Do you know that they use many words that are actually compounds of Chinese characters in Korean language? The Chinese characters are called 한자 (han-jja), the equivalent of 漢字 “kanji” in Japanese. Those words are called 한자어 (han-jja-eo).
I’m not sure why, but Indonesian people who learn Korean, whom I “met” on the internet, didn’t even know about 한자 (it’s more often pronounced “han-jja”, than “han-ja”, and this is why romanization (pronunciation guide) is important for beginners). Maybe it was just a coincidence that I met Indonesians who were newbies. Maybe Korean classes in Indonesia don’t even teach hanjja. I don’t know.
But, anyway, I have never hired a Korean teacher to teach me, and I know about hanjja. The reason is because I learn Korean via Japanese. And that makes memorizing Korean words so much easier for me.
This is an online Kanji Dictionary that I find useful in memorizing Korean hanjja: http://tangorin.com/kanji It shows you the equivalent of Japanese kanji and Korean hanjja (and also Chinee pinyin). Helpful, and free to use.
If you don’t care about learning Japanese or Chinese, I’m not sure whether you really need to memorize hanjja in its original complex form. I mean, even Koreans don’t read and write hanjja anymore, so why should you? Maybe you’ll just need to remember that this syllable is actually the same character used in this word, this word, and this word.
Sometimes simple hanjja is used in Korean news headlines, for example 日 for “Japan”, and 美 for “the US” or “beauty”. You will find out about those hanjja as you continue studying Korean from news articles on the internet so don’t worry about it. 오늘도 화이팅! ^^ ###
- Romanization is Not Bad (koreanvitamin.wordpress.com)