남자

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Korean[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Sino-Korean word from 男子, from (male) + (offspring)

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (SK Standard/Seoul) IPA(key): [na̠md͡ʑa̠]
    • (file)
  • Phonetic hangul: []
Romanizations
Revised Romanization?namja
Revised Romanization (translit.)?namja
McCune–Reischauer?namja
Yale Romanization?namca

Noun[edit]

남자 (namja) (hanja 男子)

  1. boy, man
    남자들은 미국인입니까, 아니면 독일인입니까? 독일인입니다.
    I namjadeureun miguginimnikka, animyeon dogirinimnikka? dogirinimnida.
    Are these men American or German? - They are German.
    Coordinate term: 여자(女子) (yeoja, girl, woman)

Usage notes[edit]

Korean has a number of words equivalent to English "man" and "woman".

  1. Sino-Korean 남자 (男子, namja, “boy; guy; man”) and 여자 (女子, yeoja, “girl; woman”) are the most common words, but can have a somewhat informal connotation.
    남자? — 아니, 여자.
    Gyaeneun namjaya? ani, yeojaya.
    Is he/she a guy? — No, she's a girl.
    남자친구 / 여자친구
    namjachin'gu / yeojachin'gu
    boyfriend / girlfriend
  2. Sino-Korean 남성 (男性, namseong, “male; men”) and 여성 (女性, yeoseong, “female; women”) refer to men and women as groups—though pluralized 남자 (namjadeul, “the boys; the guys; the men”) and 여자 (yeojadeul, “the girls; the women”) is informally more common for this purpose—or to individual adult men and women in formal or polite contexts.
    여성 인권 운동
    yeoseong in'gwon undong
    women's rights movement, feminism
    20 남성 실종되습니다. (in a news report)
    20dae namseong'i siljongdoeeotseumnida.
    A man in his twenties has gone missing.
  3. Sino-Korean 여인 (女人, yeoin, “woman”) is literary. There is no male counterpart.
    여인 향기 (movie title)
    yeoinui hyanggi
    Scent of a Woman
  4. The bare Sino-Korean morphemes (, nam, “male”) and (, yeo, “female”) is generally used in formal contexts, especially when referring to each gender as a collective but also for male or female individuals in more legalistic contexts. They are commonly written in hanja even when the rest of the text is in pure Hangul script.
    만남
    namgwa yeoui mannam
    the meeting of Man and Woman
  5. Native 사내 (sanae, man) and 계집 (gyejip, woman) are not normally used. 사내 (sanae) often has a connotation of machismo or manliness, while 계집 (gyejip) has become offensive and derogatory.

Note that in Early Modern Korean (1600—c. 1900) and in contemporary Standard North Korean, Sino-Korean (, yeo, “female”) is written and pronounced (nyeo), hence 녀자 (女子, nyeoja), 녀성 (女性, nyeoseong), 녀인 (女人, nyeoin).

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]