여자

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Korean[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Sino-Korean word from 女子, from (female) + (offspring)

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (SK Standard/Seoul) IPA(key): [jʌ̹d͡ʑa̠]
    • (file)
  • Phonetic hangeul: []
Romanizations
Revised Romanization?yeoja
Revised Romanization (translit.)?yeoja
McCune–Reischauer?yŏja
Yale Romanization?yeca

South Gyeongsang (Busan) pitch accent: 여자의 / 여자에 / 여자까지

Syllables in red take high pitch. This word always takes high pitch on both syllables, and lowers the pitch of subsequent suffixes.

South Korean
Standard Language
여자(女子) (yeoja)
North Korean
Standard Language
녀자(女子) (nyeoja)

Noun[edit]

여자 (yeoja) (hanja 女子)

  1. woman, girl
    여자친구yeojachin-gugirlfriend
    여자 왔다 갔다.Yeoja se myeong-i watda gatda.Three women came and went.
    Coordinate term: 남자(男子) (namja, boy, man)

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]