Thursday, August 07, 2008

What's the Korean for "Like talking to a brick wall"?

If you look up the Korean equivalent for "It's like talking to a brick wall," you commonly get the expression "쇠귀에 경 읽기 같군요," but I wonder if that really conveys the exact same meaning?

I am asking because there is another Korean expression that seems to have a very similar meaning. Do the following two expressions have the same meanings or are there nuances?
  • 쇠귀에 경 읽기 같군요.
  • 담벼락하고 말하는 셈이다.

I do not have the answer, just the question; however, the second one seems to be a direct translation of the English expression.


  1. 소귀에 경읽기 같군요

    정확히 아시네요~!

    한국어 공부 하시는 모습이

    한국인으로서 정말 보기 뿌듯하네요

    열심히 하세요~!^^

  2. Hi Gerry,

    I'm a native Korean speaker, and have been living in USA for a couple of years (for graduate study in engineering field). Well, I still have a big problems in English in US :(

    BTW, I think you already know the correct answer. However, "쇠귀에 경 읽기 같군요." is a bit cliche. Although it's correct expression, it may be more humorous that saying "벽 보고 이야기 하는 것 같아". Actually, including me, many Korean say like this.

    Learning Chinese characters are inevitable to deeply learn Korean. It may be compared to Latinate words in English. However, I don't think that you need to know "how to write 한자". Just reading 한자 is mostly okay unless you're really want to know Chinese itself.

    Ironically, I'm learning English on your blog :)

    Nice to read your postings.


  3. I alway's thought '쇠귀에 경 읽기 같네' was closer to, 'well, you can't teach a pig to sing,' something my dad would tell me after I complained that talking to mom was '벽을 보고 얘기하는 것같군요.'


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