"소 잃고 외양간 고친다" (Mending the Cowshed After Losing the Cow):
Origin: The Korean proverb “소 잃고 외양간 고친다” translates to “Mending the cowshed after losing the cow” in English. This proverb illustrates the idea of addressing a problem only after significant damage has already occurred. It emphasizes the importance of taking preventive action and addressing issues proactively rather than waiting until it’s too late.
Meaning: The proverb “소 잃고 외양간 고친다” conveys the notion that people often realize the importance of something only after they have suffered a loss or experienced a negative consequence. It serves as a cautionary reminder to be proactive and attentive to potential problems or risks before they lead to significant losses or difficulties.
The imagery of “losing the cow” and then “mending the cowshed” underscores the idea that one should take steps to protect valuable assets or address potential problems before they escalate. It encourages individuals to be forward-thinking and proactive in managing their affairs to prevent unnecessary losses or setbacks.
Usage: “소 잃고 외양간 고친다” is commonly used to advise people to take timely action to prevent problems or losses, rather than waiting for a crisis to occur. It highlights the importance of learning from mistakes and being proactive in addressing issues in various aspects of life, such as relationships, finances, and decision-making.
In summary, “소 잃고 외양간 고친다” serves as a reminder to be proactive and take preventive measures to avoid losses or difficulties, drawing from the metaphor of tending to the cowshed only after losing the cow.
Today's Chinese Character
누를 황/ Yellow Hwang
“The character 黃 (huáng) means ‘yellow’ or ‘golden,’ ‘pale’ or ‘pallid,’ and ’emperor.’ The character 黃 is a depiction of a round ornament known as ‘pèi yù’ (佩玉), which is worn on the waist. As a result, the original meaning of 黃 was ‘ornamental jade pendant.’ However, later on, the meaning expanded to include the color ‘yellow’ and ‘golden,’ as well as ‘pale’ or ‘pallid.’ Additionally, since the color gold is associated with emperors, 黃 also took on the meaning of ’emperor.’
Consequently, when 黃 combines with other characters, it conveys the meanings of ’emperor,’ ‘yellow,’ or ‘pale.’ Interestingly, 黃 was borrowed for other meanings, giving rise to the character 璜 (huáng) which includes the radical 玉 (jade) and now represents the original meaning of ‘ornamental jade pendant.’
It’s worth noting that meanings of characters can evolve through ‘loaned’ interpretations, and 璜 has come to represent the meaning of ‘ornamental jade pendant’ in this context.”
This translation provides a general understanding of the content of the text. Please note that certain interpretations may vary.