Funny and Wise Korean Proverbs

This list of Korean proverbs or quotes sound better in its original language and sounds funny after the English translation. Nevertheless, they are full of wisdom and truth. Enjoy !




1.    A hunter’s knife cannot carve its own handle.
2.    A great river does not refuse any small streams.
3.    A man’s youth will never die, unless he kills himself.
4.    A nobleman’s calf does not know how a butcher kills.
5.    A turtle can only get on it by sticking its neck out.
6.    After three years at a village schoolhouse, even a dog can recite a poem.
7.    Better in the grave than be a slave.
8.    Butterflies come to pretty flowers.
9.    Cast no dirt into the well that gives you water.
10.  Do not draw your sword to kill a fly.
11.  Don't try to cover the whole sky with the palm of your hand.
12.  Even a fish wouldn’t get into trouble if it kept its mouth shut.
13.  Even a monk can’t shave his own head.
14.  Even a sheet of paper is lighter when two people lift it.
15.  Even children of the same mother look different.
16.  Even honey can taste bitter if it’s used as medicine.
17.  Even the best song becomes tiresome if heard too often.
18.  Give an extra piece of cake to a stepchild.
19.  (Having one's) foot struck by a much-trusted axe.
20.  If there is a rich man in the area three villages are ruined.
21.  If you kick a stone in anger, you’ll hurt your own foot.
22.  If you speak of the tiger, it will come.
23.  In the valley where there are no tigers the hare is king.
24.  Man’s affairs are evaluated only after his coffin is closed.
25.  Man’s extremity, God’s opportunity.
26.  No flower lasts ten days and none might lasts ten years.
27.  No sleep, no dream.
28.  One will get caught if one's tail is too long.
29.  Power lasts ten years; influence not more than a hundred.
30.  Put off for one day and ten days will pass by.
31.  Remember, even monkeys fall down from the trees.
32.  Tall branches are apt to be broken.
33.  Tap even a stone bridge before crossing.
34.  The bad calligrapher is choosy about his brushes.
35.  The bad plowman quarrels with his ox.
36.  The frog forgets that he was once a tadpole.
37.  The matchmaker gets three cups of wine when he succeeds and three slaps on the cheek when he fails.
38.  The nicest woman is your own; the nicest harvest is your neighbors.
39.  There is no winter without snow, no spring without sunshine, and no happiness without companions.
40.  The thief hates the moon.
41.  Useful trees are cut down first.
42.  When you have three daughters, you sleep with the door open.
43.  Where there are no tigers, a wildcat is very self-important.
44.  Wise men philosophize as the fools live on.
45.  Woman was born three days earlier than the devil.
46.  Words have no wings but they can fly many thousands of miles.
47.  You cannot strike a face that is smiling.
48.  You will hate a beautiful song if you sing it often.


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