In their everyday life, people form social phenomena and relations through the shapes and habits of animals. Therefore, animals contain the idea of the way of life of certain nations, spiritual and cultural feelings, and the symbolic meaning which can be recognized between the members of the unique nation.
The symbolism of animals varies depending on different nations, because the adages are the essence of the language including their culture, thought, custom, and life. Examining their own adages can be one of the ways to find out what the animals symbolize in different nations.
Another reason is that they are the dictionaries, reflecting their own way of thinking and traditional values, so to speak.
The research shows that, between Korean and Chinese adages, it is in a similar frequency, using materials such as mammals, birds, fishes, reptiles, and insects.
The adages are focused on the 12 animals which is familiar to both nations, a rat, an ox, a tiger, a rabbit, a dragon, a snake, a horse, a lamb, a monkey, a rooster, a dog and a boar. We compared the symbolism, the surface meanings in adages, and the figurative meanings of these animals in Korea and China.
As a result, it is found that some are almost the same in usage. However, some are totally different such as expressions related to the animals, the cultural differences and clear understanding. It is necessary to do comparative researches in a detailed and various way by studying the issues derived from verbalism.