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Motivational and Inspirational Korean Quotes


We can apply quotes to so many different aspects of our lives. For example, some people read inspirational quotes to keep themselves motivated; others read them to feel better about themselves or to move forward after a hardship. 

But did you know that the benefits of reading quotes don’t end there? You can also expedite your language learning by studying popular quotes in that language. 

In this article, we’ll introduce you to many inspirational Korean quotes on various topics, from love to language learning (and everything in-between). We’ve included a mix of original Korean quotes and popular English quotes translated into Korean. Enjoy!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Korean Table of Contents
  1. Quotes About Success
  2. Quotes About Life
  3. Quotes About Time
  4. Quotes About Love
  5. Quotes About Family
  6. Quotes About Friendship
  7. Quotes About Language Learning
  8. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Improve Your Korean Skills

1. Quotes About Success

We’ll start with a few Korean quotes about success. How many of these are familiar to you in English? 

꿈이 있다면 절대 포기하지 마라.
Kkumi itdamyeon jeoldae pogihaji mara.
“If you have a dream, never give up.”

실패는 성공의 어머니이다.
Silpaeneun seonggongui eomeoniida.
“Failure is the mother of success.”

잘 될 거예요.
Jal doel geoyeyo.
“Everything will be okay.”

너는 무엇이든 할 수 있어.
Neoneun mueosideun hal su isseo.
“You can do anything.”

고생 끝에 낙이 온다. 
Gosaeng kkeute nagi onda.
“At the end of hardship comes happiness.”

항상 믿음을 유지하자.
Hangsang mideumeul yujihaja.
“Always keep the faith.”

네 꿈을 펼쳐라.

“Follow your dreams.”

나는 내 인생에서 실패에 실패를 거듭했다. 그런데 그것이 바로 내가 성공하는 이유이다.  – 마이클 조던
Naneun nae insaengeseo silpaee silpaereul geodeupaetda. geureonde geugeosi baro naega seonggonghaneun iyuida. – maikeul jodeon
“I have failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

인생은 과감한 모험이던가, 아니면 아무 것도 아니다. – 헬렌 켈러
Insaengeun gwagamhan moheomideonga, animyeon amu geotdo anida. – hellen kelleo
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

꿈을 추구하는 용기가 있다면 우리의 모든 꿈을 이룰 수 있다. – 월트 디즈니
Kkumeul chuguhaneun yonggiga itdamyeon uriui modeun kkumeul irul su itda. – wolteu dijeuni
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

인생에서 가장 나쁜 죄악은 옳은 것을 알면서도 행동하지 않는 것이다. – 마틴 루터 킹
Insaengeseo gajang nappeun joeageun oreun geoseul almyeonseodo haengdonghaji anneun geosida. – matin luteo king
“Perhaps the worst sin in life is knowing right and not doing it.” – Martin Luther King., Jr.

운이란 준비가 기회를 만나는 것이다. – 얼 나이팅게일
Uniran junbiga gihoereul mannaneun geosida. – eol naitinggeil
“Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity.” – Earl Nightingale

An Elderly Man Holding Hands with a Younger Person

Speaking with elders is a great way to get inspired, too.

2. Quotes About Life 

Life is a great mystery that people have long been trying to unravel. Here are Korean quotes on life to give you some perspective and make you think. 

우리는 행복한 줄 모르기에 행복할 줄 모른다. – 정순철 
Urineun haengbokan jul moreugie haengbokal jul moreunda. – eongsuncheol
“We don’t know how to be happy because we don’t know we are happy.”

성공한 사람을 찾아서 따라하지 말고 항상 자기 생각대로 행동하고 표현하며 스스로에게 믿음을 가져라.
Seonggonghan sarameul chajaseo ttarahaji malgo hangsang jagi saenggakdaero haengdonghago pyohyeonhamyeo seuseuroege mideumeul gajyeora.
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

고통이 없이는 얻는 것도 없다.
Gotongi eopsineun eonneun geotdo eopda.
“No pain no gain.”

인생은 모험이거나 아무것도 아니거나.
Insaengeun moheomigeona amugeotdo anigeona.
“Life is a venture or nothing.”

보는 것이 믿는 것이다.
Boneun geosi minneun geosida.
“Seeing is believing.”

인생은 모험이다.
Insaengeun mohomida.
“Life is an adventure.”

웃음은 최고의 명약이다.
Useumeun choegoui myeongyagida.
“Laughter is the best medicine.”

길을 아는 것과 그 길을 걷는 것은 분명히 다르다.
Gireul aneun geotgwa geu gireul geonneun geoseun bunmyeonghi dareuda.
“Knowing the road and walking the road are clearly different.”

오늘 걷지 않으면 내일 뛰어야 한다.
Oneul geotji aneumyeon naeil ttwieoya handa.
“If you don’t walk today, you must run tomorrow.”

너의 기분은 너의 태도가 되면 안된다. 
Neoui gibuneun neoui taedoga doemyeon andoenda.
“Your mood should not be your attitude.”

나 자신에게 더욱 집중하라.
Na jasinege deouk jipjunghara.
“Focus more on yourself.”

언제나 나를 1순위에 두어라.
Eonjena nareul ilsunwie dueora.
“Always put myself first.”

다른 이의 삶에 한눈팔며 살기엔 내 인생이 너무 소중하다.
Dareun iui sarame hannunpalmyeo salgien nae insaengi neomu sojunghada.
“My life is too precious to live at a glance in the lives of others.”

3. Quotes About Time

Here are a few Korean quotes about life that focus specifically on the concept of time.

jumari jjalge neukkyeojineun iyu
“The reason why weekends feel too short”

평일: 월화수목금
Pyeongil: wolhwasumokgeum
Weekdays: Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, and Fri

주말: 토일
Jumal: toil
“Weekend: Sat and Sun”

실제로 짧음.
Siljero jjalbeum.
“It is short indeed.”

시간은 금이다.
Siganeun geumida.
“Time is gold.”

로마는 하루 아침에 이루어진 것이 아니다.
Romaneun haru achime irueojin geosi anida.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

A Scene from Weathering with You

Reading Korean quotes about love will put butterflies in your stomach.

4. Quotes About Love 

Are you madly in love with someone? Or maybe you’re a hopeless romantic? Either way, you’re sure to enjoy these Korean quotes on love!

내가 웃는 이유는 너야.
Naega urneun iyuneun neoya.
“You are the reason I am smiling.”

내 마음이 들리니.
Nae maeumi deullini.
“Can you hear my heart?”

내 손 잡아줄래?
Nae son jaba jullae?
“Can you hold my hand?”

세상 모두가 변해도 너만을 사랑해.
Sesang moduga byeonhaedo neomaneul saranghae.
“Even if the whole world changes, I will only love you.”

자신을 사랑하는 법을 아는 것이 가장 위대한 사랑이다.
Jasineul saranghaneun beobeul aneun geosi gajang widaehan sarangida.
“Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”

사랑 받고 싶다면 사랑하라, 그리고 사랑스럽게 행동하라. – 벤자민 프랭클린
Sarang batgo sipdamyeon saranghara, geurigo sarangseureopge haengdonghara. – benjamin peuraengkeullin
“If you would be loved, love and be lovable.” – Benjamin Franklin

우리는 오로지 사랑을 함으로써 사랑을 배울 수 있다. – 아이리스 머독
Urineun oroji sarangeul hameurosseo sarangeul baeul su itda. – airiseu meodok
“We can only learn to love by loving.” – Iris Murdoch

사랑하는 것은 천국을 살짝 엿보는 것이다. – 카렌 선드
Saranghaneun geoseun cheongugeul saljjang yeotboneun geosida. – karen seondeu
“To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven.” – Karen Sunde

사랑은 눈으로 보지 않고 마음으로 보는 거지. – 윌리엄 셰익스피어
Sarangeun nuneuro boji anko maeumeuro boneun geoji. – willieom syeikseupieo
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.” – William Shakespeare

눈에서 멀어지면, 마음에서도 멀어진다.
Nuneseo meoreojimyeon, maeumeseodo meoreojinda.
“Out of sight, out of mind.”

A Family Showing Their Tickets to a Lady at the Movie Theater Ticket Booth

There are many inspirational Korean quotes in films.

5. Quotes About Family 

What does family mean to you? Here are a few Korean quotes about family to read while you’re thinking!

상욱 씨에게 ‘가족’은 어떤 의미예요?
Sangung ssiege ‘gajok’eun eotteon uimiyeyo?
“What does ‘family’ mean to you, Sanguk?”

저에게 가족은 ‘영어’ 같아요.
Jeoege gajogeun ‘yeongeo’ gatayo.
“As for me, family is like ‘English’.”


마음에 있는 게 표현이 안돼.  
Maeume inneun ge pyohyeoni andwae.
“I can’t express how I feel properly.”

– 하상욱
(– Hasanguk)
– Ha Sanguk

가족은 자연의 걸작 중 하나이다.
Gajogeun jayeonui geoljang jung hanaida.
“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.”

형제는 자연이 준 친구이다.
Hyeongjeneun jayeoni jun chinguida.
“A brother is a friend given by nature.”

피는 물보다 진하다.
Pineun mulboda jinhada.
“Blood is thicker than water.”

나쁜 아내를 가진 자는 재물 속에서도 가난하다.
Nappeun anaereul gajin janeun jaemul sogeseodo gananhada.
“Who has a bad wife is poor in the midst of riches.”

부모의 의심이 자녀를 교활하게 만든다.
Bumoui uisimi janyeoreul gyohwalhage mandeunda.
“A suspicious parent makes artful children.”

가지 많은 나무에 바람 잘 날 없다. ( = 아이가 많은 집안에서 휴식은 없다. )
Gaji maneun namue baram jal nal eopda. ( = aiga maneun jibaneseo hyusigeun eopda. )
“There is no rest for a family with many children.”

피는 못 속인다.
Pineun mot soginda.
“Blood will tell.”

사방을 둘러봐도 집이 최고다.
Sabangeul dulleobwado jibi choegoda.
“East, west, home is best.”

내 집만한 곳은 어디에도 없다.
Nae jimmanhan goseun eodiedo eopda.
“There is no place like home.”

Four Women Staying Close to Each Other

6. Quotes About Friendship

Friends are some of the most important people in our lives, but how exactly do we define friendship? Check out these Korean quotes about friendship to gain some perspective!

새로 사귄 친구는 나를 설레게 하지만오래된 친구처럼 내 아프고 쓰린 눈물을 닦아줄 수는 없을 것이다.
Saero sagwin chinguneun nareul seollege hajiman oraedoen chingucheoreom nae apeugo sseurin nunmureul dakkajul suneun eopseul geosida.
“New friends make me excited, but they will not be able to wipe away my sore and bitter tears like an old friend.”

돈으로 우정을 살 순 없다.
Doneuro ujeongeul sal sun eopda.
“You can’t buy friendship with money.”

어둠 속에서 친구와 함께 걷는 것이 밝은 곳을 혼자 걷는 것보다 낫다.
Eodum sogeseo chinguwa hamkke geonneun geosi balgeun goseul honja geonneun geotboda natda.
“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”

진정한 친구는 세상 모두가 나를 떠날 때 내게로 오는 사람이다.
Jinjeonghan chinguneun sesang moduga nareul tteonal ttae naegero oneun saramida.
“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

네 이웃을 네 몸처럼 사랑하여라.
Ne iuseul ne momcheoreom saranghayeora.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

성공은 친구를 만들고, 역경은 친구를 시험한다.
Seonggongeun chingureul mandeulgo, yeokgyeongeun chingureul siheomhanda.
“Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them.”

친구라면 친구의 결점을 참고 견뎌야 한다.
Chinguramyeon chinguui gyeoljeomeul chamgo gyeondyeoya handa.
“A friend should bear his friend’s infirmities.”

누구에게나 친구는 어느 누구에게도 친구가 아니다.
Nuguegena chinguneun eoneu nuguegedo chinguga anida.
“A friend to all is a friend to none.”

친구에게 충고할 때는 즐겁게 하지 말고, 도움이 되도록 하라.
Chinguege chunggohal ttaeneun jeulgeopge haji malgo, doumi doedorong hara.
“In giving advice, seek to help, not to please, your friend.”

A Hand Holding a Korean Flag with a Stick

7. Quotes About Language Learning 

Our final category in this Korean quotes list is words of wisdom you can apply to your language learning. 

멈추지 말고 계속 해나가기만 한다면 늦어도 상관없다.
Meomchuji malgo gyesong haenagagiman handamyeon neujeodo sanggwaneopda.
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

뛰기 전에 걷는 것을 배워라.
Ttwigi jeone geonneun geoseul baewora.
“Learn to walk before you run.”

모험이 없으면, 아무 것도 얻는 것이 없다.
Moheomi eopseumyeon, amu geotdo eonneun geosi eopda.
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

학문에는 왕도는 없다. 
Hangmuneneun wangdoneun eopda.
“There is no royal road to learning.”

새로운 언어는 새로운 삶이다.
Saeroun eoneoneun saeroun salmida.
“A new language is a new life.”

8. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Improve Your Korean Skills 

In summary, we’ve introduced many quotes on a variety of topics. By now, we’re sure you’re feeling more inspired! Do you know any inspirational quotes in your language? Leave a comment below to share them with us.

KoreanClass101 provides a number of free study materials for Korean learners. If you want to learn Korean in detail or advance your Korean language skills with the help of Korean instructors, you can create your account today. You’ll be able to access all of our content and study at your convenience! 

Good luck with your Korean studies!

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