Today I went through most of TTMIK’s Word Builder lessons and studied the Hanja introduced there. To be honest, I’ve thought about studying Hanja many many times before now, but I’ve never actually done anything about it.
Because I’ve taken two years of Chinese classes in the recent past, I already have a good foundation in Chinese characters. The only problem is that the Mandarin Chinese classes that I took were based on Simplified Chinese characters. Hanja, on the other hand, is based on Traditional Chinese characters, which is only used in Taiwan today.
In some cases the simplified characters are either exactly the same or very similar, but in some cases the traditional characters are way more complicated. Here’s a few examples:
기 — Hanja: 機 — Simplified Equivalent:机
학 — Hanja: 學 — Simplified Equivalent:学
It’s not too big of a deal to learn the traditional version of the characters, and having a good Chinese foundation will definitely make this learning process easier. My next step is probably going to be researching good Hanja textbooks to study with.