Despite Korean and English being very different indeed, I’m often surprised by phrases or idioms that are stunningly similar.
This past week I’ve collected a few of these in conversations with my language partner. I actually rather enjoy how such expressions may help me to see my other languages in a different light.
The first one is “눈에서 멀어지면 마음에서도 멀어진다” which literally translates into the English equivalent “out of sight, out of mind”.
The second one has an exact equivalent in my native Danish, but even to non-Danish speakers this is a fun one: “필름이 끊겼어요” meaning “the film broke” or “the camera stopped rolling”. This expression is used about a black-out or a situation where you don’t remember anything.
My personal favorite is this fairly rude expression “머리는 장식이 아니다” meaning “your head is not just a decoration”. My mom used to say something similar to me when I was a child.
Finally, how many of you out there knew that “마마보이” or “Mama’s boy” is also an expression in Korean? OMG I laughed so hard when I heard it. Saying it with Korean pronunciation makes it sound extra cute.