Glossary of Useful Korean Expressions
Other Decks By This User
- (lit.)Have you eaten yet?
Casual greeting--not an invitation to dinner
- 국수 언제 먹지?
- (lit.) When will I have a chance to eat your noodles?
When are you getting married?
- (lit.) I ate water!
Means to lose out on an opportunity
- 식은죽 먹기
- (lit.) It's like slurping cold porridge.
It's a piece of cake.
- 금강산도 식후경
- (lit.) You should eat even before sightseeing at Diamond Mountain.
Eat first, no matter what temptation or chore awaits.
- 먹고 죽은 귀신이 때깔이 좋다
- (lit.) Not all corpses looke the same; the person who died eating looks healthier.
Whatever the situation, you've got to eat.
- 밥 먹여 주나!
- (lit.) It won't fill me up with rice!
Let's be practical! (when something won't do you any good)
- 죽도 아니고 밥도 아니고
- (lit.)It's neither rice nor porridge.
A gray area, somewhere in between
- 까마귀 고기 먹었나?
- (lit.) Did you eat crow meat?
Can't you remember anything?
- 가차화통을 삶아 먹었나?
- (lit.) Did you boil and eat the locomotive's smokestack?
You sound like a foghorn.
- 떡줄 사람은 생각도 않는데, 김칫국부터 마신다
- (lit.) Don't drink kimchi soup before somebody offers you rice cake.
Don't jump the gun.
- 남의 떡이 커보인다
- (lit.) the other man's rice cake always looks bigger.
The grass always looks greener on the other side.
- 보기좋은 떡이 먹기도 좋다
- (lit.) A rice cake that looks good tastes good.
You can't judge a book by its cover.
- 그림의 떡
- (lit.) Rice cake in the picture
You can see it, but you can't eat it.
- 나는 찬밥이다
- (lit.) I am cold rice.
I get the cold shoulder from everybody.
- 쌀밥 보리밥 가를 수 있나?
- (lit.) I'm not in a position to choose between rice and barley.
I'll take whatever is handy
- 미운 놈 떡 하나 더 준다
- (lit.) Give one more rice cake to a person you don't like.
If treated well, a miscreant will shape up.
- 둘이 먹다가 하나 죽어도 모른다
- (lit.) You wouldn't notice even if your friend at the same table dies.
Praise for a good meal.
- 송충이는 솔잎을 먹어야 한다
- (lit.) Pine caterpillars must eat pine needles.
Accept who you are and what you have.
- 뱃속에 거지가 들어앉았나?
- (lit.) Is a beggar squatting in your stomach?
You eat too much, too quickly.
- 죽 쒀서 개준다
- (lit.) You made porridge but ended up giving it to the dog.
A waste of time and energy.
- 작은 고추가 맵다
- (lit.) A small pepper is hotter.
You can judge based on the size of a person.
- 콩으로 메주 쑨다해도 안 믿는다
- (lit.) I won't believe you even if you say the meju is made of soybeans.
I will never believe you. (Every Korean knows that meju is made of soybeans.)
- 구더기 무서워 장 못 담그나
- (lit.) Just because you fear maggots doesn't mean you should give up making soybean sauce.
Don't let obstacles deter you.
- 손에 장을 지진다.
- (lit.) I'll cook bean paste soup on my palm.
I'll eat my hat.
- 귀가 얇다
- You're so gullible.
- 입맛이 없다.
- I have no appetite.
- 더위를 타요.
- I'm very sensitive to hot, humid weather.
- Fight fire with fire.
- 나이를 한 살 더 먹다.
- To turn a year older.
- 살을 빼고 싶어요.
- I want to lose weight.
- 하늘의 별따기예요.
- It's like reaching for the stars. (It's impossible)
- 발디딜틈이 없다
- to be very crowded (there is no space to put your feet)
- 손꼽아 기다리다
- to count one's fingers and wait, used when looking forward to something
- We're in really big trouble!
- 쥐구명에라도 들어가고 싶다
- I'm so ashamed that I feel like hiding in a mouse hole.
- 엎질러진 물이다
- It's no use crying over spilt milk.
- 하늘의 별따기
- It's beyond my ability.
- 아니 땐 굴뚝에 연기 나랴
- Where there's smoke, there's fire.
- 젊어 고생은 돈 주고도 못 산다.
- You must undergo hardships when you're young. (learning experience)
- killing two birds with one stone
- 꿩 먹고 알 먹고
- having your cake and eating it, too
- 서당 개 삼 년이면 풍월을 읊는다
- you are influenced by your environment (like: a saint's maid quotes Latin)
- 주객이 전도되다
- putting the cart before the horse
- 뒤로 다빠져도 코가 깨진다
- to be extremely unlucky
- 가까운 이웃이 먼 친척보다 낫다
- a good neighbor is better than a far off relative
- 뭐라고 감사의 말씀을 드려야 할 지 모르겠다.
- I can never thank you enough
- 입이 열이라도 할 말이 없다
- words cannot express how sorry I am
- 지푸라기라도 잡고 싶은 심정이다
- I want to hang on to any ray of hope (even though situation is hopeless)
- 늦바람이 불다
- (lit.) A late wind blows.
expression used when you start something new later in life, like starting college in your 40's.
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