10 Wise Korean Proverbs

  1. 짚신도 짝이 있다.
    Jipshindo jjakee itda.
    Even the straw shoe has a mate.
  2. 티끌모아 태산.
    Tiggeulmoah taesan.
    One can build a mountain by collecting specks of dust.
  3. 가는 말이 고와야 오는 말이 곱다.
    Ganeun malee goaya oneun malee gopda.
    If the outgoing words are beautiful, the incoming words will be beautiful.
  4. 평안 감사도 제가 싫으면 그만이다.
    Pyeongahn gamsado jega shileumyeon geumaneeda.
    A man may lead his horse to water, but cannot make it drink.
  5. 등잔 밑이 어둡다.
    Deungjan meetee uhdoopda.
    It’s dark under the oil lamp.
  6. 서당 개 삼년이면 풍월을 읊는다.
    Suhdang gae samneuneemyun poongwoleul eulbneunda.
    A dog raised in a private school for three years can recite alphabets.
  7. 남의 떡이 더 커 보인다.
    Namui tteokee duh kuh boinda.
    Someone else’s rice cake always looks bigger.
  8. 시작이 반이다.
    Shijakee baneeda.
    Starting is half the task.
  9. 원숭이도 나무에서 떨어진다.
    Wonsoongeedo namooaesuh dduhluhjinda.
    Even monkeys fall off trees.
  10. 호랑이에게 물려가도 정신만 차리면 산다.
    Horangeeaegae moollyuhgado jungshinman chalimyun sanda.
    Even if you are caught by a tiger, you will survive if you keep your cool.

Hope you enjoyed the featured Korean proverbs. Next time you’re faced with trials in life, may these bits of wisdom be a guide to your health, wealth and happiness. See you on Mondays for more phrase lessons and on KWOW Wednesdays for travel episodes. Anyong!