Do you know the meaning of 'you are like a tree frog' ?

To whom would Korean use this expression?

It is actually from Korean traditional fairy tale, 'Tree frog'.

So before talking about the expression, let's move on to the story of 'tree frog'

[Tree frog]

Long long ago, there were a mother tree frog and a child tree frog.

"Gaegul Gaegul(개굴 개굴 : onomatopoeia of frog croaking)" said the mother frog.

"Gulgae Gulgae(굴개 굴개)“ said the child frog.

Mother was frightened by what the child frog says and told him to say 'Gaegul gaegul'.

"No, I won't. I will croak 'Gulgae gulgae'" said the child frog.

It wasn't all.

The child frog do everything opposite.

"As there is a snake in the forest, play near the stream."

"gulgae gulgae. I will play in the forest."

"Come here."

"I should go there."

"Go there."

"I should go here."

And one day,

the child frog went out to play.

Mother was worried so she firmly told him.

"Don't go too far, stay near home. Stork can hurt you."

But mother's word went in one ear and out the other.

As the child didn't come back home, mother got worried.

She went out looking for the child frog. And when she found him, he was in a big trouble.

It was stork, trying to strike the child frog with his beak.

Mother ran into it and cried out loud 'Run'.

And she took her baby and ran away in hurry.

They could run away safely but the mother frog had hurt her leg.

And finally she got sick.

'If I told him to bury me in the mountain, he will bury me near the steam.' she thought.

"If I die please bury me near the steam." said the mother frog.

And at last, she passed away.

The child frog for the first time did what his mother told him to do.

Bury his mother near steam.

But when rain pours, the child frog has to stand still near his mother's grave worrying about the grave.

So these days as well, you can hear the croaking of the child tree frog whenever it rains.

Now can you guess what 'you are like a tree frog.' means ?

Korean uses it a lot to children who don't listen to their mom.

So, once you read a traditional fairy tale of Korea, you can find out expression that Korean often use. So try other fairy tales as well.

If you have interest in Korean traditional fairy tales how about reading this book.

전래 동화로 배우는 한국어.

The book's name means 'Korean learned by traditional fairy tales'.

There are 15 fairy tales that has lots of sayings, expressions of Korea.

If you would like to read some more of fairy tales, we recommend this book.