What does "tae" actually mean?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by mastercole, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    What is the actual meaning of the word "tae" used in the word "taekwondo" ?
     
  2. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I've always understood it to mean "to strike or break with the foot" or "to kick".

    I'm sure you already knew that, though, so maybe you can explain what you're really hoping for here.
     
  3. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    No, I did not know what your answer would be.

    I'm asking for other people's answers to my question above, maybe there will be some differences in their answers? Thanks for yours.
     
  4. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    So do you really expect to see a wide difference in translation?

    Seems akin to a spanish speaker asking what "adios" means.

    But since we're translating...

    In one of the threads you started on jiapsul, I commented that I'd always understood the term for pressure point/vital point strikes to be hyaeldolsul as opposed to the jiapsul you used. Can you explain your understanding of these terms?
     
  5. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    I had heard 'to strike or smash with the foot' or similar. What I find odd, is that the same sound and character seems to be used in 'Tae geuk', where it purportedly means 'largeness', 'bigness' or some similar concept. So does the same sound have multiple context-sensitive meanings, or is one of these a slight mistranslation?

    Google translate brings back the following from the isolated 'Tae'

    'Pacific'

    with the following alternatives

    noun

    womb
    form
    behavior
    crack
    cracking whip
    grammatical voice
    affectation



    Which I think is interesting. The 'Kwon' character in isolation brings back:

    'Issues'

    with the alternatives

    noun
    volume
    book
    circle

    'Do' brings back:

    'Also'

    With these alternatives:

    noun

    degree
    state
    road
    point
    metropolis
    pitch
    district
    clique
    principle

    So there it is. Taekwondo is the pacific (peaceful?) behaviour circle principle. Or the womb book metropolis, or the crack book degree, depending on how you look at it. But those last two sound like bands that play my local, so maybe not! Seriously, I have no idea, and I know literal translations don't really work, but I still think it's interesting.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  6. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    Maybe, maybe not, but so far, it's seems like maybe. See Gnarlie's post above.

    I aim to study pretty deeply in every single aspect of Taekwondo, so I am interested in others experience in kupsu or vital points. I know the term "hyeol" which seems close to the first part of your term, but I have not seen your specific term before now. There are actually several variations on the terms and they usually represent different types of vital points, or different subsets. I did not want to give my definition until the thread seemed to end, which it seems to have ended. Of course, if you like, in that thread, please expand upon exactly what hyaeldolsul means.
     
  7. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    So what does hyeol mean? I'd not be at all suprised if my romanized spelling of a term I learned many years ago might not match your romanized spelling. If I spelled it hyeoldosul, how would you interpret it?
    I can't really expand on the meaning. I was taught it was a catch-all term for the group pressure point techniques.
    If I could expand on it, I probably wouldn't need to ask. :)
     
  8. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    Ask in the other thread so we don't derail this
     
  9. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    The tae in taekwondo and the tae in taeguek are different hanja.
     
  10. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    Also, I don't believe anyone has given a correct answer yet.
     
  11. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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  12. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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  13. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    I've got to go to work for a couple of hours, but I'm all over this later.
     
  14. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 3rd Black Belt

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    I agree that finding the correct hanja is probably the only way to get at the "actual" meaning. Using internet translators to go from English to Korean or Korean to English is a good way to get some confusion. With the exception of extremely simple grammatical structures it doesn't work very well.

    I doubt that most people (especially non-taekwondoin) put that much thought into it. Taekwondo is taekwondo. To me it's a lot like names of people. Korean people typically (especially in the past) gave names from Chinese characters (Korean pronunciation), but ultimately that name is just what you call the person. So it's the same way with names...you have to find out the Chinese character to figure out the actual meaning.

    So if I look up taekwondo in my Korean-English dictionary it says "a Korean martial art," and it doesn't bother to break the word apart into tae...kwon...do and explain each part individually.
     
  15. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    Totally agree, I'm just doing it for a bit of fun.

    跆 TAE: To trample: To strike or smash with the foot, is derived from 2 characters , the left character means foot 足 and the right brush stroke is台 board or geographical plain. Together the foot is stepping through the board.

    Is this the right hanja???
     
  16. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    It's the right Hanja, but GM Kang is choosing the parts of the Hanja definitions he likes. Take the Hanja apart further and see what you find out, see which was it can go.
     
  17. rlobrecht

    rlobrecht Brown Belt

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    I always thought 태 권 도 was taekwondo. Is that the hangul, as opposed to than hanja above?

    Which is the correct to describe taekwondo? Hangul is from the 15th century, and taekwondo is from the 20th century. How would the founders have actually written it?

    Thanks,
    Rick
     
  18. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    In 1954 the naming committee was looking through Hanja books trying find Hanja for the Korean word "Taekkyon", because President Rhee called the martial arts demonstration they were watching "Taekkyon."

    But Taekkyon is a pure Korean word, with no corresponding Hanja (traditional Chinese character) this is because it was a peasant/farmers word. At that time in Korean history, the committee could not put forth a peasant word like Taekkyon, they needed a word with corresponding Hanja that would be respected by the public. Since Taek-kyon means "kicking", they found a Hanja for Tae, which was very close, and Kwon to include arms. So it was "Taekwon" instead of "Taekkyon".

    So you will see Taekwondo in Korea written both ways, with Hangul, like you posted, and with the Hanja (traditional Chinese characters) you saw posted.

    That said, Tae, Kwon and Do have many different Hanja that can define their meaning. Those words separately can all means completely different things depending on which Hanja is related to the Hangul. How do we know which Hanja corresponds with each Hangul? We can guess by the subject matter, or, Hanja can be inserted in ( ) next to the Hangul in difficult subject matter.
     
  19. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    OK, here we go, fun way to spend an hour or two:

    Tae is:

    [​IMG]

    And carries the translation ‘trample’ in most of the places I’ve found.

    It’s made up of part 1:

    [​IMG]

    And part 2:

    [​IMG]

    Tae part 1:

    [​IMG]

    The first set of strokes is ‘foot’. The whole ‘Foot’ part can be interpreted as ‘foot; to be sufficient; sufficient; attain; enough; satisfy; soccer’ It is part phonetic and part semantic. This group can be further broken down into:

    [​IMG]

    The square alone is ‘Mouth’, ‘A measure word’, ‘Gate’, ‘Entrance’, ‘Open End’ but is not semantic, but phonetic in this occurrence. It carries the sound rather than the meaning.

    [​IMG]

    The leg part of the foot, under the square can be interpreted as: ‘to stop; toe; desist; detain; halt’ – is semantic rather than phonetic –it carries the meaning but not the sound. The pictogram is etymologically derived from ‘leg and foot’.

    Part 2:

    [​IMG]

    The triangle and square together are ‘platform; Taiwan; classical ‘you’ in letters; surname; term of address; unit; your’

    [​IMG]

    The triangle on its own is ‘secret’ or ‘private’, etymologically derived from a pictogram of a silkworm in its cocoon, representing a total immersion in the self. This is a so-called ‘apparent’ part of the stroke group and may or may not contain part of the original meaning.

    [​IMG]

    The square alone is ‘Mouth’, ‘A measure word’, ‘Gate’, ‘Entrance’, ‘Open End’ – this is the semantic part of the stroke group, carrying the meaning.

    I would put forward a suggested highly literal meaning then, of something like ‘gate attain private foot stopping platform’

    I have also read today that this part of the Hanja was reverse-selected – the sound was chosen first in Korea, then they went back to the Hanja to look for the right symbols for it...

    Someone else can do ‘Kwon’!
     
  20. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    If you want more on this contact me, I will send it.123
     

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