Korean LanguageVocabulary

“배가 아프다…” – Your boat is hurt?!

Language is not only about word, but also context. Translating one language into another language also has its own challenges. I remember I have experience when trying to translate one Korean word into English. I remember that this one Korean word has a lot of different meaning in the dictionary. So, my teacher said that I have to check the context of the sentences to find the right translation for this word. My teacher and my friends said that Korean words are derived from Chinese Character. Even if the word and pronunciation is same, but when you check the Hanja or Chinese Character for this word will be different.

In my language, Indonesia Language, we have also similar things as this, but more challenging than Korean to distinguish it. In Korean language, one word can have different meaning, BUT the pronunciation and the spelling is same. In Indonesia language, not only meaning, but sometimes the pronunciation is also different. Sometimes also the spelling is different, BUT the pronunciation is same.

Korean Language

Theoretically it is called homonym 동음어(同音語).  Following is example of homonym in Korean language

All 손 and 배 vocabulary has the same pronunciation and spelling, but each has meaning depends on the Hanja character. And in the sentence, you have to see the whole context also to find out the meaning.

Indonesia Language

In our language, we differentiate the classification of homonym into two categories: homograph and homophone.

The homograph word has different pronunciation. Most of the cases is happen in the “E” pronunciation. We have two different pronunciation for E: 1) e as 에 and 2) e as 으 . Even though it is different sound but we write it the same. The way we differentiate it is with seeing the context of whole sentence to distinguish the meaning. In the opposite, homophone has different spell but has the same sound.


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