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Sino-Korean describes those elements of the Korean language that come directly or indirectly from Chinese - namely, Hanja and the words formed from them (hanjaeo (한자어; 漢字語; "Han-character words")).

Hanja were first introduced into the Korean Peninsula during the Chinese Han (한; 漢) Dynasty (202 BC - AD 220) - largely through the Cheonjamun (천자문; 千字文; Thousand-Character Classic) - and their introduction into Korea was closely tied to the spread of Buddhism.

Although many of the most frequently used words in Korean are of native Korean origin, Sino-Korean words today make up over 70% of the Korean vocabulary.