Please translate: Korea 1945

I just discovered this wrinkled tissue paper document that I'd brought from Korea. It might be a menu, but that's just a guess. I regret that I didn't learn some Korean language while I was there. I would appreciate a translation of any part. Viewed in the original size, the characters seem readable.


It's possible that I've copied it backwards or upside down. If someone will let me know, I'll make the change.

  • John Stenberg 6y

    Needs to be rotated to the right. It is a combination of Chinese characters with Korean (Hangul).
  • Don O'Brien PRO 6y

    I used Picnik "rotate right". Is this OK?
  • John Stenberg 6y

    It seems to be a page from a dictionary, or perhaps it would be better described as a vocabulary book. Along the top is the word . . . some in in the Chinese character, others are in Hangul. Below is a transliteration of how to say it.
  • Don O'Brien PRO 6y

    Many thanks, John, for your translation. One of my on-going projects is to organize the letters I wrote from Korea. Maybe I mentioned the document. My Korea set passed a million views recently,
  • jenniferyl 6y

    I posted some of the translations, but my chinese reading isn't so great. It may not be all quite right.
  • Becca James 6y

    If contacts drag it to their desktop they can rotate it.
  • jbillings06 PRO 6y

    Your collection of historic documents and photos never ceases to amaze me. This is a great find and I'm glad you have received some help translating. Truly amazing.

    By the way, check out the Ohio Foothills discussion section. We're meeting for lunch this Sunday and bringing laptops.
  • daeguowl 6y

    This document basically gives certain common nouns and phrases in Korean (both Chinese characters and korean alphabet) and then underneath provides a transliteration of the English written in the Korean alphabet. It should enable a korean to communicate in english although I'm not sure how they will understand your reply :)
  • Don O'Brien PRO 6y

    Thank you for your help and kind comments. You've made this old document come alive!
  • yafli 6y

    Very appreciate your historic valuable photos and service in Korea.

    Though my English is poor, I'll try to translate the some contents in this photo.

    It's a page of English learning book, maybe not book, only one sheet.

    The most upper column : read it from right to left(in this days, we read the Hangul line from left. influenced by English), and next, from above to below.

    bu(Chinese character) ---- pa-der(Korean character, Hangul)-father
    mo(Chinese character)---- ma-der(Hangul) - mother
    hyeongjae ---- purader - brother
    jamae ---- sister - sister
    namja ---- maen - man
    yeoja ---- woo-maen - woman

    The last column.
    Dang sin eun nu gu yo ---- hu a yu(Korean), Who are you?

    Na neun jo sun sa ram ey yo ---- ai em a koryan(Korean), I am a Korean.
    At that time, English was the ladder to success. Everyone wanted to learn the libertor's language enthusiastically.

  • poor mind 5y

    A Korean, Lee Keun-Byoung,
    published a beginner's English guide for Korean.
    For my typing skill, I'll put that all words and sentence.
    Title, right ; Exercise English by yourself

    From the upper right to left.

    1st column
    father, mother, brother, sisters, man, woman, boy,
    friend, school boys, merchant, police, (medical) docter,
    Korean(people), Chinese(ppl),
    American(ppl)(America ← phonetic change ← 하말갈=HaMalGal, one of the ancient KOREA name),
    Japanese(ppl), Korean(language), Chinese(lgg), English(lgg), Japanese(lgg),
    you, he,

    she, I, house, barber's shop, shop, hospital, school, office,
    post office, bank, theatre, city, country, W.C., pencil, fountainpen,
    knife, cigarrette, match, book, paper(an evidance of changed Korean, CHO-HEE to CHONG-EE),
    face, hand, leg,

    telephone, moter car, train, wind, rain, snow, cap, shoe, soap,
    photo, sun, moon, star, morning, day, night, breakfast, lunch, supper,
    yesterday, today, tomorrow, watch,

    time, spring, summer, autumn, winter, mountain(Korean error),
    river, tree, water, wine, beef, pork, egg, fruit, cake, sugar,
    good morning, good day, good night, welcome, How are You?
    goodbye, I am sorry, thank you,

    Who are You?, I am Korean, He is a Japanese, Are You not hungry?
    I am hungry, Are You not cold?, It's cold today, I am on my way to home,
    I am a merchant, Bring me a cup of tea, This tea - too - hot,
    What is this? Come with me, I have lost my watch,
    I have no money with me, I am tired, I am reading newspaper,
    It is raining very hard, It is very fine today,
    Take good care of yourself, Let us go out for a walk,
    Look at there, You are very kind, Lend me your pencil.

    Out of column, left

  • exit86 5y

    It must also be noted that this page was intended for a person
    who was literate in Japanese as well as Chinese and Korean.
    Take note of the term for "Chinese language" (top line, fifth from left) and "Chinese person" (top line, nineth from left); the Chinese
    letters are not the standard "Middle Country/Kingdom" ("Choongkuk" in Korean) which Korea and China traditionally used for this country, but the Japanese "Chi/Ji Na" ("China")
    which Japan insisted upon using in referring to China to show
    their rejection of China as the "Middle Kingdom"--"middle" being something akin to "center of the world."
    Further, the term for the US (top line, eighth from the left) is the Japanese kanji term for "rice", as opposed to the Korean use of the Chinese "Mi" of "beautiful." at the time (and today).

    Finally, this list, being in a mix of Chinese/Kanji and Korean letters, can lead us to the assumption that this list was intended for an educated individual with a strong knowledge of both the Korean and Japanese languages. It must be noted that--though Japanese language was required (to be spoken and studied) in colonial schools near the end of the colonization--only about 12% of the Korean population (according to Michael E. Robinson's research based on a Japanese Colonial Government study in 1944 ) could speak Japanese proficiently.

    You struck gold with this photo! This page offers great insights into the language(s) in use at the time of Korea's Liberation.

    Thank you very much!
  • poor mind 5y

    This sheet dose not contain A SINGLE WORD of Japanese.
    This sheet dose not contain A SINGLE WORD of Chinese, too.
    All of the contents are written in pure Korean.

    People say, the letter used in 韓國 美國 日本 is of Chinese.
    NOB !!!
    Absolutely, these graphic letters are of Korean Made.
    Sorry, I cannot explain it in details, for my short English.
  • exit86 4y

    poor mind: Please have another look, particularly at the terms I discussed above. It may also help to do a bit of research on the subject of the Japanese effect n the Korean language during the Occupation.
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Taken on January 11, 2010
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