Korean Idioms & Proverbs: 돌다리도 두들겨 보고 건너라
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Korean Idioms & Proverbs: 돌다리도 두들겨 보고 건너라

Once more a week has passed so why not end it with a little Korean proverb. This week’s proverb was a bit easier than the last one since there was a clear English equivalent this time. The proverb is 돌다리도 두들겨 보고 건너라 and it makes you stop and think before you take action. Wise words indeed in these rushed times.

As mentioned the proverb “돌다리도 두들겨 보고 건너라”was a bit easier to understand as it has an English equivalent. The English equivalent proverb is “Think before you leap”. So I guess you can already guess the meaning of this new Korean proverb. Indeed, it tells you to think carefully about what you are about to do before you do it. It warns you against making rash decisions as those could backfire. That is a worthy piece of advice to anyone in these rushed times.

The proverb 돌다리도 두들겨 보고 건너라 is a reactive proverb like the one we saw last week, 도토리 키 재기. This means you generally use it in a reaction to someone else. You use it to express your doubts about their plans and you want them to think carefully about it before they commit to it. Because it is a sentence on its own, you won’t need to struggle with integrating it in a sentence. Let’s look at usage example.

가: 다음 시험이 쉬워서 공부 안 해도 돼요. (The next test is easy so I don’t have to study.)

나: 음, 돌다리도 두들겨 보고 건너라. (Think before you leap.)

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. You can more easily learn expressions when you actively use them yourself.