Proverbs play a key role in the language and culture of several countries. In the past, we’ve shown you some beautiful proverbs from places like Africa, China, and Ireland. Another country that takes great pride in its profound sayings is Korea, the land of the morning calm.
The people of Korea have learned to live by the wise words of their ancestors. These old sayings and proverbs still hold great significance for the Koreans and can apply to all of our lives as well. Here, we have shared some wise and enlightening Korean proverbs along with their meanings that are sure to resonate with you on a personal level. Check them out.
See Also: 15 Proverbs That Translate Hilariously into English!
1. Weon-sungi-do namu-eh-seo ddeoleo-jinda
This expression suggests that even a monkey, who is an expert at climbing trees, makes mistakes at times. In other words, we shouldn't beat ourselves up over some silly mistake we might have committed. Humans aren't perfect and we will make lapses in judgment from time to time.
2. Go-saeng kkeut-e nag-i on-da
This proverb is to tell us that even during difficult times we shouldn't lose hope. It is important to keep encouraging ourselves to keep working hard and not give up.
3. Gae-cheon-es-eo yong nan-da
This expression implies that in many ancient tales we've heard of how even the mighty dragon at times rises from a little stream. Therefore, even if we may have had humble beginnings early on in life, we might very well achieve great success eventually.
4. Seo–dang–gae sam nyeon–e poong–weol eulp–neun–da
This proverb basically means that practice makes one perfect. If you are willing to work hard enough and dedicatedly stick to your goal without giving up, you will eventually find success.
5. Nat–mal–eun sae–ga deud–go bam–mal–eun jui–ga deud–neun–da
These words are essentially a warning. They imply that there is always someone listening to what you are saying and what you have said about something or someone will eventually be revealed. Hence, we should always be careful with what or who we’re talking about.
6. Shi-jaki bani-da
Getting started can often be the hardest step. However, once you begin, the rest of the way would be much easier. This phrase will help in such a time when you are seeking encouragement before beginning an important task.
7. Ga-neun mali gowa-ya oneun gop-da
These wise words are to remind ourselves that we should always be nice to others if we want others to be nice to us. In other words, only if you are kind to others, will the world also show kindness to you.
This proverb is used to describe an impossible situation or obstacle. The sky is a metaphor for something that is too hard or impossible to obtain. Sometimes a situation may become too implausible or unrealistic for us to overcome. It is then we can comfort ourselves with these words. That even though something might appear alluring, it can at times be out of reach and realistically unattainable.
Many of us at times feel envious of what other people around us have and we don't. This proverb reminds us that other people’s possessions always look better than your own even when that might not be the case. Hence, we shouldn't get swayed by that emotion.
This proverb means that we will never really get the true essence of something or someone if we only scratch their outer surface. To properly experience something, we must try and dig deeper. Because just like the watermelon can only be enjoyed by eating its sweet inside part, you can only understand a person truly when you've connected with them on a deeper level.
11. Haneuli moo-neo-jyeodo so-sa-nal goo-myeongi it-da
These words tell us that even in a bad situation, there's always a way out. Your world might be collapsing right now, but you just need to hang in there. Because in the end, you will find an opening for comfort.
In the early days, shoes made out of straws were generally worn by commoners. This phrase means to say that if even a coarsely straw shoe has its pair, then there's surely someone out there for everyone else too.
Share these wise proverbs with your friends and family!