I’ve really come to enjoy the game of building my Korean vocabulary through hanjas. This morning when I was reviewing the new words from my most recent TTMIK news delivery I came across the word 획득하다 meaning “to acquire or obtain”. I definitely recognized the 득, and wondered if it was the same 득 as in 설득 (persuasion). Indeed it was. The hanja character is 得 and means something to the effect of benefit, advantage, gain, interest, and profit. I browsed Naver’s dictionary and learned that it also appears in words like 소득 (income, earnings) 득실 (gains and losses, pros and cons) and the intriguing negative form using the hanja 無 (무) 무득무실 (no gain, no loss).
Looking at all these words I makes sense to me that they are all in one way or another linked to acquiring or obtaining something. When you persuade someone, you naturally obtain what you want, and when you earn your income you obtain money. On days like this I feel one step closer to cracking the code to Korean. And I definitely take comfort in knowing that if I continue in this way, I’ll improve my chances of infering the meaning of an unknown word simply by identifying a known syllable. Not bad at all.