Lexical similarity of Sino-Japanese and Sino-Korean

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by trigel, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    (I apologize if this belongs to the origin and history of languages forum) What is the cause of the striking similarity between the modern Sino-Japanese and Sino-Korean lexical stocks, often to the degree that one-to-one translation is possible?

    From what little I know:
    *Japanese coined a large number of kanji words for modern concepts during/since the Meiji Restoration. (How much did Meiji displace the existing Sinoxenic vocabulary? What fraction does the Meiji vocabulary occupy modern Sino-Japanese? How prolific has the kanji compound coinage been since then?)
    *Korea was annexed for 37 years by Japan (How much could this have influenced Sino-Korean, by influence of the elite status of Japanese?)
    *Historically (before modern period) Japan often imported ideas via Korea, which would have gotten some Korean-coined kanji into Japanese vocabulary, but I don't know to what extent.

    (Here's a partial list of Sino-Japanese-Korean/"native" Sino-Korean "equivalents": http://ko.wiktionary.org/wiki/미주알고주알:일본어에서_들어온_한자어
    There are some words that are unfamiliar to me, mostly on the Korean side (but maybe my Sino-vocabulary level is not that high), but I can tell that some of the pairs have quite different meanings in Korean: e.g. 변명(辨明) is excuse/apologia, and 발명(發明) is invention.
    Also we can't overlook the possibility of direct Chinese lexical influence on Korean or Japanese.)
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  2. Tonky Senior Member

    I have never heard of Korean-coined kanji yet, but sounds interesting. Can you give some examples?

    (as for all the others, a bit too much of expertise for me to reply!:confused:)

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