내 주를 가까이 하게 함은

RadkeRonnie

Member
English - USA
What does the word 함 mean in the title of this hymn? Originally, in English it's "Nearer My God to Thee."

I searched, and I got the results "box," "construction" (military jargon), the 31st of the 64th 괘 (卦), some kind of name badge, something to do with sealing a letter, and a poison made out of clay, none of which make sense.

In case anyone is wondering why I'm curious about a random hymn, this is the name of the piece that the musicians play as the ship is sinking in Titanic.
 
  • treejw

    Member
    Korean - Korea
    함 is the noun from 하다 (do).

    To give you advice about the phrase "내 주를 가까이 하게 함은" more specifically,

    내 --> my
    주 --> lord
    를 --> be verb (but not exactly same)

    가까이 --> nearer
    하게 --> make do
    함 --> doing (or to do)
    은 --> be verb (but not exactly same)

    So, I guess the better (ie, for expressing all the meaning from origin korean phrase) translation will be "To do make my lord be nearer is." (I guess it's grammatically incorrect express in English. But i wrote this way not to omit any of words in the korean phrase. "To make my lord be nearer is" will be correct, am i right?)
     

    RadkeRonnie

    Member
    English - USA
    Thanks for the help! This makes sense. I was confused because I've never seen 함 used like this. I've just seen it in compounds like 중요함 and from people in 카톡 (e.g. 뭐뭐 해야 함). When I do a Google search for 함은, all I find is this and a hymn called 죄에서 자유를 얻게 함은.

    So I assume this construction sounds extremely archaic and even possibly religious. Am I right?
     

    treejw

    Member
    Korean - Korea
    "함" doesnt sound like archaic to me. In fact, there are some archaic expressions like ~노라, ~하리라, but not 함.

    And for the 카톡 message youve got, those are the sentenses written in a kind of "internet grammar" called 음슴체. If you would like to use 음슴체, you should end a sentense in noun. For example, "나는 배가 고프다." would be transformed into "나는 배가 고픔." (Fyi, "나 배고픔." is more sound familiar to me.)

    Hope my words are helpful to you :)
     

    alohaoe

    Member
    First, you need to understand that the sentence is not complete.
    은/는 or 이/가 is a nominative postposition which makes the pre-positioned word set a subject.
    "내 주를 가까이 하게 함은" has no verb and only the subject is introduced.
    (liberal translation)

    -함 is a nominal conjugation of -하다 just like the noun form of 'do' is 'doing' or 'to do' in English.
    It has nothing to do with a sino-Korean 함(函), a single word for box or something, except the same spelling.

    If I try a word-for-word translation of "내 주를 가까이 하게 함은", it would be
    "To make my Lord near to me/you/them is".
    (No target is specified. 'is' is used because it's the typical verb for 은/는 and it makes the pre-positioned a subject.)

    As for 'archaic', conjugation of -함 is totally contemporary.
    -함(-음) does not always mean a noun conjugation but can mean a sort of a verb conjugation, which is very informal but common in young generations.(used often in texting because of briefness)
    compare)
    밥 먹음? 응 먹음. 어디 감? 집에 감. 너 나한테 죽음. 싫음.
    밥 먹었습니까? 예 먹었습니다. 어디 가세요? 집에 가요. 너 나한테 죽었어요. 싫어요.
     
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