Why was Korean Kanji/Hanja abandoned?
"I think that, ”Phagspa script“ was actually one of the sources for Korean ”Hangul alphabet“. In other words, "Korean Hangul" derived indirectly from Mongolian "Phagspa script"."
Hangul was devised by Se-Jong, the fourth King of the Yi Dinasty. The King himself was a great scholar, particularly well versed in linguistics, thus he had created the twenty-eight basic characters of Hangul - four of them are now obsolete. It was finished in the winder of A.D 1443, and was promulgated three years later on October 9, 1446 - in memory of which the Hangul Day has been celebrated for the past years.
The King wrote in the preface of the Book (The Book of the Authorized Alphabet): "As our speech is different in sound from that of China, many uneducated are unable to express in writing what they want to say. Seeing this, I was moved with compassion for the people, and have made the twenty-eight letters of the alphabet which can easily be learned by everybody by practical use."
A small side-note, on the Korean program "Kiss Kiss" for kids, they teach Hanja ^^
I'm curious to know what sounds the four extinct letters represented. Also, isn't Hangul Day no longer a holiday?
<<I think that, ”Phagspa script“ was actually one of the sources for Korean ”Hangul alphabet“. In other words, "Korean Hangul" derived indirectly from Mongolian "Phagspa script". >>
That is one possibility.
The creator also is credited with using Aramaic script as a source, as several Hangul letters are similar if not identical to Hebrew letters (cf. the letters representing sounds for g/k; m; n; r; t). Hangul aspired "p" looks very similar to Greek 'pi'
<<I'm curious to know what sounds the four extinct letters represented. Also, isn't Hangul Day no longer a holiday? >>
I think one of the sounds was Middle Korean "yi" a combination which no longer exists in Modern Korean, having blended with "i"
I think the ehnic Koreans compatriots living in China have the best understanding of Korean language. That is because, they are fluent in Korean and they can read 100% of the hanja characters and the cooresponding Hangul.
I bet many of you Koreans did not know this, but in the ancient times, Korea was much larger than it is today before China took over.
Personally, I think the reason behind "Why Korean abandon Chinese character?" is somehow political and cultural (pride of race) related, since Chinese people during the 20th century is considered weak due to inability to defend their homeland from outsiders. However, when China, a country now consist of mainly of Han Chinese begin to reemerge in 21st century, Korean people are now difficult to accept the fact that they have once related culturally to Chinese. They (some, I think, maybe, psychologically) wish to bully Chinese like what Japanese did during WW2 (this is impossible to be done now). They wish to see a weak China insted of a strong China. This proves that when one gains power, he/she may forget the one who help them, sometimes even do not hesitate to bully/hurt the helper to show their power. This is the nature of human. I wonder what they learn from confucius.
<<Maybe the Koreans are too simple-minded to be able to learn them like the Chinese do. >>
Next stupid question please
Well hangul is wayyy easier than hanja. For example, 漢字(chinese) and
한자(korean). Which one looks easier? (both characters have the same meaning, which is 'hanja')
漢字 only means 漢字, we can understand it as soon as we see it.
1, 한자 [漢字]
[명사]중국에서 만들어 오늘날에도 쓰고 있는 문자. 은허에서 출토된 기원전 15세기경의 갑골 문자가 현존하는 가장 오래된 것이며, 현재 알려져 있는 글자 수는 약 5만에 이르는데 실제로...
2, 한자 [韓子]
3, 한자 [漢子]
[명사]‘남자’를 낮잡아 이르는 말.
4, 한자 [韓子]
[명사]<인명>‘한유’를 높여 이르는 말.
5, 한자동맹 [Hansa同盟]
<역사> 13~15세기에 독일 북부 연안과 발트 해 연안의 여러 도시 사이에 이루어진 도시 연맹. 해상 교통의 안전 보장, 공동 방호, 상권 확장 따위를 목적으로 하였다.
Writing system should accord to the language it serves. Chinese characters are suitable for Chinese and other Sino-Tibetan languages. But Korean belongs to a completely different language family. The question shouldn't be why Korean abolished Chinese. It should be why Korean have used Chinese for such a long time.
Korean script Hangul is more suitable to write down recipes of dog meat:
it's impossible to distinguish between a fried terrier with cabbage and a chiuaua mushroom stew using Chinese script.
"I bet many of you Koreans did not know this, but in the ancient times, Korea was much larger than it is today before China took over. "
Huh? BTW the Koreans living in that area of China weren't always there you know. Most migrated there in the 1800s (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yanbian_Korean_Autonomous_Prefecture
"It should be why Korean have used Chinese for such a long time. "
Because it was their only writing system for a long time. Because Chinese characters have an aesthetic appeal; because many technologies came from China and knowledge of Chinese characters became a form of prestige like knowing Greek or Latin in Europe; because literacy equals power and the elite wanted to keep this power to the elite.
"For example, 漢字(chinese) and 한자(korean). Which one looks easier?"
Sure the hangul is more efficient to write and pronounce. But the hanja conveys more meaning. Regarding the person who said "there are plenty of languages that don't use Chinese characters and are doing fine": unlike those "other languages", Korean has a large Chinese-based vocabulary but no tones so now we end up with a HUGE number of homonyms in Korean. Same with Japanese but they still use kanji. Vietnamese has tones.
But I think this is ok since Korea has a 99% literacy rate.