Korean Idioms & Proverbs: 그림의 떡
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Korean Idioms & Proverbs: 그림의 떡

It has been quite some time since my last Korean expression post. So, it is time for another Korean expression and this time it is a pretty easy and delicious one. Time to talk about pictures and cakes. The expression of this post is “그림의 떡” and it will be your next favorite Korean idiom.

“그림의 떡” is a somewhat depressing proverb, but yet a fun one to use. This expression means whatever you are hoping you cannot gain for whatever reason. It is simply impossible. It is out of reach, taunting you. In English people would say you are chasing a pie in the sky.

As an observant person you will no doubt have noticed that the proverb “그림의 떡”, like 가는 날이 장날, comes without a verb. This means it is a highly flexible proverb you can blend into many sentences. Of course it needs to fit the sentence. If you want to keep things simple you can just attach the copula 아다 to it and be done with it. That is the easiest way of doing things.

Example: 어려운 시험 때 졸업은 그림의 떡이라고 생각해요.

Translation: I think graduation is a pie in the sky during difficult exams.

Have you seen this expression before? Or perhaps you’ve used it in a text you’ve written yourself! Please share your experience in the comments. When you see expressions used by others, they become easier to understand.