Translation:Hunminjeongeum

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Hunminjeong'eum - The Proper Sounds for Instructing the People (1442–1443) 
by Sejong the Great, translated from Korean by Wikisource
The name Hunminjeong'eum(訓民正音) simultaneously refers to the original writing system devised by King Sejong the Great of Joseon Dynasty Korea(The Hunminjeong'eum System, which later evolves to become modern Hangul), as well as the documentation of said system written by Sejong and other scholars. As such, this document is sometimes disambiguated with the name Hunminjeongeum Haerye (訓民正音解例), or The Hunminjeong'eum (System) - Explanations and Examples. However, as the official name of the document is simply Hunminjeong'eum, the page should be therefore simply "Hunminjeongeum", or "Hunminjeong'eum" to disambiguate pronunciation as needed.

訓民正音: The Proper Sounds for Instructing the People[edit]

國之語音、異乎中國、與文字、不相流通。

As the language of the nation differs from that of the Middle Kingdom, the two are mutually unintelligible,

故愚民有所欲言、而終不得伸其情者多矣。

And therefore, when the unlearned people have a want to speak, many are unable to express what they want.

予爲此憫然、新制二十八字、欲使人人易習、便於日用耳。

I, for this reason, was filled with compassion, and made twenty eight new letters so that those who wish to can easily learn them, and use them day to day.

ㄱ牙音如君字初發聲、並書如虯字初發聲。

ㄱ is a dorsal sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [1], and written beside one another, they are like the initial sound of the character [2].

ㅋ牙音如快字初發聲。

ㅋ is a dorsal sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [3].

ㆁ牙音如業字初發聲。

ㆁ is a velar sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [4].

ㄷ舌音如斗字初發聲、並書如覃字初發聲。

ㄷ is a coronal sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [5], and written beside one another, they are like the initial sound of the character [6].

ㅌ舌音如呑字初發聲。

ㅌ is a coronal sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [7].

ㄴ舌音如那字初發聲。

ㄴ is a coronal sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [8].

ㅂ脣音如彆字初發聲、並書如步字初發聲。

ㅂ is a labial sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [9], and written beside one another, they are like the initial sound of the character [10].

ㅍ脣音如漂字初發聲。

ㅍ is a labial sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [11].

ㅁ脣音如彌字初發聲

ㅁ is a labial sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [12].

ㅈ齒音如卽字初發聲、並書如慈字初發聲。

ㅈ is a sibilant sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [13], and written beside one another, they are like the initial sound of the character [14].

ㅊ齒音如侵字初發聲。

ㅊ is a sibilant sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [15].

ㅅ齒音如戌字初發聲、並書如邪字初發聲。

ㅅ is a sibilant sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [16], and written beside one another, they are like the initial sound of the character [17].

ㆆ喉音如挹字初發聖。

ㆆ is a laryngeal sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [18].

ㅎ喉音如虛字初發聲、並書如洪字初發聲。

ㅎ is a laryngeal sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [19], and written beside one another, they are like the initial sound of the character [20].

ㅇ喉音如欲字初發聲。

ㅇ is a laryngeal sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [21].

ㄹ半舌音如閭字初發聲。

ㄹ is a semi-coronal[22] sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [23].

ㅿ半齒音如穰字初發聲。

ㅿ is a semi-sibilant[24] sound, one which is like the initial sound of the character [25].


ㆍ如呑字中聲。ㅡ如卽字中聲。ㅣ如侵字中聲。

ㆍ is the middle sound of the character [26]. ㅡ is the middle sound of the character [27]. ㅣis the middle sound of the character[28].

ㅗ如洪字中聲。ㅏ如覃字中聲。

ㅗ is the middle sound of the character [29]. ㅏ is the middle sound of the character [30].

ㅜ如君字中聲。ㅓ如業字中聲。

ㅜ is the middle sound of the character [31]. ㅓ is the middle sound of the character [32].

ㅛ如欲字中聲。ㅑ如穰字中聲

ㅛ is the middle sound of the character [33]. ㅑ is the middle sound of the character [34].

ㅠ如戍字中聲。ㅕ如彆字中聲。

ㅠ is the middle sound of the character [35]. ㅕ is the middle sound of the character [36].


終聲復用初聲。

For the ending sound, use the initial sound.

ㅇ連書脣音之下、卽爲脣輕音。

ㅇ below a labial sound is a light-labial[37] sound.

初聲合用、則並書、終聲同。

In using multiple initial sounds together, the rule shall be to write them next to each other, and for ending sounds it shall be the same.

ㆍㅡㅗㅜㅛㅠ 附書初聲之下

ㆍ, ㅡ, ㅗ, ㅜ, ㅛ, and ㅠ are to be written beneath the initial sound,

ㅣㅏㅓㅑㅕ 附書於右。

And ㅣ, ㅏ, ㅓ, ㅑ, and ㅕ are be written to the right of the initial sound.

凡字必合而聲音

As all characters must be combined to make sound,

左加一點、則去聲

One dot on the left shall be ruled as being the departing tone[38],

二則上聲、無則平聲

Two dots shall be ruled as being the rising tone, no dots shall be ruled as the level tone,

入聲加點同而促急。

and entering tones shall be same in adding dots, but also fast.

訓民正音解例: The Proper Sounds for Instructing the People - Explanations and Examples[edit]

制字解: The Rules of the Characters Explained[edit]

天地之道 一陰陽五行而已

坤復之間爲太極 而動靜之後爲陰陽

凡有生類在天地之間者 捨陰陽而何之

故人之聲音 皆有陰陽之理 顧人不察耳

今正音之作 初非智營而力索

但因其聲音而極其理而已

理旣不二 則何得不與天地鬼神同其用也

正音二十八字, 各象其形而制之。 初聲凡十七字

牙音ㄱ, 象舌根閉喉之形

舌音ㄴ, 象舌附上腭之形

脣音ㅁ, 象口形

齒音ㅅ, 象齒形

喉音ㅇ, 象喉形

ㅋ比ㄱ, 聲出稍厲, 故加畫

ㄴ而ㄷ, ㄷ而ㅌ, ㅁ而ㅂ, ㅂ而ㅍ, ㅅ而ㅈ, ㅈ而ㅊ, ㅇ而ㆆ, ㆆ而ㅎ, 其因聲加畫之義皆同, 而唯ㆁ爲異

半舌音ㄹ, 半齒音ㅿ, 亦象舌齒之形而異其體, 無加畫之義焉

夫人之有聲, 本於五行。 故合諸四時而不悖, 叶之五音而不戾

喉邃而潤, 水也

聲虛而通。 如水虛明而流通也。 於時爲冬, 於音爲羽

牙錯而長, 木也

聲似喉而實, 如木之生於水而有形也。 於時爲春, 於音爲角

舌銳而動, 火也

聲轉而颺, 如火之轉展而揚揚也。 於時爲夏, 於音爲徵

齒剛而斷, 金也

聲屑而滯, 如金之屑𤨏 而鍛成也。 於時爲秋, 於音爲商

脣方而合, 土也。

聲含而廣, 如土之含蓄萬物而廣大也。 於時爲季夏, 於音爲宮

然水乃生物之源, 火乃成物之用, 故五行之中, 水火爲大

喉乃出聲之門, 舌乃辨聲之管, 故五音之中, 喉舌爲主也

喉居後而牙次之, 北東之位也

舌齒又次之, 南西之位也

脣居末, 土無定位而寄旺四季之義也

是則初聲之中, 自有陰陽五行方位之數也

又以聲音淸濁而言之。 ㄱㄷㅂㅈㅅㆆ, 爲全淸。 ㅋㅌㅍㅊㅎ, 爲次淸。 ㄲㄸㅃㅉㅆㆅ, 爲全濁。 ㆁㄴㅁㅇㄹㅿ, 爲不淸不濁

ㄴㅁㅇ, 其聲最不厲, 故次序雖在於後, 而象形制字則爲之始

ㅅㅈ雖皆爲全淸, 而ㅅ比ㅈ, 聲不厲, 故亦爲制字之始

唯牙之ㆁ, 雖舌根閉喉聲氣出鼻, 而其聲與ㅇ相似, 故韻書疑與喩多相混用

今亦取象於喉, 而不爲牙音制字之始

盖喉屬水而牙屬木, ㆁ雖在牙而與ㅇ相似, 猶木之萌芽生於水而柔軟, 尙多水氣也

ㄱ木之成質, ㅋ木之盛長, ㄲ木之老壯, 故至此乃皆取象於牙也

全淸並書則爲全濁, 以其全淸之聲凝則爲全濁也

唯喉音次淸爲全濁者, 盖以ㆆ聲深不爲之凝, ㅎ比ㆆ聲淺, 故凝而爲全濁也

ㅇ連書脣音之下, 則爲脣輕音者, 以輕音脣乍合而喉聲多也

中聲凡十一字

ㆍ舌縮而聲深 天開於子也

形之圓 象乎天也

ㅡ舌小縮而聲不深不淺 地闢於丑也

形之平 象乎地也

ㅣ舌不縮而聲淺 人生於寅也

形之立 象乎人也

此下八聲 一闔一闢

ㅗ與ㆍ同而口蹙 其形則ㆍ與ㅡ合而成 取天地初交之義也

ㅏ與ㆍ同而口張 其形則ㅣ與ㆍ合而成 取天地之用發於事物待人而成也

ㅜ與ㅡ同而口蹙 其形則ㅡ與ㆍ合而成 亦取天地初交之義也

ㅓ與ㅡ同而口張 其形則ㆍ與ㅣ合而成 亦取天地之用發於事物待人而成也

ㅛ與ㅗ同而起於ㅣ

ㅑ與ㅏ同而起於ㅣ

ㅠ與ㅜ同而起於ㅣ

ㅕ與ㅓ同而起於ㅣ

ㅗㅏㅜㅓ始於天地 爲初出也

ㅛㅑㅠㅕ起於ㅣ而兼乎人 爲再出也

ㅗㅏㅜㅓ之一其圓者 取其初生之義也

ㅛㅑㅠㅕ之二其圓者 取其再生之義也

ㅗㅏㅛㅑ之圓居上與外者 以其出於天而爲陽也

ㅜㅓㅠㅕ之圓居下與內者 以其出於地而爲陰也

ㆍ之貫於八聲者 猶陽之統陰而周流萬物也

ㅛㅑㅠㅕ之皆兼乎人者 以人爲萬物之靈而能參兩儀也

取象於天地人而三才之道備矣

然三才爲萬物之先 而天又爲三才之始

猶ㆍㅡㅣ三字爲八聲之首 而ㆍ又爲三字之冠也

ㅗ初生於天 天一生水之位也

ㅏ次之 天三生木之位也

ㅜ初生於地 地二生火之位也

ㅓ次之 地四生金之位也

ㅛ再生於天 天七成火之數也

ㅑ次之 天九成金之數也

ㅠ再生於地 地六成水之數也

ㅕ次之 地八成木之數也

水火未離乎氣 陰陽交合之初 故闔

木金陰陽之定質 故闢

ㆍ天五生土之位也

ㅡ地十成土之數也

ㅣ獨無位數者 盖以人則無極之眞 二五之精 妙合而凝 固未可以定位成數論也

是則中聲之中 亦自有隂陽五行方位之數也

以初聲對中聲而言之。

隂陽,天道也。

剛柔,地道也。

中聲者,一深一淺一闔一闢,是則隂陽分而五行之氣具焉, 天之用也。

初聲者,或虗或實或颺或滯或重若軽,是則剛柔著而五行之質成焉,地之功也。

中聲以深淺闔闢唱之於前,初聲以五音清濁和之於後,而為初亦為終。

亦可見萬物初生於地,復歸於地也。

以初中終合成之字言之,亦有動静互根隂陽交變之義焉。

動者,天也。

静者,地也。

兼互動静者,人也。

盖五行在天則神之運也,在地則質之成也,在人則仁禮信義智神之運也,肝心脾肺腎,質之成也。

初聲有彂動之義,天之事也。

終聲有止㝎之義,地之事也。

中聲承初之生,接終之成,人之事也。

盖字韻之要,在於中聲,初終合而成音。

亦猶天地生成萬物,而其財成輔相則必頼乎人也。

終聲之,復用初聲者,以其動而陽者乾也,静而隂者亦乾也,乾實分隂陽而無不君宰也。

一元之氣,周流不窮,四時之運,循環無端,故貞而復元,冬而復春。初聲之復為終,終聲之復為初,亦此義也。

旴,正音作而天地萬物之理咸備,其神矣㦲。

是殆天啓聖心而假手焉者乎。

訣曰: Summarized[edit]

天地之化本一氣

陰陽五行相始終

物於兩間有形聲

元本無二理數通

正音制字尙其象

因聲之厲每加畫

音出牙舌脣齒喉

是爲初聲字十七

牙取舌根閉喉形

唯業似欲取義別

舌迺象舌附上腭

脣則實是取口形

齒喉直取齒喉象

知斯五義聲自明

又有半舌半齒音

取象同而體則異

那彌戌欲聲不厲

次序雖後象形始

配諸四時與冲氣

五行五音無不協

維喉爲水冬與羽

牙迺春木其音角

徵音夏火是舌聲

齒則商秋又是金

脣於位數本無定

土而季夏爲宮音

聲音又自有淸濁

要於初發細推尋

全淸聲是君斗彆

卽戌挹亦全淸聲

若迺快呑漂侵虛

五音各一爲次淸

全濁之聲虯覃步

又有慈邪亦有洪

全淸並書爲全濁

唯洪自虛是不同

業那彌欲及閭穰

其聲不淸又不濁

欲之連書爲脣輕

喉聲多而脣乍合

中聲十一亦取象

精義未可容易觀

呑擬於天聲最深

所以圓形如彈丸

卽聲不深又不淺

其形之平象乎地

侵象人立厥聲淺

三才之道斯爲備

洪出於天尙爲闔

象取天圓合地平

覃亦出天爲已闢

發於事物就人成

用初生義一其圓

出天爲陽在上外

欲穰兼人爲再出

二圓爲形見其義

君業戌彆出於地

據例自知何湏評

呑之爲字貫八聲

維天之用徧流行

四聲兼人亦有由

人參天地爲最靈

且就三聲究至理

自有剛柔與陰陽

中是天用陰陽分

初迺地功剛柔彰

中聲唱之初聲和

天先乎地理自然

和者爲初亦爲終

物生復歸皆於坤

陰變爲陽陽變陰

一動一靜互爲根

初聲復有發生義

爲陽之動主於天

終聲比地陰之靜

字音於此止定焉

韻成要在中聲用

人能輔相天地宜

陽之爲用通於陰

至而伸則反而歸

初終雖云分兩儀

終用初聲義可知

正音之字只卄八

探賾錯綜窮深幾

指遠言近牖民易

天授何曾智巧爲

初聲解: The Initial Sounds Explained[edit]

正音初聲,卽韻書之字母也。

聲音由此而生,故曰母。

如牙音君字初聲是ㄱ,ㄱ與ᅟᅮᆫ而為군。

快字初聲是ㅋ,ㅋ與ㅙ而為쾌〮。

虯字初聲是ㄲ,ㄲ與ㅠ而為뀨。

業字初聲是ㆁ,ㆁ與ᅟᅥᆸ而為ᅌᅥᆸ之類。

舌之斗呑𫟛那,脣之彆漂步彌,齒之卽侵慈戌邪,喉之挹虗洪欲,半舌半齒之閭穰,皆倣此。

訣曰: Summarized[edit]

君快虯業其聲牙

The characters 君, 快, 虯, 業 are pronounced dorsally.

舌聲斗呑及𫟛那

The tongue pronounces the characters 斗, 呑, 𫟛, and 那.

彆漂步彌則是脣

The characters 彆, 漂, 步, 彌 therefore are labial.

齒有卽侵慈戌邪

The teeth have the sounds of the characters 卽侵慈戌邪.

挹虗洪欲迺喉聲

The characters 挹虛洪欲 are therefore of glottal sounds.

閭為半舌穰半齒

The character 閭 is semi-coronal, and the character 穰 is semi-dental.

二十三字是為母

These twenty three characters are the mother-sounds.

萬聲生生皆自此

All sounds therefore are birthed from here.

中聲解: The Middle Sounds Explained[edit]

中聲者, 居字韻之中, 合初終而成音。

如呑字中聲是ㆍ, ㆍ居ㅌㄴ之間而爲。 

卽字中聲是ㅡ, ㅡ居ㅈㄱ之間而爲즉。

侵字中聲是ㅣ, ㅣ居ㅊㅁ之間而爲침之類。

洪覃君業欲穰戌彆, 皆倣此。

二字合用者, ㅗ與ㅏ同出於ㆍ, 故合而爲ㅘ。

ㅛ與ㅑ又同出於ㅣ, 故合而爲ㆇ。

ㅜ與ㅓ同出於ㅡ, 故合而爲ㅝ。

ㅠ與ㅕ又同出於ㅣ 故合而爲ㆊ。

以其同出而爲類, 故相合而不悖也。

一字中聲之與ㅣ相合者十, ㅓㅢㅚㅐㅟㅔㆉㅒㆌㅖ是也。

二字中聲之與ㅣ相合者四, ㅙㅞㆈㆋ是也。

ㅣ於深淺闔闢之聲, 竝能相隨者, 以其舌展聲淺而便於開口也。

亦可見人之參贊開物而無所不通也。

訣曰:Summarized[edit]

母字之音各有中

須就中聲尋闢闔

洪覃自呑可合用

君業出卽亦可合

欲之與穰戌與彆

各有所從義可推

侵之爲用最居多

於十四聲徧相隨

終聲解: The Final Sounds Explained[edit]

終聲者,承初中而成字韻。

如卽字終聲是ㄱ,ㄱ居즈終而為즉。

洪字終聲是ㆁ,ㆁ居ᅘᅩ終而為ᅘᅩᇰ之類。

舌脣齒喉皆同。

聲有緩急之殊,故平上去其終聲不類入聲之促急。

不清不濁之字,其聲不厲,故用於終則宜於平上去。

全清次清全濁之字,其聲為厲,故用於終則宜於入。

所以ㆁㄴㅁㅇㄹㅿ六字為平上去聲之終,而餘皆為入聲之終也。

然ㄱㆁㄷㄴㅂㅁㅅㄹ八字可足用也。

如ᄇᆡᆺ곶為梨花,여ᇫ의갗為狐皮,而ㅅ字可以通用。

故只用ㅅ字。

且ㅇ聲淡而虗,不必用於終,而中聲可得成音也。

ㄷ如볃為彆,ㄴ如군為君,ㅂ如ᅌᅥᆸ為業,ㅁ如땀為𫟛,ㅅ如諺語옷〮為衣,ㄹ如諺語실〯為絲之類。

五音之緩急,亦各自為對如牙之ㆁ與ㄱ為對,而ㆁ促呼則變為ㄱ而急,ㄱ舒出則變為ㆁ而緩。

舌之ㄴㄷ,脣之ㅁㅂ,齒之ㅿㅅ,喉之ㅇㆆ,其緩急相對,亦猶是也。

且半舌之ㄹ,當用於諺,而不可用於文。

如入聲之彆字,終聲當用ㄷ,而俗習讀為ㄹ,盖ㄷ變而為軽也。

若用ㄹ為彆之終,則其聲舒緩,不為入也。

訣曰: Summarized[edit]

不清不濁用於終

為平上去不為入

全清次清及全濁

是皆為入聲促急

初作終聲理固然

只將八字用不窮

唯有欲聲所當處

中聲成音亦可通

若書卽字終用君

洪彆亦以業斗終

君業𫟛終又何如

以那彆彌次第推

六聲通乎文與諺

戌閭用於諺衣絲

五音緩急各自對

君聲迺是業之促

斗彆聲緩為那彌

穰欲亦對戌與挹

閭宜於諺不宜文

斗軽為閭是俗習

合字解: The Combination of Characters Explained[edit]

初中終三聲,合而成字。

初聲或在中聲之上,或在中聲之左。

如君字ㄱ在ㅜ上,業字ㆁ在ㅓ左之類。

中聲則圓者橫者在初聲之下,ㆍㅡㅗㅛㅜㅠ是也。

縱者在初聲之右 ㅣㅏㅑㅓㅕ是也。

如呑字ㆍ在ㅌ下,卽字ㅡ在ㅈ下,侵字ㅣ在ㅊ右之類。

終聲在初中之下。

如君字ㄴ在구下,業字ㅂ在ᅌᅥ下之類。

初聲二字三字合用並書,如諺語ᄯᅡ〮為地,ᄧᅡᆨ為雙,ᄢᅳᆷ〮為隙之類。

各自並書,如諺語혀〮為舌而ᅘᅧ〮為引,괴여〮為我愛人而괴ᅇᅧ〮為人愛我,소다〮為䨱物而쏘다〮為射之之類。

中聲二字三字合用,如諺語과〮為琴柱,홰〮為炬之類。

終聲二字三字合用,如諺語ᄒᆞᆰ為𡈽,낛〮為釣,ᄃᆞᇌᄣᅢ〮為酉時之類。

其合用並書,自左而右,初中終三聲皆同。

文與諺雜用則有因字音而補以中終聲者,如孔子ㅣ魯ㅅ사〯ᄅᆞᆷ之類。

諺語平上去入,如활為弓而其聲平,돌〯為石而其聲上,갈〮為刀而其聲去,붇〮為筆而其聲入之類。

凡字之左,加一㸃為去聲,二㸃為上聲,無㸃為平聲,而文之入聲,與去聲相似。

諺之入聲無㝎,或似平聲,如긷為柱,녑為脅。或似上聲如낟〯為穀。

깁〯為繒。

或似去聲,如몯〮為釘,입〮為口之類。

其加㸃則與平上去同。

平聲安而和,春也,萬物舒泰。

上聲和而擧,夏也,萬物漸盛。

去聲擧而壯,秋也,萬物成熟。

入聲促而塞,冬也,萬物閉蔵。

初聲之ㆆ與ㅇ相似,於諺可以通用也。

半舌有軽重二音。

然韻書字母唯一,且國語雖不分軽重,皆得成音。

若欲備用,則依脣軽例,ㅇ連書ㄹ下,為半舌軽音,舌乍附上腭。

ㆍㅡ起ㅣ聲,於國語無用。

兒童之言,𨘢野之語,或有之,當合二字而用,如ᄀᆝᄀᆜ之類,其先縱後橫,與他不同。

訣曰: Summarized[edit]

初聲在中聲左上

The initial sounds are written above or to the left of the middle sounds.

挹欲於諺用相同

The (initial sounds of the) characters 挹 and 欲, in our speech, are used interchangeably.

中聲十一附初聲

The eleven middle sounds, when being attached to the initial sounds,

圓橫書下,右書縱

The round and the horizontal are written below, to the right written are the vertical.

欲書終聲在何處

If one wants to write the final sound, where should it be placed?

初中聲下接着寫

Below the initial and the middle sound it should be attached and written.

初終合用各並書

When using together initials or finals, each are to be written aside one another,

中亦有合悉自左

And medials too, if such cases exist, are to be written all together from the left.

諺之四聲何以辨

In our speech, how are the four tones distinguished?

平聲則弓上則石

The level tone is that of the character 弓, the rising that of the character 石

刀為去而筆為入

The character 刀 is the parting, and 筆 is entering.

觀此四物他可識

Looking at these four things, other things can be made known.

音因左㸃四聲分

Based on the sound, dots on the left can differentiate the four tones.

一去二上無㸃平

One is parting, two is rising, none is level.

語入無㝎亦加㸃

In our speech, entering tones have no dots of their own but instead added like other tones;

文之入則似去聲

In reading Chinese characters, entering tones are the alike the parting tone.

方言俚語萬不同

As all local dialects and common speech are different,

有聲無字書難通

Whenever there existed sounds for which there were no characters to write had made communication difficult.

一朝制作侔神工

(However,) one morning, a work of divine craftsmanship was made,

大東千古開朦朧

And in the great nation of the East, the darkness of a thousand generations was parted.

用字例: The Use of the Characters Exemplified[edit]

初聲: Initial Sounds[edit]

ㄱ,如감〯為柿,ᄀᆞᆯ〮為蘆。

The initial sound ㄱ is the same as that in 감〯 as in persimmon, and ᄀᆞᆯ〮 as in reeds。

ㅋ,如우케〮為未舂稻,코ᇰ為大豆。

The initial sound ㅋ is the same as that in 우케〮 as in unchaffed rice, or 코ᇰ as in beans。

ㆁ,如러ᅌᅮᆯ〮為獺,서ᅌᅦ〮為流凘。

The initial sound ㆁ is the same as that in 러ᅌᅮᆯ〮 as in the Neoguri, or 서ᅌᅦ〮 as in an ice floe。

ㄷ,如뒤〮為茅,담〮為墻。

The initial sound ㄷ is the same as that in 뒤〮 as in belt, or 담〮 as in wall。

ㅌ,如고티〮為繭,두텁為 蟾蜍。

The initial sound ㅌ is the same as that in 고티〮 as in cocoon, or 두텁 as in toad。

ㄴ,如노로為獐,납為猿。

The initial sound ㄴ is the same as that in 노로 as in Noru deer, or 납 as in monkey。

ㅂ,如ᄇᆞᆯ為臂,벌〯為蜂。

The initial sound ㅂ is the same as that in ᄇᆞᆯ as in arm, or 벌〯 as in bee。

ㅍ,如파〮為葱,ᄑᆞᆯ〮為蠅。

The initial sound ㅍ is the same as that in 파〮 as in spring onion, or ᄑᆞᆯ〮 as in houseflies。

ㅁ,如뫼〯為山,마〮為薯藇。

The initial sound ㅁ is the same as that in 뫼〯 as in mountain, or 마〮 as in yams

ㅸ,如사ᄫᅵ〮為蝦,드ᄫᅴ〮為瓠。

The initial sound ㅸ is the same as that in 사ᄫᅵ〮 as in shrimp, or 드ᄫᅴ〮 as in gourd。

ㅈ,如자〮為尺,죠ᄒᆡ〮為紙。

The initial sound ㅈ is the same as that in 자〮 as in measuring foot, or 죠ᄒᆡ〮 as in paper。

ㅊ,如체〮為籭,채為鞭。

The initial sound ㅊ is the same as that in 체〮 as in sieve, or 채 as in whip。

ㅅ,如손〮為手,셤〯為島。

The initial sound ㅅ is the same as that in 손〮 as in hand, or 셤〯 as in island。

ㅎ,如부〮허ᇰ為鵂鶹,힘〮為筋。

The initial sound ㅎ is the same as that in 부〮허ᇰ as in owl, or 힘〮 as in strength。

ㅇ,如비〮육為鷄雛,ᄇᆞ〮얌為蛇。

The initial sound ㅇ is the same as that in 비〮육 as in chick, or ᄇᆞ〮얌 as in snake。

ㄹ,如무〮뤼為雹,어름〮為氷。

The initial sound ㄹ is the same as that in 무〮뤼 as falling hail, or 어름〮 as in ice。

ㅿ,如아ᅀᆞ為弟,너〯ᅀᅵ為鴇。

The initial sound ㅿ is the same as that in 아ᅀᆞas in younger brother, or 너〯ᅀᅵas in the Neushi bird。

中聲: Middle Sounds[edit]

ㆍ,如ᄐᆞᆨ〮為頤,ᄑᆞᆺ〮為小豆,ᄃᆞ리為橋,ᄀᆞ〮래為楸。

The middle sound ㆍ is the same as that in ᄐᆞᆨ〮 as in chin, ᄑᆞᆺ〮 as in peas, ᄃᆞ리 as in leg, or ᄀᆞ〮래 as in Garae tree

ㅡ,如믈〮為水,발〮측〮為跟,그력為雁,드레〮為汲器。

The middle sound ㅡ is the same as that in 믈〮 as in water, 발〮측〮 as in heel, 그력 as in wild geese, or 드레〮 as in bucket。

ㅣ,如깃〮為巢,밀〯為蠟,피〮為稷,키〮為箕。

The middle sound ㅣ is the same as that in 깃〮 as in nest, 밀〯 as in wax, 피〮 as in millet, or 키〮 as in winnowing basket。

ㅗ,如논〮為水田,톱〮為鉅,호ᄆᆡ〮為鉏,벼로〮為硯。

The middle sound ㅗ is the same as that in 논〮 as in rice paddy, 톱〮 as in saw, 호ᄆᆡ〮 as in handhoe, or 벼로〮 as in inkstone。

ㅏ,如밥〮為飯,낟〮為鎌,이ᅌᅡ〮為綜,사ᄉᆞᆷ〮為鹿。

The middle sound ㅏ is the same as that in 밥〮 as in a meal, 낟〮 as in scythe, 이ᅌᅡ〮 as in heddle, or 사ᄉᆞᆷ〮 as in deer。

ㅜ,如숫為炭,울〮為籬,누에〮為蠶,구리〮為銅。

The middle sound ㅜ is the same as that in 숫 as in charcoal, 울〮 as in fence, 누에〮 as in silkworms, or 구리〮 as in copper。

ㅓ,如브ᅀᅥᆸ為竈,널〯為板,서리〮為霜,버들〮為柳。

The middle sound ㅓ is the same as that in 브ᅀᅥᆸ as in kitchen, 널〯 as in a board of wood, 서리〮 as in frost, or 버들〮 as in willow tree。

ㅛ,如죠ᇰ〯為奴,고〮욤為梬,쇼〮為牛,삽됴為蒼朮菜。

The middle sound ㅛ is the same as that in 죠ᇰ〯 as in slave, 고〮욤 as in date-plum tree, 쇼〮 as in cow, or 삽됴 as in Sapju herb

ㅑ,如남샤ᇰ為龜,약為𪓟鼊,다야〮為𠤷,쟈감為蕎麥皮。

The middle sound ㅑ is the same as that in 남샤ᇰ as in turtle, 약 as in tortoise, 다야〮 as in washbasin, or 쟈감 as in buckwheat shells。

ㅠ,如율믜為薏苡,쥭為飯𣖄,슈룹〮為雨繖,쥬련為帨。

The middle sound ㅠ is the same as that in 율믜 as in adlay millet, 쥭 as in rice paddle, 슈룹〮 as in umbrella, or 쥬련 as in handkerchief。

ㅕ,如엿〮為飴餹,뎔為佛寺,벼為稻,져〯비為燕。

The middle sound ㅕ is the same as that in 엿〮 as in toffee, 뎔 as in a Buddhist temple, 벼 as in rice, or 져〯비 as in swallow。

終聲: Final Sounds[edit]

ㄱ,如닥為楮,독為甕。

The final sound ㄱ is the same as that in 닥 as in mulberry, or 독 as in pottery。

ㆁ,如굼〯버ᇰ為 蠐螬,올〮차ᇰ為蝌蚪。

The final sound ㆁ is the same as that in 굼〯버ᇰ as in beetle grub, or 올〮차ᇰ as in tadpole。

ㄷ,如갇〮為笠,싣為楓。

The final sound ㄷ is the same as that in 갇〮 as in hat, or 싣 as in maple tree。

ㄴ,如신〮為屨,반〮되為螢。

The final sound ㄴ is the same as that in 신〮 as in shoes, or 반〮되 as in fireflies。

ㅂ,如섭為薪,굽〮為蹄。

The final sound ㅂ is the same as that in 섭 as in firewood, or 굽〮 as in hoof。

ㅁ,如범〯為虎,ᄉᆡᆷ〯為泉。

The final sound ㅁ is the same as that in 범 as in tiger, or ᄉᆡᆷ〯 as in a spring of water。

ㅅ,如잣〯為海松,못〮為池。

The final sound ㅅ is the same as that in 잣〯 as in the pine nuts, or 못〮 as in pond。

ㄹ,如ᄃᆞᆯ〮為月,별〯為星之類。

The final sound ㄹ is the same as that in ᄃᆞᆯ〮 as in moon, or 별〯 as in star。

鄭麟趾 後序: Jeong In-ji's Closing Remarks[edit]

有天地自然之聲, 則必有天地自然之文.

As there is natural speech in this world, there must be natural writing in this world.

所以古人因聲制字, 以通萬物之情, 以載三才之道, 而後世不能易也.

Following this, old men have made characters bound by sound, contained within them the nature of all matter within the (which is to say the paths of the three elements[39]), and this is a matter that cannot be changed by future generations.

然四方風土區別, 聲氣亦隨而異焉.

But as the customs of the land differ across all four corners of the earth, speech as well are different.

蓋外國之語, 有其聲而無其字.

Usually languages of foreign nations [40] have different languages but do not have writing.

假中國之字以通其用, 是猶枘鑿之鉏鋙也, 豈能達而無礙乎.

As such, the characters of China are used, but that is in fact akin to fitting a square tool handle in a round hole, so how would such be possible without difficulty?

要皆各隨所處而安, 不可强之使同也.

To the needs of each adherence brings ease, therefore it is impossible to force everyone into conformity.

吾東方禮樂文章, 侔擬華夏, 但方言俚語, 不與之同.

We to the East of China have traditions, culture, and customs that are comparable to the Chinese people, but in language, we are different.

學書者患其旨趣之難曉, 治獄者病其曲折之難通.

The learned worry of its difficulty in instruction, and those who rule ail from twisted and difficult communication.

昔新羅薛聰, 始作吏讀, 官府民間, 至今行之.

Before, Seok Chong of Silla devised the Idu System, which government officials and the civil population to this day use.

然皆假字而用, 或澁或窒.

However, as it uses Chinese characters, there are annoyances and limitations.

非但鄙陋無稽而已, 至於言語之間, 則不能達其萬一焉.

It is howevermore also superficial and baseless, and in modern communication, it is unable to communicate even the most simple things.

癸亥冬, 我殿下創制正音二十八字, 略揭例義以示之, 名曰訓民正音.

In the winter of the Water-Pig year [41], His Majesty has created the 28 letters of the Hunminjeong'eum System, briefly demonstrated examples, and named it as the Hunminjeong'eum.

象形而字倣古篆, 因聲而音叶七調.

Its form is that of the scripts of old[42] but it is bound to sounds and to the seven articulations.

三極之義, 二氣之妙, 莫不該括.

In both the order of three elements[43], the mystery of two energies[44], it encompasses all.

以二十八字而轉換無窮, 簡而要, 精而通.

The mutations of the 28 characters are infinite, easy to write, and easy to communicate meaning.

故智者不終朝而會, 愚者可浹旬而學.

As such, a smart man need not more than the morning to learn, and even a fool can learn it in ten days.

以是解書, 可以知其義. 以是聽訟, 可以得其情.

With this, books can be understood and know its intent. With this, lawsuits in a court of law can have its details be gleaned.

字韻則淸濁之能辨, 樂歌則律呂之克諧.

With this, the specific sounds of a Chinese character are made clear, and a song's melodies are made harmonious.

無所用而不備, 無所往而不達.

It falls short nowhere in use.

雖風聲鶴唳, 鷄鳴狗吠, 皆可得而書矣.

Be it the sound of the wind blowing, a crane crowing, a rooster clucking, a dog barking, it can all be written.

遂命詳加解釋, 以喩諸人.

But only now were we ordered to add a more detailed explanation so that all would understand.

於是, 臣與集賢殿應敎臣崔恒,

Because of this, a humble servant of His Majesty, with Choe Hang the Eung-gyo[45] of the Hall of Gathered Wisdom[46]

副校理臣朴彭年, 臣申叔舟,

The Vice Royal Scribes Pak Paengnyeon and Sin Sukju,

修撰臣成三問, 敦寧府注簿臣姜希顔,

Court Historian Seong Sam-mun, Gang Hui-an from the Ministry of Royal Affairs,

行集賢殿副修撰臣李塏, 臣李善老等,

Acting Vice Historian of the Hall of Gathered Wisdom Yi Gae, a servant of His Majesty Yi Hyeon-ro, among others,

謹作諸解及例, 以敍其梗槩.

Created all examples here, and recorded a summary of them here.

庶使觀者不師而自悟.

The masses reading this need not teachers and should be able to attain understanding of this book themselves.

若其淵源精義之妙, 則非臣等之所能發揮也.

But its origins and the peculiarities of its natures are indeed not something us mere servants are unable to express.

恭惟我殿下, 天縱之聖, 制度 施爲超越百王.

It is my humble opinion that His Majesty a saint appointed from heaven, whose lawmaking and generosity exceeds that of any prior kings.

正音之作, 無所祖述, 而成於自然.

The creation of the Hunminjeong'eum was not of any prior works but something that he created naturally.

豈以其至理之無所不在, 而非人爲之私也.

Truly, its rationality falls short besides none, and it is also objective and natural.

夫東方有國, 不爲不久, 而開物成務之大智, 蓋有待於今日也歟.

For long there has been a nation in the East, and it is not to say that the Korean nation is young, but since the founding of the nation, among all the wise who worked to create, they are indeed overshadowed today by him.

正統十一年九月上澣

On the 10th day of the ninth month of the eleventh year of Emperor Zhengtong,

資憲大夫 禮曹判書 集賢殿大提學 知春秋館事 世子右賓客 臣 鄭麟趾 拜手稽首謹書.

A Helpful Servant of His Majesty, Minister of Rites, The Grand Chief Scholar of the Hall of Gathered Wisdom, Court Historian, and tutor of the Crown Prince, the humble servant Jeong In-ji gathers his hands in bow and lowers his head in genuflection as he writes in reverence.

Notes[edit]

  1. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /kɨun/
  2. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /ɡiɪu/
  3. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /ˠuaiH/
  4. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /ŋɨɐp̚/
  5. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /təuX/
  6. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /dʌm/
  7. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /ən/
  8. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /nɑX/
  9. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /piᴇiH/
  10. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /buoH/
  11. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /pʰiᴇu/
  12. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /miᴇ/
  13. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /t͡sɨk̚/
  14. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /d͡zɨ/
  15. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /t͡sʰiɪm/
  16. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /siuɪt̚/
  17. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /zia/
  18. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /ʔiɪp̚/
  19. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /hɨʌ/
  20. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /ɦuŋ/
  21. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /jɨok̚/. It is uncertain whether King Sejong was in fact referring to /j/ or a null initial.
  22. Most likely intended to mean "lateral"
  23. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /lɨʌ/
  24. The intended manner or place of articulation is unclear.
  25. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /ȵɨɐŋ/, but it is unclear whether this was the pronunciation familiar to Korean scholars at this time period. Another notable reconstruction for ㅿ is /z/
  26. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /tʰən/, but /ʌ/ is another notable reconstruction for ㆍ.
  27. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /t͡sɨk̚/
  28. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /t͡sʰm/
  29. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /ɦuŋ/, but /o/ is another notable reconstruction for ㅗ as it is the modern-day reading.
  30. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /dʌm/, but /a/ is another notable reconstruction for ㅏ as it is the modern-day reading.
  31. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /kɨun/, but /u/ is another notable reconstruction for ㅜ as it is the modern-day reading.
  32. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /ŋɨɐp̚/, but /ə/ is another notable reconstruction.
  33. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /jɨok̚/
  34. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /ȵɨɐŋ/
  35. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /ɕɨoH/
  36. The Middle Chinese reconstruction Pronunciation is /piᴇiH/
  37. Most likely referring to labial fricative sounds such as /f/ or /v/.
  38. See Four tones (Middle Chinese)
  39. "Heaven, Earth, Man
  40. relative to China
  41. Winter of the 60th year of the w:Sexagenary cycle, 1443
  42. Scholars debate the nature of the script referred to here. Theories include earlier forms of Chinese characters, Non-Idu writing systems devised in Korea prior, 'Phags-pa, Siddham script, or another writing system not known today.
  43. Heaven, Earth, Man
  44. Yin and Yang
  45. Literally "Responding Instruction", the Eung-gyo were responsible for answering questions that the king had in a Confucian royal court.
  46. A more accurate translation of w:Hall of Worthies.