Hanja in Newspapers


This is the second episode to answer the questions about Hanja. It is about the characters in newspapers.

Some time ago, it is almost impossible to read newspapers if you can't read 한자. Following are the 2 newspaper articles which were written almost 20 years ago. They are about the first-ever 수능, college entrance exam of Korea. As you can see, there are so many 한자 here. There is 수능. There is also number 만, 10,000. In addition, there is a word, 대입, entering universities. You can also see the word, 자연계 meaning science and engineering and 인문계 meaning humanities. It was almost impossible to read newspapers if you don't know 한자s.

한자 is used these days because it can shorten the headline dramatically. As you can see here, if you use the character, 박 for 박근혜 대통령. You can save 5 characters. It is a huge save.

Because of that, 한자 characters are used for these 2 reasons. The first reason is to shorten the name of people. The second reason is to shorten the name of nation.

The shortening of name is usually used for presidents. As the president of Korea in 2015 is 박근혜, you can see her family name 박 in many newspapers. Let's see more family names of presidents. 이 is for president, 이명박.

노 is for president 노무현 and 김 for president 김대중.

Secondly, shortening of names is also used for the names of countries. First of all, it is for Korea. The character, 한 is used for Korea. China uses 가운데 중 as it is 중국 in Korean. Japan uses 해 일 as it is 일본 in Korean. As Korea is a divided nation, you can also see 2 more characters 남 and 북 meaning south and north each. They each mean south and north Korea. One more nation you can see a lot is 미. It is 아름다울 미 and the character is for US.

You can find many cases that these characters are used together. When they are used together, it is for relationship of nations. 한미 is for Korea-US. 한중 is for Korea and China. 한일 is for Korea and Japan. 남북 is for South and North Korea.

If you are interested in politics, then it is good for you if you know 3 more characters. They are 검, 여, 야. They mean prosecution, ruling party, and opposition party.

These are not the all characters used in newspapers. However, you can read more than 80% of characters if you can read these characters. Thank you for watching and see you in next episode.

This is the translation of the Korean Only episode.