Korean Proverbs

This is used to describe a great man with humble beginnings.

This is used to describe a great man with humble beginnings.

There is always away out of a bad situation.

There is always away out of a bad situation.

One can only begin dancing when the Korean drum is tapped.

This proverb explains the benefits of getting up early.

This proverb explains the benefits of getting up early.

Used to remind people that things do not just happen; you have to work for them.

Used to remind people that things do not just happen; you have to work for them.

Used to say that no one can expect to be popular or at their best forever.

Used to say that no one can expect to be popular or at their best forever.

 

Hard work brings success

Hard work brings success

 

Small things can lead to big problems. Be careful!

Small things can lead to big problems. Be careful!

 

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Staying calm no matter what the circumstances will allow you to succeed.

 

Often used when yo realize you have nickle-and-dimed yourself to the point of having no money.

Often used when yo realize you have nickle-and-dimed yourself to the point of having no money.

 

You can't hate people that aren't as experienced or old as you because you were once just like them.

You can’t hate people that aren’t as experienced or old as you because you were once just like them.

 

There is a proper order in life. In Korea, the oldest person always gets served first.

There is a proper order in life. In Korea, the older person always gets served first.

 

You can say this to someone who is getting ahead of themselves when planning a project.

You can say this to someone who is getting ahead of themselves when planning a project.

 

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Say nice things to someone if you want someone to say nice things to you.

 

Everyone makes mistakes, even experts and monkeys!

Everyone makes mistakes, even experts and monkeys!

 

Be careful when you talk about someone, someone else could overhear what you say.

Be careful when you talk about someone, someone else could overhear what you say.

17 comments

  • My favorite Korean Proverb is “Even monkeys fall from trees.” I like it because it is simple and fun. The image of a monkey falling from the tree is quite easy to see. I like the meaning, it is a good lesson for myself when I make mistakes. It’s also a fun expression to use with my children when they are upset about making a mistake,

  • These are a few of my favorites..
    👇

    1. 오늘 걷지 않으면 내일은 뛰어야 한다

    Literal meaning: If you don’t walk today, you will have to run tomorrow.

    2. 구르는 돌에는 이끼가 끼지 않는다

    Literal meaning: A rolling stone gathers no moss.

    3. 호랑이에게 물려가도 정신만 차리면 산다

    Literal meaning: Even if you are cornered by a tiger, if you keep your cool you can survive.

    4. 하늘이 무너져도 솟아날 구멍이 있다

    Literal meaning: Even if the sky collapses, there will be a hole gushing out.

    5. 등잔 밑이 어둡다

    Literal meaning: It is dark under the lamp

    6. 시작이 반이다

    Literal meaning: Starting is half the task

    7. 고생 끝에 낙이 온다.

    Literal meaning: At the end of hardship comes happiness.

  • Have you noticed that the time posting the comment is incorrect ?

  • If the outgoing words are beautiful, then the incoming words will be beautiful, too.
    This one resonated with me. Sounds biblical.
    I’m from the Problogger challenge.
    Great post.

  • Andre' the Jacobs

    My favorite saying is: 천고마비

    It means “The horses are fat and the sky is clear”. It is a saying used in autumn to describe good times. I love the imagery.

  • Lovely, and a great idea. That even monkeys fall from trees reminds me to be humble, especially when I am confident.

  • I voted cold water comes from the bottom up. Showing respect to elders is important for young people today. I like it even more because i’m getting older!

  • I’ve never heard of any Korean proverbs before, but I did know the monkey one, I’ve heard it here in Japan. I like the beautiful words one. That is a good reminder to me when I am stuck at home with two kids all week long during the summer holidays.

    • Thanks Jayne for the comment. I’m sure Japan and Korea share a lot of the same proverbs. The beautiful words is a great choice. Reminds us to be nice to each other. Great for vacation!

  • I like “cold water is from the bottom up”. True! After all, according to science, cold water is denser. Great job!!!

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