This site was created for Korean-language learners who wish to expand their vocabulary as quickly as possible.

How this site is organized

The hanja characters are organized by difficulty level, where 8급 is the easiest level and 특급 is the most difficult level. Within each 급 the characters are arranged alphabetically by their Korean sound. Each hanja character has its own page, and on each page I have attempted to list high-frequency words that are derived from the hanja.

Identifying all of the high-frequency vocabulary is not easy. My general rule of thumb is to include words marked with at least one star in the Korean-English Learners’ Dictionary. ⭐⭐⭐ indicates beginner words, ⭐⭐ indicates intermediate words, and ⭐ indicates advanced words. In some cases I have included words with no stars because of the frequency with which I use them in conversation or see them in news articles.


I grew up speaking Korean at home, but because I did not study the language formally I had only a basic vocabulary. I had long understood that familiarizing myself with hanja would help me gain a more advanced Korean vocabulary, but the hanja books I studied left me feeling frustrated. Their methods felt impractical to me because they introduced characters by theme or radical, rather than by frequency of use in the Korean language.

One day I stumbled upon the hanja lists used by Koreans who are studying for the 한자검정시험, an exam that tests one’s hanja ability. The lists are organized by frequency and level of difficulty. Learning hanja in this manner helped me absorb thousands of new words into my vocabulary very rapidly. I want others to benefit from this method too, so I created this English-language site to assist those who aren’t ready to navigate the Korean sites.

Resources used to build this site