learn Korean with idioms

Learn Korean with Idioms and Proverbs ②

Learn Korean with Idioms

Decoding the Essence of Korean idiom: 가뭄에 콩 나듯

learn Korean idiom

The Korean proverb “가뭄에 콩 나듯” can be compared to the English expression “once in a blue moon” in that they both convey the idea of rarity or infrequency, but they do so in different cultural contexts.

  1. 가뭄에 콩 나듯 (Literally: Beans sprout in a drought):

    • This Korean proverb is used to describe something rare or unexpected happening in difficult or adverse circumstances, similar to how beans sprouting during a drought would be an unusual occurrence.
    • This expression is used metaphorically to describe a situation where something is sporadically present or scarce, similar to how beans might sprout in small, scattered patches during a drought when they should ideally grow uniformly.
  2. Once in a blue moon:

    • This English expression refers to something that happens very rarely or infrequently. A “blue moon” is a second full moon that occurs within a calendar month, which itself is a rare event, happening approximately once every 2 to 3 years.

Test Korean with KBS Korean

While both expressions convey the notion of rare events, they use different imagery and cultural references. The Korean proverb draws on the agricultural context of beans sprouting during a drought, emphasizing unexpected positive outcomes in difficult situations. On the other hand, “once in a blue moon” relies on the astronomical rarity of two full moons occurring within a month, symbolizing the infrequency of the event.