If you’ve learned some words associated with school or education like 학교 you might have noticed the reoccurring 교 theme, that’s because a lot of school and educational words use Sino-Korean!

This one will be a 2-for-1 deal – there are two different Hanja that are pronounced 교 and both used for educational terms:

: more specific to the school and environment
: related to the education process


학교 – Education & School

校 Hanja: school vocab

First up is 校 which means school, so all the associated words in Korean are related to the building or area. Now of course, when reading Korean people won’t specify if it’s 校 or 敎 origin so just keep in mind these are all related to education and you don’t need to worry so much about the Hanja itself.

학교: school
교문: a school gate
교복: school uniform
교장: headmaster
교정: campus
학교생활: student (aka 학생)

대학교: college/university
전문대학교: community college
high school (abbreviation of 고등학교)
중학교: junior high school
초등학교: elementary school


학교 – Education & School (2)

敎 Hanja: education vocab

Next is 敎 which means teaching, so is more related to the education process, and teachers.

가정교사: private tutor
교사: teacher
교수: professor
교직:  teaching profession

교실: classroom
교육: education
교육비: tuition (교육 + 비 from 비용: cost)

교재: textbook (more general; an educational book)
교과서: textbook (schoolbook)

This character is even used for some religious vocab too!

교회: church
교훈: moral lesson

기독교: Christianity
불교: Buddhism
유교: Confucianism
종교: religion, a faith
종교적: religious, spiritual

Buddhism is literally: 佛 + 敎,  Buddha + teaching, so the teachings of Buddha
Confucianism is similar: 儒 + 敎, Confucian scholar + teaching
Christianity is a different with: 基 + 督 + 敎, foundation + supervise + teach

Pretty interesting right?


Dax · June 5, 2023 at 4:47 pm

Awesome stuff 🤘 Love the sino-Korean content as a Chinese learner.

    Pam · June 5, 2023 at 5:24 pm

    Great! Glad you enjoy

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