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ISSN : 1229-9618(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
Chinese Studies Vol.66 pp.61-76

A Thought on Korean Orthography of Sino-Korean Words

Na Yun-Ki


Chinese characters can be regarded as part of Korean national legacy and intellectual reso urces. They already became one with Korean language, contributing to the formation of Kor ean mind-set and culture. Chinese writing system, which had spread over neighboring countr ies, played an important role in the writing practices of other countries. However, Chinese w riting system used by other countries could not but be influenced and changed by the char acteristics of each language. Thus, Chinese writing system in each country has been accomp anied by unique features, i.e. unique pronunciation of Chinese characters and the formation of Sino-national vocabulary in each country. The general language policy of Korea after the liberation from the Japanese Rule, which h as focused on the concept of "Pure Korean language," caused confusion in and conflict with the writing practices of Korean language. The conflict between the policy of pro-pure Korea n language and that of pro-real writing practice has not only confused confusion but also d egraded young generations' language practices. In order to upgrade young generations' ability to understand and control Korean languag e, it is necessary to make them recognize important functions of Chinese characters in Kore an language. For this, I discuss some unique features of Sino-Korean vocabulary by compari ng common words of East Asian countries: First, the change of semantic categories and referents of Sino-Korean words. Second, the changes of meanings of Sino-Korean words. Third, differences in style between old and new Sino-Korean words. Forth, the changes of emotional tones of Sino-Korean words. Fifth, the changes of sequences of characters in Sino-Korean words. Sixth, the generation of unique Korean vocabulary. Although we accept the need to use Chinese writing system together with Korean writing system, our prejudice prevent us from it. Our prejudice is as follows: First, the use of Chines e characters hinders the development of pure Korean words. Second, Chinese writing system is not efficient and prevent people from acquiring knowledge. Third, learning Chinese charac ters maximizes workload. Forth, the use of Chinese characters is retrospective. This article aims to shed light on the practical meaning of using Chinese characters in wri ting Sino-Korean words in order to improve our writing practices.

한국에서의 한자병용에 대한 단상(斷想)

** 한국한자연구소


한자는 우리 민족이 수천 년간 사용한 지식의 보고이자 유산이다. 우리의 음(音)과 훈(訓) 으로 이미 한국어에 녹아든 소중한 자산으로 우리의 의식구조, 문화 형성과 발전에 결정적인 역할을 하였다. 광복이후 한국어의 순수성에 중점을 둔 이상주의와 언어실상에 기반을 둔 현실주의의 대립은 문자정책의 혼란을 야기했고, 그 결과 젊은 세대의 언어문자 생활과 국어 능력에 큰 장애가 되었다. 이에 필자는 한국과 중국의 상용어를 중심으로 한국 한자어가 지 닌 의미 범주의 변화, 문체의 차이, 감정 색채의 차이, 자순의 변화, 한국 고유 한자어의 생성 등등의 여러 특징들을 살펴보고, 한글세대의 언어 능력의 향상이라는 측면에서 한자에 대한 몇 가지 편견을 중심으로 한국에서 한자병용이 가지는 실질적인 의미를 간략하게 살펴보고자 한다.