top of page

청개구리 - Green Frogs Korean Fairytale (English and Korean)

안녕하세요 리더님! I'm Koreanstudyjunkie. Today, I have another amazing korean fairytale to share with you today.

Instead of only sharing the Korean version, I'll also translate it into English as well as break down a few choice words from the story.

See Other Korean Fairytales Here:


청개구리 이야기

   옛날에 부모의 말이라면 덮어놓고 반대로만 하던 청개구리가 있었다. 어머니가 죽으면서 산에 묻히려고, 자식에게 반대로 냇가에 묻어달라고 하였다.


옛날 - a long time ago

부모 - parent(s)

부모의 말 - parent's words

말을 덮어놓다 - to ignore (someone's) words

-고 - and

반대 - the opposite, the other way

하다 - to do

청개구리 - green frog (also means disobedient person)

반대로 하던 청개구리 - the green frog who did the opposite

어머니 - mother

산 - mountain

묻히다 - to be buried

불효를 뉘우친 청개구리는 유언대로 냇가에 묻었다. 그 뒤 비가 올듯하면 무덤이 떠내려갈 것이 걱정되어 슬프게 운다.


불효 - unfilial

뉘우치다 - examine oneself, repent

유언대로 - according to one's will

냇가 - side of a stream, river bank

묻다 - to bury

그 뒤 - since (then), since that time

무덤 - grave

비가 올듯하다 - it looks like rain

떠내려가다 - be carried away, be washed away

슬프게 - sadly, in a sad manner

운다 > 울다 - to cry

   옛날 어느 곳에 청개구리가 살고 있었다. 이 청개구리는 불효한 자식인지라 어버이의 말을 한 번도 들어주는 일이 없어 늘 반대로만 나갔다.


곳 - place

살다 - to live

불효한 자식 - unfilial child

어버이 - parents

한 번도 - even once, not even one time

들어주다 - to listen (for someone's benefit)

늘 - always

반대로만 - only the opposite

나가다 - to go out

산으로 가라 하면 내로 가고, 내로 가라 하면 산으로 갔다. 또 동쪽으로 가라 하면 서쪽으로 가고 있었다. 그렇게 지내오던 차에 청개구리 어머니가 죽게 될 때 자식에게,

  "내가 죽거들랑은 부티 맞은편 냇가에 묻어 달라." 하고 유언을 하였다.


산으로 - to the mountain

가라 하면 = 가라고 하면 - if someone says to go

내로 - down

또 - also

동쪽 - to the east

서쪽 - to the west

지내오다 - to pass by

차 - car

죽게 될 때 - when (mother) ended up dying

언제나 불효한 청개구리도 어머니의 죽음을 당하고 보니 매우 슬펐다. 지난날 어머니의 말을 듣지 않았던 것을 후회하였다. 그래서 청개구리는 그 유언대로라도 하여서 죽은 어머니의 영을 위로하고자 맞은 편 냇가에 묻었다.


언제나 - whenever

어머니의 죽음 - mother's death

당하다 - to undergo pain

매우 - extremely

슬프다 - sad

지난 날 - in those days

듣지 않다 - not listen

후회하다 - to regret

죽은 어머니의 영 - the spirit of his dead mother

맞은 편 - the opposite side

   그러나 어머니는 실상인즉 냇가에 묻히기를 원한 것은 아니었다. 냇가에 묻으라고 하면 으레 자식놈이 반대로 산에 묻을 것이 틀림없을 터이니까 일부러 그렇게 말한 것이었다.


그러나 - however

실상인즉 - the truth of the matter

묻히기를 원한 것 - What I wanted to be buried by the stream

아니였다 - It was not that

자식놈 - You little boy

틀림없이 - certainly, surely

일부러 - on purpose

그렇게 - like that

말하다 - to say

그런 어머니의 생각을 조금도 모르는 청개구리는 어머니의 시체를 냇가에 묻어 놓은 뒤 장마가 질 때에는 어머니의 무덤이 떠내려가면 어쩌나 하고 걱정하였다.


그런 - those kind of

생각 - thoughts

조금도 - a little bit too, even a little

모르다 - don't know

시체 - body, corpse

장마 - the rainy/monsoon season, monsoon

장마가 지다 - the rainy season has begun

걱정하다 - to worry

그래서 비가 많이 올 것 같으면 울기 시작하였다고 한다. 지금도 청개구리가 비가 많이 올 때에 슬피 우는 것은 이러한 까닭이라고 한다.


울기 시작하다 - start to cry

지금도 - even now

비가 많이 올 때 - when it rains a lot


Long ago, the green frog lived with his widowed mother in a small pond. The green frog never listened to his mother, and when she told him to do something, he always did the opposite.

If his mother told him to play in the hills, he went to the river. If she told him to go up, he went down. If she told him left, he went right. If she told him this, he did that.

The mother frog worried about what she would do with her son—he caused her so much distress and embarrassment. “Why can’t he be like other frogs?” she said to herself. “Why can’t he respect his elders and do what he’s told?”

She worried about what would happen to him when she was gone. She knew she would have to do something to break his bad habits.

Day after day, week after week, the mother frog scolded the green frog and tried to teach him the proper way to behave, but he continued to ignore her and did just as he wished.

The mother frog was growing old, and she worried so much that eventually she became sick. But even then the green frog did not change his ways.

Finally, when the mother frog knew she was going to die, she called her son to her side. She wanted a proper burial on the mountain, and since she knew that the green frog would do the opposite of what she told him, she chose her words carefully.

"I don’t have much longer to live,” she said. “When I die, do not to bury me on the mountainside. You must bury me on the bank of the river.” The green frog looked at her forlornly with his head bowed.

“Promise me,” said the mother frog. “You must promise.” “I promise,” said the green frog.

Four days later, the mother frog died and the green frog was terribly sad.

He blamed himself for her death and he was sorry for all the heartache he had caused her. He knew it was too late to undo all of his past misdeeds, but he could become a good frog for her now.

He resolved finally to listen to his mother’s instructions. “I always did the opposite of what she told me when she was alive,” he said to himself, “but now I will do exactly as she told me.”

So, even knowing that it was unwise, the green frog buried his mother by the river. And when it rained, he stood watch, praying to heaven that the water would not rise.

But when the monsoon rains came that summer, the river rose higher and higher—it flowed over its banks and washed his mother’s grave away.

The green frog sat in the pouring rain by the river bank, crying and crying for his mother. And that is why, to this day, the green frogs cry when it rains.


That's the end of this fairytale! If you enjoyed it, there's plenty more interesting reading material on my website for you.

If you scroll a bit, you'll see some similar posts that I recommend for you.

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page