Okay I actually have not begun any real learning into Korean but don't let that discourage an answer I'm currently learning three other language but the interest into how korean works has kept me up at night and I have finally hit a dead end. Just going to give a breif run down of why I am confused. If anyone knows how Japanese worked it went basically; - Japanese spoken language / Chinese high class literature language - Chinese characters used for their phonetic value to represent Japanese words (man'yogana) so by this logic, the chinese characters which spell a japanese word meaning WATER could by all means actually mean BANANA FLAVOURED MONKEY by looking at the characters themselves (just an example) - The man'yogana was simplified in two ways resulting in katakana and hirogana syllabary which are now used pretty much in the same way that man'yogana was using them, however they are just unrecognizable as the chinese characters. - The use of kanbun (using japanese to mark chinese in ways readable to a japanese person) led to much sino-japanese vocabulary and the use of modern day kanji for its meaning and not its sound (I know this is not the japanese forum, but it leads to my point so if anyone does know that I am wrong, please correct me) So KOREAN: This example is given on how chinese characters were using in Korea pre-hangul. So again we have "hani" 爲尼 using characters which actually have NOTHING to do with the word "to do" but simply make the sounds for the Korean native word. So as Hangul was created along side this and Hanja is still used today, at what point did Hanja stop being used for its nonsense phonetic reading and become used for it's semantic graphical meaning? I am pretty sure today that if Hanja is used in korean it's sound value isn't forced into the place of a native korean word, it is simply seen as hanja and read for its meaning, the same meaning as would be in china (although a slightly different sound). So how did this process happen, you can see how it shifted in japan but how did koreans go from one day reading 爲尼 as Hani "to do" and the next day wake up seeing 爲尼 "hani" - become a nun, which I assume nowadays if a korean were to read hanja he would have to know the second meaning, as hangul would be used for "hani" to do. hope people get what i'm trying to say here, thanks for your help.