There’s a lot of wisdom in proverbs and I particularly love Korean proverbs for their directness although sometimes the expressions can get a little crude (quite a number of proverbs involving 똥) ㅋ
때리는 시어머니보다 말리는 시누이가 더 밉다
Let’s break down the proverb, shall we?
때리다 – to hit
시어머니 – mother-in-law. 시- (媤) means “on the husband’s side” so you get words like 시어머니, 시집 etc
~보다: grammar construction meaning “compared to~”
말리다: to stop somebody from doing something
시누이: sister in law. Recognize the 시? 누이 is a term referring to a male’s sisters. Commonly used to refer to younger sisters. Take note that it is not an addressee term, so one won’t call the sisters 누이 directly, but used it to refer indirectly to them. eg. 저는 누이 하나 있다
Literal meaning: The sister-in-law who tries to stop the mother-in-law is more hateful (disliked) than the mother-in-law who beats (the daughter-in-law)
Figurative meaning: The person who pretends to be nice to you on the outside but who slanders you on the inside is more hateful.
Sister-in-laws generally have the image of being spiteful, often sliding in snide remarks and expecting the wife to treat them like a princess etc – per k-drama norms.
hehe find this proverb so spot-on! That’s the kind of people I dislike the most too – those who pretend to be nice and friendly to you but slander you behind your back. If you dislike me or have a problem with me, I will rather you show it to me directly or say it in front of me or just do nothing. Those who pretends to understand but then comment to other people “I don’t know why she’s like that. I know it’s bad for me to say this (as her friend), but she really is (cues bad stuff)”. If she’s really your friend and you feel bad about saying it, then don’t say it in the first place. 재수없다 정말
A similar proverb is 때리는 사람보다 말리는 사람 더 밉다. Very similar and in fact easier, so I guess I don’t have to explain this!
If you like this post and find it helpful, leave me a comment! I am currently studying Korean proverbs, so if it helps, I’ll be glad to share more! 😀