What needs to be corrected is that the Korean Constitution and laws are not all written in Chinese, but are written in Chinese. The official text is as follows:
The reason is simple: for a long time in ancient Korea, Chinese characters were the main writing tools.
Because there were no characters on the ancient Korean peninsula, and because of the influence of Chinese civilization, Chinese characters were used as official characters in ancient Korea. All kinds of historical texts were written in Chinese characters, not to mention legal texts.
However, there are many problems when switching from many texts to Korean, because it is similar to an inscription, which is equivalent to Chinese Pinyin. Although it is easy to learn, it will be awkward when we encounter different characters with the same pronunciation.
And Chinese characters, as ideographic characters, can easily eliminate the situation of different characters with the same pronunciation. We can immediately know the meaning of a specific Chinese character by looking at it. This is the biggest problem South Korea has encountered since using Chinese characters, because 70% of Korean vocabulary comes from Chinese, and there are many homophones and different words. If you write them separately, instead of putting them in a specific sentence, you can only guess.
This is why, no matter how much South Korea hates and belittles the characteristics of Chinese characters, there are many cases where Chinese characters must be used to write, otherwise Korean will not be able to express its meaning.
For example, the name on the Korean identity card must be written in Chinese, because most names are three words, not one sentence, and it is impossible to guess which word is in Korean alone. This is why many Koreans have to choose Chinese names and translate them into Korean.
The second area where Chinese characters must be used is legal documents and other official documents. For example, when we talk about legal documents, we need to use words in a very professional way. Every sentence cannot be ambiguous, but this cannot be done only in Korean. So until now, Korean official legal documents must be written in Chinese, or when there are special words, they must be written in Chinese.
There is also the case of place names, which cannot be repeated generally, or they may not be confirmed accurately. Sending and receiving express delivery are both problems.
Since the late 1990s, the new laws promulgated by the National Assembly and the government's implementation guidelines have been written in simple proverbs. Nowadays, even the laws made in the period of mixed Chinese characters are also published in simple proverbs by default. However, even so, due to the prevalence of Chinese nouns in Korean laws in the early years (including the colonial period seriously affected by Japan), it is still common to use brackets to add Chinese characters in daily documents. The ability to read certain Chinese characters, as well as basic writing skills, are still necessary for examinations and practical applications, such as the Bar Examination.
All Korean laws need to be prepared with a valid version of Chinese and Korean as the final legal interpretation.
One of the main reasons is that Korean uses syllables, and Korean is one of the few words that use syllables specially.
The advantage of the syllabus is that it is always 100% accurate because it is entirely based on pronunciation. You can learn the whole Korean language in 10 minutes. Once you master the pronunciation skills, you can pronounce it perfectly.
What are the disadvantages? Pronunciation changes over time. The syllables must be changed to reflect the correct pronunciation. Therefore, if the Constitution is written in Korean, you will face the risk of making the original text completely incomprehensible in about 80-100 years. This is the same reason that the Japanese Constitution is not entirely written in pseudonyms, or the English Constitution does not use the International Phonetic Alphabet.
At the same time, Chinese is just the opposite. It conveys accurate meaning, but has little change in pronunciation. You can use completely different pronunciation (just like different Chinese dialects), but when you write it down, you can still fully understand it.
Although Chinese is no longer available for daily use, you need Chinese for legal matters (documents may be relevant decades later). Until today, even the ultra formal government newspapers are written in Chinese.
Therefore, the Constitution should be written in Chinese as formally as possible.
In theory, Korean lawyers do not need to know Chinese characters.
• There are no professional institutions or regulations in Korea that require lawyers to understand Chinese characters.
• Today, Korean laws are written only in Korean, and the technical terms in brackets are equivalent to Korean. The old laws were written in Korean, a mixture of Chinese characters. Now they have been completely rewritten into Korean.
But in practice, Korean lawyers must be proficient in Chinese characters.
• Chinese characters enable readers to infer the meaning behind words. Korean law contains many homophones and complex words, so knowing the meaning behind each component helps to distinguish them. For example, I used to read a legal judgment using the word: 사 법. In the form of Korean, in the mind of the default word is "사 법", "justice" corresponding Chinese form. But the ruling in the text, 사 법 attached explanation is: after the law, which means that under the jurisdiction of two people of the relationship between "civil law", rather than the jurisdiction of the relation between individual and nation "public law". Therefore, the insertion of Chinese characters helped me to find the appropriate terms between these two homophones.
•汉字使读者能够推断单词背后的含义。韩国法律包含许多同音词和复杂的词汇，因此了解每个成分背后的含义有助于区分它们。例如，我以前读过一篇法律判决书使用这个词：사법. 在韩语形式中，脑海中出现的默认词是“사법”，对应于汉语形式“司法”. 但在裁决文本中，사법 之后附着的解释是：私法, 这意味着管辖两个人之间关系的“私法”，而不是管辖个人与国家之间关系的《公法》。因此，汉字的插入帮助我在这两个同音字中找到了合适的术语。
• Many legal materials in the past were written in a mixture of Korean and Chinese scripts. All lawyers must deal with such material in their legal studies . Even if they are not enrolled in a special course devoted to learning Chinese, lawyers have no choice but to learn the most commonly used Chinese for practical purposes.
Practically speaking, this is not necessary, but it would be very helpful because knowing Chinese characters can give Korean lawyers a deeper understanding of legal concepts.
Historically, almost all Korean legal words were derived from pre-1945 Japanese law (which in turn was derived from 19th century European civil law), and the Japanese used only kanji (Chinese characters) as legal terms. Therefore, it would be helpful if the Korean lawyer had a grasp of the basic Japanese/Chinese characteristics to understand the "original meaning" or meaning of the legal words he/she is reading. As you understand, Korean is just speech.
For example, if I only wrote "원 고" (won go), meaning is not clear, because it is not a common word, has several meanings of the plaintiff, the original, so most of the south Korean lawyer would understand this refers to the court the plaintiff in the case.
Perhaps the easiest way to compare is to say that it is helpful for American lawyers to know Latin because many common law concepts and terms have their roots in Latin.
After the invention of Hunminjeongeum by King Sejong of the Joseon Dynasty, the official documents of the Joseon Dynasty of the Lee Dynasty were still written in Chinese. Hangul was popular among ordinary people and women, and ordinary people used hangul to write personal documents and record poems. Under this influence, the two classes in the middle and late Joseon Dynasty began to use hangul in literary and artistic creation, and there were novels with Hangul mixed with Chinese characters and even pure Hangul works. After the founding of the Li Dynasty at the end of the period, official documents began to use mixed Chinese and Korean.
During the Japanese rule of Korea, Japanese was the language used in Korean education. In the early and middle years of Japanese rule, Korean was also taught in schools. In the late period of Japanese rule, Korean was eliminated from school education in response to Japanese colonial education.
After World War II, hangul was elevated to the national script. North Korea abolished Chinese characters in 1949. The article on the abolition of Chinese characters in the Chosun Dictionary states that North Koreans should "only write our own unique characters and not use Chinese characters in ordinary written life." In Korea, the use of Chinese characters has not been abolished, but due to the policy of restricting Chinese characters, the frequency of Chinese characters is decreasing, and the content of Chinese characters in Chinese-Korean mixed texts is decreasing.
In the 1990s, South Korea basically realized the complete use of proverbs to write articles. Except for law and medical books and some traditional festivals, Korean and Chinese mixed languages were almost completely marginalized. Only occasionally in order to avoid confusion between words in an alternative proverbs in parentheses after the note Chinese characters, called "Chinese characters and" (Korean: 한 자 병 기 / 倂 written Chinese characters).
But things get more complicated. The reason is the law. Open up South Korea's constitution and you'll see that about half of it is written in Chinese! Of course you still can't read the South Korean constitution. Can a person who only knows Korean understand the constitution of Korea? Of course not. A native Korean who can't read his own constitution. The reason for this is not that Korean law writers are bad, but that the Hangeul cannot bear the burden of writing laws.
Chinese is the only semiotic word in use in the world today, which is a trinity of sound, shape and meaning, while Korean, as a product of imitation, has a huge defect. This problem is not obvious in the use of spoken language, but becomes serious when it comes to the use of written words.
For example, Li, Li, Li, Fang, Fang, Fang, the pronunciation can be exactly the same, but the meaning is not the same. In Chinese, there is no problem in using different words to express, but in Korean, it is very likely to be unable to distinguish the writing and the law is extremely strict on the accuracy of the sentence. The result of writing laws in Korean is a lot of ambiguity, so the Korean government has to use a lot of Chinese characters in the process of writing laws. Prosecutors, judges, lawyers, professors, and politicians all have to know Chinese to do a lot of the jobs associated with it.
In South Korea, Chinese is not part of the basic curriculum. So if you're a Korean and you go to the bar exam one day, you have to read a textbook where you don't know half the words, and you get an exam in a foreign language. It will make it difficult to learn both law and Chinese, and as a result, they will have to study together. It is really sad for the majority of Korean examinees.
But for the former Sangban descendants, or today's South Korean upper class, the system was a huge boon. Since the ancient Joseon Dynasty, Chinese has been the common language of the upper class of Joseon Dynasty. Although the official status of Chinese was abolished in modern times, it was widely used in the law. Of course, the elite class of Korea would not pay for martial arts at their own expense, and their children would naturally use Chinese when growing up in such an environment.
They naturally have a huge advantage in the competition for all jobs related to government functions. As a result, a large number of people in South Korea have been campaigning for the resumption of Chinese learning. They believe that the elite has monopolized the learning of Chinese, leading to unfair competition and class solidification. Of the nine presidents South Korea has had since its founding, only two were born outside the original Yangban family.