Korean Idioms & Proverbs: 갈수록 태산이다
Words can weave beautiful mental paintings when you use the right building blocks. Idiomatic expressions and proverbs are ideal candidates to spice up any of your texts and we have already discussed two: 가는 날이 장날 and 가는 말이 고와야 오는 말이 곱다. Time to add a new expression to our ever-expanding list. The expression now is 갈수록 태산이다.
The expression 갈수록 태산이다 is a handy little proverb. It allows you to tell others you are dealing with a situation that becomes progressively harder as time goes on. It thus helps express exasperation. The English equivalent of this Korean idiom would be “Out of the frying pan, into the fire”. Therefore I think a Korean expression with such commonly used English equivalent will be one of the easier ones to get used to.
The careful observer will notice that like 가는 말이 고와야 오는 말이 곱다, the expression 갈수록 태산이다 comes with its own verb, 이다. So to use it you should remind yourself to use it with a proper verb ending depending the situation. Let’s see it in action.
Example: 이번 겨울 날씨는 갈수록 태산이에요.
Translation: This winter’s weather has gone from bad to worse.
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.