Han-Han Dae Sajeon
Han-Han Dae Sajeon is the generic term for Korean
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

Hanja is the Korean name for the Chinese characters hanzi. More specifically, it refers to those Chinese characters borrowed from Chinese and incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation...

Hangul,Pronounced or ; Korean: 한글 Hangeul/Han'gŭl or 조선글 Chosŏn'gŭl/Joseongeul the Korean alphabet, is the native alphabet of the Korean language. It is a separate script from Hanja, the logographic Chinese characters which are also sometimes used to write Korean...

 dictionaries. There are several such dictionaries from different publishers. The most comprehensive one, published by Dankook University
Dankook University
Dankook University is a private university in South Korea. Dankook University has been constantly recognized as one of top universities in Asia ranked 148th in Asia by QS Asian Universities Ranking in 2010...

 Publishing, contains 53,667 Chinese characters and 420,269 compound words. This dictionary was a project of the Dankook University
Dankook University
Dankook University is a private university in South Korea. Dankook University has been constantly recognized as one of top universities in Asia ranked 148th in Asia by QS Asian Universities Ranking in 2010...

 Institute of Oriental Studies, which started in June 1977 and was completed 28 October 2008, and cost 31 billion KRW
South Korean won
The won is the currency of South Korea. A single won is divided into 100 jeon, the monetary subunit. The jeon is no longer used for everyday transactions, and appears only in foreign exchange rates...

, or US$25 million. The dictionary comprises 16 volumes (including an index volume) totalling over 20,000 pages.

In addition to the Han-Han Daesajeon, in 1966, Dankook University completed the “Dictionary of Korean Chinese Characters.” Composed of 4 volumes with more than 4,410 pages, this dictionary “catalogs Chinese characters made and used only by our Korean ancestors (182 characters) as well as examples of Chinese words with Korean usages (84,000 words). We are proud and hopeful that these two dictionaries will shine on for posterity as an invaluable contribution to our national culture.”


With no Chinese dictionaries with Korean translations, most Korean scholars were resigned to relying on Chinese dictionaries in foreign languages to interpret original Chinese texts. Dr. Choong-sik Chang, however, a dynamic young scholar and our university president at the time, saw a challenge. Dr. Chang soon brought Lee Hee-seung, the leading authority on Korean literature, to head the Institute of Oriental Studies at Dankook University. After much arduous preparations, scholars were invited as advisers in 1977 and as editors to start compilation in 1978. Even when the university foundation turned down the colossal project, financial difficulties beset the university and concerned senior scholars tried to dissuade him, Dr. Chang pushed even harder and convinced everyone that compiling a classical Chinese–Korean dictionary was a worthwhile project that would enrich our national culture. Dr. Choong-sik Chang, a 45 year-old university president when the project began, is now a 77 year-old scholar. Lee Hee-seung, Lee Ga-won, Kim Dong-wuk and other contributing scholars have now died. The once young editors have retired and editors the age of their grandchildren are picking up where they left off, dedicating their own youth to adding footnotes and making revisions to the dictionary. 200,000 people, 2.12 million pages of manuscript and 132,800 days later in 2009, Dankook University presented the Han-Han Daesajeon, the “Great Chinese–Korean Dictionary.” The completion of Dankook University’s Han-Han Daesajeon secures an essential tool needed for the studies of Korean literature. The scale of the existing large Chinese character dictionaries of other countries is as follows:(Dankook University News cross reference)
  • – China’s Comprehensive Dictionary of Chinese Words: 23,000 characters, 380,000 words
  • – Japan’s Great Chinese–Japanese Dictionary: 49,000 characters, 390,000 words
  • – Taiwan’s Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Chinese Language: 50,000 characters, 400,000 words


Classical Chinese character dictionaries are an essential tool for accessing and understanding traditional humanities with a foundation in Chinese literature, not only in China but also in Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Taiwan. The first notable effort to compile a comprehensive classical Chinese character dictionary was made by Morohashi Tetsuji (1883–1982), a Japanese scholar. Tetsuji recognized the need and grew determined to compile a Chinese–Japanese Dictionary while studying abroad in China. Despite his manuscripts being burned in a fire during World War II, his publisher going bankrupt, and numerous other setbacks, after 32 years of collaborative work, the Dai Kan-Wa Jiten or “Great Chinese–Japanese Dictionary” was finally completed. Taiwan’s Defense Committee followed suit with a 10-year effort, along with the Academia Sinica, to complete the “Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Chinese Language.” In 1975, China also made the compilation of a Chinese character dictionary a national project. Collaboration attracted the participation of 43 universities, as well as numerous research centers and scholars nationwide, yielding the 12 volume Hanyu Da Cidian or “Comprehensive Dictionary of Chinese Words” in 1993

See also

  • Dai Kan-Wa jiten
    Dai Kan-Wa jiten
    The is a Japanese dictionary of kanji compiled by Morohashi Tetsuji. Remarkable for its comprehensiveness and size, Morohashi's dictionary contains over 50,000 character entries and 530,000 compound words...

  • Hanyu Da Cidian
    Hanyu Da Cidian
    The Hanyu Da Cidian is the most inclusive available Chinese dictionary. Lexicographically comparable to the OED, it has diachronic coverage of the Chinese language, and traces usage over three millennia from Chinese classic texts to modern slang...

  • Hanyu Da Zidian
    Hanyu Da Zidian
    The Hanyu Da Zidian is one of the best available reference works on Chinese characters. A group of more than 400 editors and lexicographers began compilation in 1979, and it was published in eight volumes from 1986 to 1989. A separate volume of essays documents the lexicographical complexities...

  • Zhonghua Da Zidian
    Zhonghua Da Zidian
    The Zhonghua Da Zidian was an unabridged Chinese dictionary of characters published in 1915. The chief editors were Xu Yuan'gao , Lu Feikui , and Ouyang Pucun . It was based upon the 1716 Kangxi Zidian, and is internally organized using the 214 Kangxi radicals...

  • Zhongwen Da Cidian
    Zhongwen Da Cidian
    The Zhongwen Da Cidian is an unabridged Chinese dictionary, edited by Zhang Qiyun and others. The first edition had 40 volumes, which were published from 1962 through 1968....

External links

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