a circular stamp or sign (“○”)...


5

My parents were born and lived in the Gyeongsang region for over 30 years; and I was raised near Seoul. And sometimes, when I say something, they laugh and say "that's not how you say that word," and they repeat the word "correctly", exactly the same way I said it but with a different inotation. That's happened countless times, and that, I think, is some ...


5

(Disclaimer: Everything below applies to Korean spoken around Seoul area. I don't know the state of vowel length distinction in other areas.) Well, the sentence you partially quoted already answers the question: Although the "long syllable rule" is still taught in school in a standard curriculum for Korean language, vast majority of Koreans quickly ...


4

One thing to keep in mind is that (1) ㄴ and ㅁ are common consonants and (2) polite expressions are usually longer. So, there's a good chance that a polite expression will contain either ㄴ or ㅁ. But I highly doubt that polite expressions contain more ㄴ/ㅁ than average. Let's just look at some regular-polite pairs: 나이 - 연세 말 - 말씀 주다 - 드리다 죽다 - 돌아가시다 아프다 - ...


4

Short answer: You can write "bzach" using English letters, and pronounce it, but such a syllable is nowhere to be found in the language. There are plenty of such "gaps", but generally, most of them are unexplainable. Long answer: However, we can explain some of them: 댜 / 탸 / 됴 / 툐 These syllable did exist in the Middle Korean period (...


4

Just as I guessed, a big factor was (not teaching Hanja in) the schools... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanja South South Korean primary schools abandoned the teaching of hanja in 1971. It is taught in separate courses in South Korean high schools, separately from the normal Korean-language curriculum. Formal hanja education begins in grade 7 (...


4

What direction is the text supposed to be read in? Top to bottom, right to left. Why are some of the Hangul characters smaller than others? The smaller ones are to indicate sounds of the bigger hanja above. In your bottom picture, there is this: 法·법. It means that 法 is read as "·법"(which still is today, only without tones). There seem to be some ...


4

From the Wikipedia article on Hanguel (Letter names): Hangul letters were named by Korean linguist Choe Sejin in 1527. South Korea uses Choe's traditional names, most of which follow the format of letter + i + eu + letter. However, as the syllables 윽 euk, 읃 eut, and 읏 eut did not occur in the language, Choe gave those letters the modified names ...


4

AFAIK, this is as far back as you can go. Korean is linguistically regarded as a language isolate, which has no sister languages anywhere else in the world. The comparative method, which is used for reconstructing older forms of languages, does not work for Korean. The forms you find in the 옛한글 columns are the oldest attested forms of the words (from the ...


4

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer (or language lawyer). According to the Official Language wiki page you linked (emphasis mine): An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. In that regards, South Korea passed 한글전용에관한법률 (Law Concerning Exclusive Use of Hangul) in 1948, shortly ...


4

TL;DR - possibly. Cantonese speakers have an advantage over Mandarin speakers in some areas, but it depends. If you go through a general list of phonemes first, you see that Korean phonology is very different from both the phonologies of both Mandarin and Cantonese. But there are certain shared similarities in the phones which would give slight advantages to ...


3

Korean syllables may only end in single stops, either nasal or non-nasal stops, or in vowels. This is a defining feature of modern Korean phonotactics. Even if the hangeul shows two consonants, only one gets to be pronounced (think of nouns like 값 and 닭). Both ㅅ and ㅆ are fricatives, so do not have plosive stops as components, unlike ㅊ and ㅈ. However, we ...


3

I can't decipher all of it, but the ㅅㄷ combination is an old way of writing the ㄸ character; so it would say "떠난 날". (I think it's 떠난 날, but with 아래 아, a dot under the consonant, an old vowel which became ㅏ) I wonder if 짐 is actually 집? It looks like a handwritten style ㅁ, but it's a bit different - so 집 떠난 날 would be the day he left his home.


3

Maybe Wikipedia's translation is accurate. Because the speech of this country is different from that of China, it [the spoken language] does not match the [Chinese] letters. Therefore, even if the ignorant want to communicate, many of them in the end cannot state their concerns. Saddened by this, I have [had] 28 letters newly made. It is my wish that all ...


2

닿아 etc used to be pronounced [다하] as late as the 19th century. For example, 몽고국 모ᄃᆞᆫ 변방을 건너 바로 경셩에 다하시니 ≪1883 이언 3:3ㄴ≫ The intervocalic /h/ probably was [ɦ ~ ʕ] before it vanished. Are you sure you are pronouncing them as [mas.s͈al] instead of [ma.s͈al]? In other words, is there a minimal pair between [맛쌀] and [마쌀]? 상어 as [사ᅌᅥ] Again, are you sure ...


2

The original Hangul, called 훈민정음Hun-min-jung-eum, had more diverse combinations and few more characters compared to current usage, such as ㅴ, ㆋ, ㅿ, ㆍ,ㆆ. We believe that these allowed Hangul to express sounds more precisely than we can do with current Hangul. However, this also caused Hangul to be more difficult to learn, and even the linguistics experts had ...


2

Korean translation for the whole story can be found here: 해동고승전 세속오계 삼국사기 살생유택의 의미를 이해하다 The story is about what's known as '원광의 세속오계 중 살생유택' that has much to do with Confucianism. Four domestic animals mentioned here - cows, horses, chickens and dogs - at the time are considered workers rather than food. Cows are for plowing fields, horses for horseback ...


1

음독 = literally "sound reading" = each hanja has one reading, each hanja's reading is a syllable in length, and it follows ancient Chinese [specifically Tang dynasty] rhyming laws (which were essential in the Confucian exam system for civil servants) and the grammar of Classical Chinese. Therefore 弘益人間 being pronounced 홍익인간 is resolutely 음독. 훈독 = literally ...


1

온(溫) is a Korean family name (성姓). In general, Korean family names are composed of one or more clans, or 본관(bongwan, 本貫). Quoting Wikipedia, A Korean clan is a group of people that share the same paternal ancestor and is indicated by the combination of a bon-gwan and a family name (clan name). Bon-gwan are used to distinguish different lineages that bear ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible