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Kanji to Hanja: Some Basic Rules

When learning Korean you'll have so many advantages if you already know Japanese (or vice versa), both in terms of grammar and vocabulary. I have gathered 100 Japanese words that can be easily memorized in Korean based on simple pronunciation rules. For those of you who want rapid progression in your vocabulary learning this should make the learning process a lot easier. Although there are exceptions to the rules here you can apply them for a wide range of Korean words and along with it get a deeper understanding of the roots of the Korean words. Remember that although hanja rarely is used to write Korean, many of their words are still based on the Chinese symbols just like Japanese.

-EI Kanji that end in ei often change their ending to (y)eong in Korean. (mei myeong)

(ymei yumyeong) = famous (meishimyeongsa) = noun (meikaku myeonghwak) = clear

*Note: is an exeption here, and is read (maeng) / (rei ryeong)


(meirei myeongryeong) = an order (kreisha koryeongja) = an elder

*Note: Kanji that starts with -r often change to -n. Example: (reisei) - > (naengjeong) / (sei becomes seong/jeong)

(kansei kaneungseong) = possibility (seikaku seongkyeok) = personality (seijitsuseongshil) = sincerity (seijijeongcchi) = politics (seikenjeongkwon) = political power

(ei yeong)

(suiei suyeong) = swimming (eien yeongwon) = eternal (eigo yeongeo) = English

(eiga yeonghwa) = movie

*Note: is an exeption here, and is read (ui) (tei becomes cyeong)


(teidcyeongdo) = a degree (teiki cyeonggi) = a fixed period (teishoku cheongshik) = a set meal

(hei becomes ppyeong)


(heiwa ppyeonghwa) = peace (heijitsu ppyeongil) = weekday

-EN Kanji that end in en often change their ending to (y)eon in Korean. (ren becomes yeon)

(renshuuyeonseup) = practice (renrakuyeonlak, pronounced yeollak) = contact

(men becomes myeon)


(mensetsumyeonjeop) = interview (menkyo myenheo) = license

// (ten/den becomes jeon/cceon)


(dentjeonttong) = tradition (tensaicceonjae) = genius

(sen becomes seon)


(senseiseonsaeng) = teacher (senkyo seonko) = election

/ (hen becomes pyeon/ppyeon)


(hentai pyeonttae) = a pervert (benripyeonri) = useful (bengoshipyeonhosa) = lawyer (henshppyeonjip) = edit

(en becomes won)


(kenkongwon) = park (enkyoriwongori) = long-distance relationship

-TSU Kanji that end in tsu often change their ending to (yeo)l in Korean. (ketsu becomes kyeol)

(ketteikyeolcyeong) = decision (ketsuronkyeollon) = conclusion (kekkonkyeolhon) = marriage (ketsumatsukyeolmal) = end (keppaku kyeolbaek) = innocent

(hatsu becomes pal)


(happyoupalpyo) = performance/announce/presentation (shuppatsucchulbal) = departure (hatsuonpalum) = pronunciation

(shitsu becomes shil)


(shitsureishillye) = rude (shitsumonshilmun) = question (shinjitsujinshil) = truth (kyshitsukyoshil) = classroom (shitsunai shilnae) = indoors

(shutsu becomes cchul)


(shussancchulsan) = childbirth (deguchicchulgu) = exit

(mitsu becomes mil)


(himitsupimil) = secret (misshitsu milshil) a closed room

/ (setsu becomes seol or cyeol)


(setsumeiseolmyeong) = explain (setsuritsuseollip) = establish (setsuyakucyeolyak) = saving (money etc) (zettaicyeoltae)

(butsu becomes mul)


(bukkamulga) (doubutsudongmul)

/ (katsu becomes hal/hwal)


(seikatsusaenghwal) (waribikihalin) *note that the Japanse version use kunyomi. (katsudhwaldong)

(betsu becomes byeol)


(sabetsu cchabyeol) (seibetsu seongbyeol)

-Y Kanji that end in (y) often shift their ending to (ya)ng in Korean.

(shiysayong) (naiynaeyong)

(d becomes dong)

(undundong) (higashi-As(h)iadong-As(h)ia (jidhanbaikisadonghanmaegi)

(h becomes pang)

(hhpangpop) (hkhhyang)

(k becomes kong)

(seikseongkong) (kshiki kongshik)

OTHERS (k becomes haeng)


(hikkipihaenggi) (kd haengdong) (kfuku haengbok) (gink eunhaeng)

(kai becomes hae)


(kaigaihaeue) (rikaieuihae)

/// (shi becomes sa/shi/ja/ji)


(shizenjayeon) (jiten sajeon) (jishin jijin) (jishin jashin) = self-confidence (jishosago) (jijitsu sashil) (fukushi pokji) (kakushi haksa) () (shshi seoksa) (jiheishjyapyeceung)

MORE OR LESS THE SAME These words are more or the same in both Japanese and Korean.

(jumbijunbi) ( ) (kabankabang) (chichueui) (ryri yori) (murymuryo) (muri muri) (tchaku toccak)

DAYS OF THE WEEK The Korean weekdays are also based on the Chinese characters, and thus quite easy to learn if you know Japanese.

(getsuybi wolyoil) (kaybifwayoil) (suiyoubisuyoil) (mokuoubimokyoil) (kinybikeumyoil) (doybittoyoil) (nichiybi ilyoil)

Good luck with your studies! Don't hesitate to ask me if you have any questions (^u^)/ -Anette