quotes about south korea


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Dive into these popular Korean quotes that will help you learn hangul (Korean language). Be inspired by the Korean culture, tradition, and drama.

Learning the hangul (Korean language) is such a beautiful goal. My husband tries to learn Korean every day not only to learn more about the culture but also to communicate better with my family (where all the adults mostly speak Korean). 

If you’re looking for awesome Korean language books, I highly recommend Korean Made Simple by Billy Go. This book has a good balance of pictures and explanations that are helpful for a beginning learner.

A great way to understand the Korean language and its colloquialism (the way they talk casually) is to learn Korean quotes in hangul with English translation. 

I’ve compiled a few lists of the most famous Korean quotes as well as my favorite proverbs, sayings and a bit of everything in between. 

I love being able to share more about my heritage and learning new things along the way. If you are looking for discovering the most popular and unique Korean boy names, simply check out that post when you’re done here. 

Ok, here we go!

quotes about south korea



  • 백지장도 맞들면 낫다. Two heads are better than one. 
  • 멈추지 말고 계속해 나가기만 한다면 늦어도 상관없다. It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. Confucius
  • 날개 돋친 듯이 팔린다. Selling like hot cakes. 
  • 궁하면 통한다. There is always a way.
  • 뜻이 있는 곳에 길이 있다. If there is a will, there is a way.
  • 아는 길도 물어가라. Even if you know the way, it is better to ask than to go astray. 
  • 굴러온 돌이 박힌 돌 빼낸다. The new replaces the old. 


  • 엄마 딸이라서 행복해. I’m happy to be your daughter. 


inspiring korean quotes
  • 마음이 장님이면 눈은 아무 소용 없는 존재. The eyes are useless when the mind is blind.


  • 행복은 이미 완성된 것이 아니라, 당신의 행동으로부터 오는 것이다. Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions.
  • 행운의 여신은 용기 있는 자를 좋아한다. Fortune favors the brave
  • 시작이 반이다. Starting is 50% of the battle.
  • 로마는 하루아침에 이루어진 것이 아니다. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
  • 당신의 미래는 지금 당신이 무엇을 하고 있는가에 달려 있다. Your future depends on what you do in the present.
  • 찬물도 위아래가 있다. There is a proper order for everything.
  • 원숭이도 나무에서 떨어질 때가 있다. Even a monkey sometimes falls from the tree
  • 꿈을 꾸고 믿을 수 있다면 이룰 수도 있다. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
  • 오늘 한 시간이 내일 두 시간 보다 가치있다. Spending an hour now is better than spending two tomorrow. Do it now — don’t procrastinate. 
  • 해안이 보이지 않는 것을 이겨낼 용기가 없다면 절대로 바다를 건널 수 없다. You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
  • 나무를 심는데 가장 좋았던 때는 20년 전이었다. 두 번째로 좋은 때는 지금이다. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
  • 대부분의 사람들에게 있어 가장 위험한 일은 목표를 너무 높게 잡아서 그것을 이루지 못하는 것이 아니라 목표를 너무 낮게 잡아서 그것을 달성해 버리는 것이다. The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that is it too low and we reach it.
  • 늦더라도 안 하느니보다 낫다. Better late than never. 
  • 배움에는 왕도가 없다. There is no shortcut to learning.
  • 치지 않은 공은 100% 골인되지 않는다. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
  • 세상에서 보고싶은 변화가 있다면 당신 스스로 그 변화가 되어라. Be the change you want to see in the world.
  • 고생 끝에 낙이 온다. No pain; no gain. 
  • 어디든 가치가 있는 곳으로 가려면 지름길은 없다. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
  • 멈추지 말고 계속해 나가기만 한다면 늦어도 상관없다.  It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
  • 콩 심은 데 콩 나고 팥 심은 데 팥 난다. You will reap what you sow. 
  • 장구를 쳐야 춤을 추지. You can’t receive help if you don’t ask for it. 
  • 하늘이 무너져도 솟아날 구멍이 있다. Even if the sky is falling, you can still find a way out. 
  • 한번만 더. One more time. 


korean short
  • 옷이 날개다. Clothes transform a person to be more attractive. (clothes give a person wings).
  • 그림의 떡. A fantasy or dream you can’t afford. 
  • 김칫국부터 마시지 말라. Don’t boast about something that hasn’t fully happened. 


  • 마찰 없이 보석을 광나게 할 수 없듯 시련 없이 사람을 완전하게 할수 없다. The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.
  • 말을 냇가에 끌고 갈 수는 있어도 억지로 물을 먹일 수는 없다. You can lead a horse and go to a stream but you can’t make it drink water through its own will.
  • 등잔 밑이 어둡다. It’s hard to see what’s right under your nose. 
  • 꿩 먹고 알 먹는다. OR 일타쌍피. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
  • 말보다는 실천을 하라. Actions speak louder than words. 
  • 가려운 곳을 긁어 주다. To satisfy an itch (many times it is spoken when someone satisfies an itch without asking).
  • 올라간 것은 반드시 내려와야 한다. What goes up must come down.
  • 될성부른 나무는 떡잎부터 알아본다. Genius shows itself from an early age.
  • 공자 앞에서 문자 쓴다. (don’t) Trying to teach a fish how to swim. 
  •  엎질러진 물이다. It’s not worth stressing over spilled milk.
  • 돌다리도 두들겨 보고 건너라. Check the bridge before crossing it. 
  • 보기 좋은 떡이 먹기도 좋다. What looks good tastes good
  • 과부 설움은 홀아비가 안다. Misery loves company. 
  • 모든 끝은 새로운 시작이다. Every end has a new beginning. 
  • 개천에서 용 난다. From rags to riches. 
  • 가는 날이 장날. Bad timing.
  • 예방은 치료약보다 낫다. Prevention is better than needing a cure. 
  • 정직은 최선의 방책이다. Honesty is the best policy. 
famous korean quotes in english
  • 호랑이에게 물려가도 정신만 차리면 산다. Keep calm and even in the worst situations, you can figure it out. 
  • 다 된 밥에 재 뿌리지 마라. Don’t rain on someone else’ parade. 
  • 낮말은 새가 듣고 밤말은 쥐가 듣는다. Be careful what you say as even the unsuspecting walls and birds have ears. 
  • 고양이에게 생선을 맡기다. Allowing the thief to watch your prized possessions. 
  • 가재는 게 편이라. Birds of a feather flock together.
  • 지렁이도 밟으면 꿈틀한다. Even the gentle can lose their temper. 
  • 웃음은 최고의 명약이다. Laughter is the best medicine. 
  • 재주가 많은 사람은 뭐 하나 제대로 하는게 없다. Jack of all trades but master of none. 
  • 말 한마디에 천냥 빚을 갚는다. One soft apology can disarm an army of anger. 
  • 가는 말이 고와야 오는 말이 곱다. Say kind words and you’ll receive kindness. 
  • 누워서 떡 먹기. A piece of cake. 
  • 병 주고 약 준다. To give medicine for a disease you caused.


famous korea sayings
  • 제 눈에 안경이다. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
  • 내가 당신의 첫 데이트, 키스, 사랑은 아닐지라도 당신의 마지막이고 싶어요. I may not be your first date, kiss, or love, but I want to be your last.
  • 눈에서 멀어지면, 마음에서도 멀어진다. Out of sight, out of mind
  • 당신과 함께 있는 곳이 내가 제일 좋아하는 곳입니다. Together with you is my favorite place to be.
  • 그대 내 전부니까. Because you are my everything.
  • 열 번 찍어 안 넘어가는 나무 없다. There is not a tree that will not fall if you hit enough. Meaning, don’t give up and she (he) will fall for you. 


  • “Love doesn’t mean giving something up for the other person. but it means to achieve something.” – It’s Okay, That’s Love
  •  “When you come across a stone in your path, the weak would say it’s an obstacle, but the strong would call it a stepping stone.” -My Strange Hero
  • “It’s not because I love you, it’s because I only love you. If it’s not you then I won’t have anyone else. You’re an amazing woman.” – Secret Garden
  •  “Your fate gets decided by the choices you make, not by coincidences.” -Suits
  •  My choice will be you, even if I travel back in time a hundred times” -Familiar Wife
  •  “From the moment I first saw you, my scenery has been you.” – Love Rain
  • “I will be the one who has to keep putting my brain to work. all you have to do is stay next to me.” – Golden Rainbow 
  • The phrase ‘what if’ is a necessary phrase that helps you accept situations that are difficult to take in.” -Thirty But Seventeen
  • “If you want to escape the lowest point in your life, try to love. luck, like a jackpot, may come and find you.” – Triangle
  • “People say when one door to happiness closes, another door to happiness will open up. but many of us are only focused on the closed door, that we don’t even realize another door has opened. Perhaps, the other door to happiness is not anything grand or special. perhaps, it’s the small and trivial things that look insignificant which are the new doors to happiness. but as long as you don’t crumble down in front of that closed door, take a look at the other door before its too late, and muster up the courage to walk towards it, then maybe you might be able to find the happiness you didn’t realize existed.” -Thirty But Seventeen
  • “The easiest thing we can do for the person we love is to throw ourselves away. The strength to do things that aren’t in our nature… that’s love.” – Reply 1997 
  •  The thing about life is, you never know when one misstep can lead your life astray.” -100 Days My Prince
  • “Meeting you wasn’t even included in my life schedule.” – It’s Ok, This Is Love 
  •  “Winning all battles doesn’t make you great. what makes you great is when making the enemy succumb without fighting.” -Suits
  •  “If you’re going to cry in front of me about a different man, stop being so pretty.” – My Girl
  • “To carry someone in your heart can feel like hell all day, and then feel like heaven in the blink of an eye. that temporary happiness helps to get through the remaining hell-like times.” -Grand Prince
  • “The nicer he is to me and the harder he works for me, the more i worry that i’ll expect too much from him. that i might start to think that he actually likes me… and that i might not be able to let him go… on the day we promised.” – Fated To Love You 
  •  “In those exhausting days where the future was unclear, you were the only thing clear to me.” -Grand Prince
  • “If you wait, the person is bound to come.” – The Innocent Man
  • “If you love someone so much, even if you had misunderstood, you wouldn’t explain.” – 49 Days
  • “They were all necessary moments. even when I cried, laughed, was in pain, and was sad, they were all moments necessary to me. if all of these moments were necessary to make me who i am right now, then I’ll enjoy my happiness here, with these people.” -Radio Romance
  • “Revenge that is started with love, ends in tragedy.” – Secret Love
  • “From now on, each of my days will be spent loving and missing you. to love and miss you more, I will live on.” Seven Day Queen
  • “A style I like in a girl, I have none. but I have a style that I don’t like. drunk women, I hate it. women who don’t know their place, I hate them more. women who act like they know everything, women who act ignorantly or boast around, I dislike them a lot. ~Do Min Joon, Referring Cheon Song Yi
  • “Regret is only for those who don’t have a future.” – Secret Love
  • “I meet her every night in my dream.” Shopping King Louie
  • “Don’t start with seeing, start with believing.” – Master’s Sun

What other topics about Korea would you like to learn more about? For example, I love to cook and created a fun and easy recipe to make Triangle shaped kimbap (Korean sushi rolls). 

Let me know what you would like to see next in the comment section below. 

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