I recommend this useful resource for Korean learners who know and can read Japanese or Chinese. This is a site that inserts Chinese characters into the Korean text you paste. For longer texts like ebooks you have to download their program and use it on hancom or microsoft office.
It gives the user various options to customize the rendering to his or her needs:
- paste the text or paste the URL. I usually paste the text because I usually hate the formatting of the website.
- replace the hangeul with hanja or place hanja next to the hanguel word
- the option of choosing from Chinese characters used in Taiwan, China, Japan, or Korea.
- when it places the hanja next to the hangeul it place parentheses around the hanja word so what I like doing is doing control + h and replace ( with space ( so I can use lingoes off-line dictionary since lingoes only processes exact matches for Korean (I double click for it to look up the word). Lingoes offers k-j, k-e, and more !
- I use it when I generate Korean anki cards from readlang.com. I use the cloze deletion format so I put the text rendered by hanjaro on the back of the card instead of the original sentence to I lower my barrier of reading. Also the sentences that I encounter via reading tend to be dense with information.
Here’s an example of text that went through hanjaro. I chose hanja for the rendering
7일(日) 한 매체(媒體)는 ‘프로듀스 101’의 네 번째(番째) 시즌이 내년(來年) 4월(月) 방송(放送)을 목표(目標)로 제작(製作)을 준비(準備) 중(中)이라고 보도(報道)했다. 이에 대(對)해 Mnet 측(側)은 “새로운 시즌을 논의(論議) 중(中)이다. 하지만 편성(編成) 등(等) 자세(仔細)한 사항(事項)은 아직 확정(確定)된 부분(部分)이 없다”며 말을 아꼈다.
‘프로듀스 101’ 시리즈는 그동안 아이오아이, 워너원 등(等)을 탄생시켜 대중(大衆)들의 뜨거운 반응(反應)을 이끌어 냈다. 또한, 가장 최근(最近) 시즌인 ‘프로듀스 48’에서는 아이즈원까지 출범(出帆)시켰다.
I actually know and am already familiar with all the words in the article excerpt so I don’t need the hanja inserted but I definitely read faster with hanja than without.
It has its limitations which primarily stems from the existence of homonyms that exist in Korean. However, that’s almost nonissue to me since I am very literate in Japanese and I’ve gotten fairly proficient in Korean from the time put I put into the language from the summer of 2011. It’s obvious to me when the hanja is wrong based on the context. I use the hanja as a visual aid to exert less effort while reading and to read faster. The beauty of kanji and hanja is that I read its meaning automatically, without my volition, and instantaneously. If I had to quantify the amount of energy it takes to read hangeul for meaning it’d be 1 and for Japanese kanji it would 0.1 or 0.01. It’s a fantastic companion to hangeul for reading for lazy people like me who happens to know how to read Japanese. I use hanjaro for internet articles and korean ebooks. It makes reading Korean more pleasant for me even despite its limitations.
Now, I can finally put my foot down when it comes to adding hanja based words to anki. Sometimes I’d be almost mad at myself for not recognizing a hanja word that I already know since I know the Japanese equivalent and they sound sorta similar and/or I’ve already looked it up in the past. I get into this conundrum of should I put this into anki to make sure I don’t waste time looking it up if I don’t recognize the word in a future encounter even though it’s kind of a freebie since I know Japanese or should I not add it and hope I will be able to conjure up the word’s meaning next time I encounter it from having looked it up and just based on the hangeul and context. Now because of this site I will only add hanja-words to anki that are truly difficult or tricky to remember. After all, the korean korean words (ex 코딱지 and no that word is not in my anki deck) are hard to remember as it is and I want to focus my energy on those words as opposed to hanja-words I already know that I don’t recognize that hide behind the hangeul-mask.
I found the the site by googling in Korean or Japanese (I can’t remember) and I’m just kicking myself for not having done it sooner. The thought popped in my head because I was reading about the pros and cons of writing in Korean in hangeul only vs writing korean in a mixed script of hangeul and hanja on this wiki website that was outlining all the points of contention between the 2 fierce groups. I was surprised to learn from that site that there are so many ways to propose mixing the hanja and hangeul in writing ie only write x type of words in Hanja. I never realized that there were so many ways to go about it. Anyway, I love this site because it enables me to take full advantage of Japanese proficiency.
I believe I will improve my Korean faster through reading if I constantly reinforced the hanja words with the hanja next to them instead of seeing them veiled under hangeul and look them up manually over and over. Before I knew about this site, I would waste my time looking up hanja words I already know but didn’t recognize because they were written in hangeul.
here’s an example of a hanja word that I couldn’t figure out from the hangeul and the context. It happened like a year ago or months ago?? It’s the only example I can come up with right now because I’ve been loving the hanjaro site and I’ve gotten more literate (in sense of understanding what I’m reading as opposed to being able to read shit out loud) in Korean these past few years. Variations of this has happened to me so many times!
So, I read an article and it used the word 화재 a bunch of times and I said to myself it’s definitely not 화제 (hot topic) and nothing is coming to mind as to what kanji/hanja word it is (I just know that it is a noun and it’s definitely a kanji/hanja word). of course at the end I either looked it up or figured out its the korean version of kasai (Fire disaster). Without fail, I realize that I already looked up 화재 sometime before the second I learned what the meaning was (just seeing the hangeul is completely arbitrary to me). So at that point I had read the whole article not understanding what hajae was other than it was a noun and it’s based on hanja so obviously I missed out. At that point I decided to not re-read the article because it annoyed me immensely and I did not care about the article that much. When I use it, reading takes less effort, I read faster, and I don’t waste my time looking up words I pretty much know but have a low familiarity with. It’s a win win win situation.
I tried using the site for Korean subs to see if it would help me comprehend/reading the subs faster but I found it incredibly distracting since hanja is traditional characters (there’s a lot of stuff going with one character lol). I tried with kanji just in case but it was still distracting since it’s not 100% correct. Not only that, it was subs to YG treasure box on V-LIVE (it is subbed in MANY languages) which is very easy to understand anyway. I love hearing the incorrect Korean from the Japanese people lol. They direct-translate like crazy and they always correct their Korean in the subs. I usually make anywhere from 2-5 anki cards per episode. It’s not as challenging as SMTM or talk shows for obvious reasons. I am better off with hangeul-only subs for this situation.
On a related note, whenever I go through korean song lyrics if I think the artist or song is remotely popular I google the song title, artist and wayaku because it’s so much faster for me to go through the lyrics with that compared to me going at it with a dictionary and the korean lyrics. Also I generate anki cards so it would speed up the process.
Part of the reason I do that is because Korean requires interpretation skills that I don’t possess yet. I’ll read the lyrics and be confused or unsure as to what it means because they often leave out subjects. I’ll figure out all the ways something can be interpreted and then I’ll come to a decision and then later find out (through an english or japanese translation) that I was wrong in that none of my interpretations were right or the one that I thought was the least likely was correct. I believe I gain more by using wayaku and just getting the answer to the correct interpretation than wasting my time trying to figure out the interpretation every time I look up song lyrics to a song I like. It’s time I don’t have and I don’t believe this activity will help me grow my interpretation skills. I think I’ll eventually hone in on this skill once I spend enough time inputting comprehensible input.
Hanja compliments Hangeul because hanja makes the text easier to read by rendering the act more effortless. There’s an effortless quality that I attribute to reading Chinese characters compared to phonetic alphabet like English or Hangeul. It’s a quality that’s highly desired by lazy people like me (Of course I’ve experienced first-hand that learning to read and write 2000+ kanji takes more time and effort than learning how to read and write hangeul. I did like how it broke up the monotony of studying grammar. I enjoyed having variety in that I had the option of doing an acitivity to learn Japanese that involved a different part of my brain or a lower level of energy or so it seemed.). Of course, if you don’t know Japanese or Mandarin you may assume that phonetic alphabets are superior to logographic writing systems in every way. It seems a lot of Korean netizens always say that hangeul is acknowledged by scientists as the MOST brilliant, logical writing system and that Korea was able to abandon hanja (I think it’s great that they celebrate Sejong the Great but he didn’t invent hangeul with the intention of changing the writing system to hangeul-only and they kinda make it seem like he would support that even though there’s no evidence to support that. I hate it when people put words in other people’s mouth. ) while Japan has a crazy writing system which is a sign that they have a primitive writing system ( Of course that’s what some Japanese netizens say about hangeul) and China is spending too much time and energy learning all those characters. Statements like that only demonstrate their ignorance and close-mindedness. There are disadvantages and advantages to the 3 writing systems.
When I went into Korean knowing English and Japanese, I knew that no matter how much I read hangeul it’ll never feel as comfortable as reading Japanese as far as reading for meaning or speed (as in not reading it outloud) in terms of obtaining the meaning or exerting least amount of effort possible. I think if it came down to which language I can read outloud fastest without taking comprehension into account it would come down to English and Korean of course but that defeats the point of reading which is to understand what you’re reading. Of course the downside to Japanese is that I have the dilemma of being unsure of the readings at times but I prefer knowing meaning over reading any day. I find not understanding the most “frustrating” part of sucking at language rather than not being able to read it out-loud. Reading hangeul is tiring. Reading Japanese is less tiring and takes less effort once you’re literate. As a lazy person, I’m glad I learned Japanese because of how effortless it can be to read stuff in Japanese at times. Every time I see a block of text in hangeul when I open online articles I feel a tinge of anxiety and ominous dread because I have a point of comparison. It’s the analogy of why would you go back to windows 95 when you can use windows 10 (I can’t think of a good one). The point is I’ve experienced the wonders of reading Japanese. It’s obvious to me that the Japanese writing system plays an integral role in the popularity of reading in Japan. Also it seems like everyone on TV has written a book. I’ve always cared about being able to understand a piece of writing more than being able to read it loud. Also, I’ve never had to waste time looking up words like MARTHA or VOLDEMORT (no i was not reading harry potter) since they write foreign words in Katakana meanwhile I’ve had that bitter experience many times with Korean since they only write in hangeul (in printed books they write foreign names and foreign words in a different font). That was one of the most demotivating characteristics of Korean with respect to learning it for me personally. I am very happy and blessed to have found this site.
Ultimately for words like KASAI/HWAJAE I prefer to sort it out by encountering it multiple times with the hanja next to it while I read rather than in anki or looking it up when I read. I’ve always felt super entitled as a person who knows Japanese that whenever I looked up hanja-based words that I already know that sound similar to Japanese or exist in Japanese I would feel irritated and mercilessly robbed of my my time and energy. Now I have no reason to feel that resentment when I read Korean on the internet or ebooks! I have a lot of articles and topics I’m interested in reading on the Korean internet and now I can finally hop to it. It feels like somebody handed me the keys to a door and I have access to the Korean internet where I can read stuff that I can’t read in English or Japanese. I hope to read more in 2019!
HERE are some articles I read so far: I like reading about people or topics that are of interest to me.
https://www.sisain.co.kr/?mod=news&act=articleView&idxno=26576 <-this was hard to follow at times. It was pretty bad. I didn’t understand the main points of the article. It was unclear to me and I had no motivation to re-read stuff to figure out the meaning of the sentence or phrases. I kinda gave up on this one. It’s too hard for me at my current level or I’m just too lazy to apply myself (no that’s a good thing because I gotta read what I’m really interested in) I think I’ll read an article about it in Japanese sometime in the future.