This post is an exploration into a bit of Sino-Korean etymology and usage of certain vocabulary.
On the 22nd I wrote about the use of F in place of 4 on elevator keypads, even when it comes to Braille. Zrv made a good point about the pronunciation of 四 and 死, both 사 (sa) in Korean. From his comment:
I think it’s really not accurate to say that the homophones in this case are in a “foreign language”. Sino-Korean words are as much Korean as Latin-English words (like “very”) or Franco-English words (like “enter”) are English.
That’s absolutely true. While a Cantonese speaker would likely understand much of what was said around them while in Seoul, it’s all still Korean.
However, aware of the 죽다 verb form that’s most commonly used for “to die”, I wanted to look into the homophones. The question I left in the comments is this: By modern standards, can we consider ‘death’ and ‘four’ homophonous in Korean if 죽다 is the preferred word?