Ay.. Onga pala.. Magse-share lang ako ng Korean Proverbs.. Kaya ako napadaan uli.. Sa mga interesado po dyan.. Basa lang kayo dito :)
AUTHOR: AH-MI CHO
The definition of proverbs:
In the 12th centrury Mathieu de Vendome wrote that "a proverb is a popular phrase, accredited by custom, accepted by the general opinion, expressing a truth that has been proved genuine."(quoted by Bautier 1984)
Some examples of definitions:
-" A proverb is a short sentence of wisdom." (quoted by Mieder 1989. p.15)
- " A proverb is a stand statement of moral and colloquial imperatives in fixed metaphorical paradigmatic form, it deals with fundamental logical relationships." (Barley 1972 p. 741)
- " A proverb is a general statement or judgement, explaining, classifying or assessing a situation. (Harald burger, quoted by W. Mieder 1977.p2)
- "Proverbs are popular fixed senteces expressing a rule of conduct or wisdom in a vivid, short form." (Röhrich-Mieder 1977. P. 2)
- "Proverbs are short, generally known sentences of the folk that contain wisdom, truths, morals, and traditional views in a metaphorical, fixed and memorizable form and that are handed down orally from generation to generation." Mieder 1996. P.597)
Background information on Korean Proverbs:
Korean proverbs are direct reflections of wisdom, morals, and customs of Koreans. Even though some of the proverbs are handed down for hundreds years, morals and values are still intact in modern Korean life. The following proverbs are examples that teach us important issues in everyday life and appropriate behaviors that are required in Korean society.
Notes: The following proverbs are presented in three different versions:
1. In Korean with English transcripts;
2. Literal translation;
3. Meaning of each proverb.
Proverbs from everyday life:
1. 소 잃고 외양간 고친다.(So ilko oeyangkan kochinda.)
After losing a cow, one repairs the barn.
Meaning: Do not regret a mistake after it is already made, one should try to protect oneself before encountering misfortunes.
* Most of the low middle income families in the coundtry owned a "Soh" and "oeyangkan" in the olden days.
2. 등잔 밑이 어둡다. (Deung-jan Mitt-I Udup-da.)
Underneath the lampbase is dark.
Meaning: We often do not know what is going on right in front of us. It is a kind of warning to keep an eye on your own business and to take care of the matters close to you first.
*"Deungjan" is a oil lamp that Koreans used in the past.
3. 낫 놓고 기역자도 모른다. (Nat nokko kiyuk-ja do morun-da.)
One doesn’t know the "ㄱ(a Korean alphabet) “ even when looking at a sickle.
Meaning: This proverb is used to refer to a person who is ignorant.
* "Nat" is a tool that everybody owned and "kiyuk" is the first letter of Korean alphabet.
4. 서당개 삼 년에 풍월 읊는다. (Suhdang-kae Samnyune Pungwol eulupn-da)
A dog raised at Sodang for three years, can chant Chinese lessons.
Meaning: A person is highly influenced by the atmosphere he is in.
* "Suhdang" was a private school where the children of aristocracy and well-to-do families learned Chinese characters and chanted Chinese syllables according to the instruction of a teacher.
5. 빈 수레가 요란하다. (Bin Soo-re-ka yoranhada.)
An empty cart rattles loudly.
Meaning: Similar to the English proverb: “ His bark is worse than his bite.”
This proverb suggests that those who know the least are often the most talkative.
* "Soo-re" is the cart that farmers used to haul.
6. 시작이 반이다. (Sijaki banida.)
Starting is half the task.
Meaning: Koreans often use this proverb to express optimism about finishing something successfully.
7. 남의 떡이 더 커 보인다. (Nameu-Dduki duh kuh bo-in-da)
Someone else's rice cake looks always bigger.
Meaning: This proverb expresses greed.
* "Dduk" is the Korean rice cake that Koreans make on every holidays and festivities. There are numerous different kinds of rice cakes.
8. 아는 길도 물어가라. (Anun kil-do mul-u kara.)
Even if you know the way, ask one more time.
Meaning: It would be wise to ask and make sure before you take action.
9. 하늘의 별 따기. (Haneul-e Byul Ttaki.)
Catch a star in the sky.
Meaning: It is very hard or impossible to get. This proverb is often used to describe something that is difficult to obtain.
10. 티끌모아 태산. (Tikkul moa tae-san.)
One can build a mountain by collecting specks of dust.
Meaning: Since you can build a mountain by collecting dust, even if it might take a long time, if you work hard, you might be able to obtain your goal.
Proverbs of wisdoms and lessons in socially appropriate behaviors.
1. 가는 말이 고아야, 오는 말이 곱다. (Kanun mali koaya onun mali kopda.)
If you talk nice to other people, they also will talk nicely to you.
Meaning: Treat people with respect and they will treat you equally respectful.
2. 낮 말은 새가 듣고 밤 말은 쥐가 듣는다. (Natmal eun Saeka tutko, bammal eun jeuka tut nunda.)
The words you speak during the day are heard by birds, and the words you speak at night are heard by mice.
Meaning: Always be careful of what you say because you never know who is listening to you
3. 발 없는 말이 천리 길 간다. (Balupnun
Even words without feet travel thousand miles.
Meaning: Same as above. Rumors spread quickly, so be careful of the things you say.
4. 말 한마디로 천냥 빚 갚는다. (Mal hanmadiro chun-rang bit kapneunda.)
One word can repay a thousand nyang (old Korean currency) debt.
Meaning: Even if you are in trouble, you can get out of it, if you were sincere and eloquent.
5. 곡식은 익을수록 머리를 숙인다. (Koksikeun ikeulsoorok muhrilul sookinda.)
wheat hangs its head deeper as it ripens.
Meaning: People who are mature and wise are more humble. This proverb is used to discourage any hasty decision or immature behavior.
6. 하늘이 무너져도 솟아날 구멍이 있다. (Haneuli moonuhjuhdo sohtanal kumungi itda.)
Even if the sky falls on you, there is a hole from which you can escape.
Meaning: In even the most desperate situation, there is still hope.
7. 바늘도둑이 소도둑이 된다. (Baneul doduki Sohdoduki doehnda.)
A needle thief becomes a cow thief (later).
Meaning: All bad habit begins with small mistakes like "a stealing a needle", therefore, one should be careful or be aware of the consequences of small mistakes.
Proverbs including "Korean tiger"
Background information about the importance of the tiger figure in Korean proverbs and folk tales:
Tigers have a special place in Korean culture.
Koreans think of tigers as courageous, fearless, majestic and royal animals. To this day, many Korean parents give male children’s names with the syllable "Ho (=tiger)". In the past, Koreans decorated their front gates with either picture of tigers or the letter “Ho” and covered the top of a bride’s carriage with the tiger blanket, in order to protect newly weds from evil spirits. Women wore a decorative brooch with tiger claws to protect themselves from bad spirits. The generals and rich patriarchs used to sit on pillows embroidered with tiger images. Tigers are associated with the power and courage.
1. 호랑이도 제 말 하면 온다. (Horang-ido jemal hamyun onda.)
If you talk about the tiger, the tiger will appear.
Meaning: "Speak of the devil." This proverb is used to express an unexpected coincidence.
2. 호랑이 굴에 가야 호랑이를 잡는다. (Horang-i gool-e kaja horang-ilul japneunda.)
If you want catch a tiger, you have to go to the tiger’s cave.
Meaning: If you want achieve a goal, you have to go to the source, work hard and overcome difficulties.
3. 호랑이에게 물려가도 정신만 차리면 산다. (Horang-ieke japhyudo jungsinman charimyun sanda.)
Even if you are caught by a tiger, you will survive if you keep your cool.
Meaning: Even facing the most dangerous situation or difficulty, one can survive if he keeps his composure and does not lose his cool.
This proverb teaches people to be courageous and not to despair even in the most desperate situations.
4. 호랑이 담배 피던 시절 (Horang-i dambae pidun sijul.)
A time when tigers smoked cigarettes.
Meaning: This proverb refers to a time gone by. It is used to express that is very outdated.