'find' in English can have a sense of 'discover' or 'conclude' - we talk about scientific 'findings', or 'finding someone guilty' in a legal setting.

In an English sentence like

Birds were found to be feeding on human flesh

What would be a good word to translate 'found'?

Does 발견되다 work - perhaps something like '새들이 인육을 먹고 있는 것이 발견됐습니다'?

  • @Rathony It means it was not known, then it became known - but the discovery could be by chance, or by some process of deduction. Oct 3, 2016 at 10:37
  • I think your question is a little misleading as there is no context. Some Korean words are as misleading as they get as some English words and the below answer proves the question is not clear.
    – user7
    Oct 3, 2016 at 10:40
  • @Rathony If you google "were found to be feeding on" you'll see how that phrase is used in English - does that give sufficient context? Oct 3, 2016 at 10:53
  • In my example, study of the case in question has lead to the conclusion that the birds eating human flesh is a usual or habitual event - or something that happened at least for a period of time - in that particular case. Oct 3, 2016 at 11:09

2 Answers 2


발견되다 sort of works, but the meaning is subtly different:

새들이 인육을 먹고 있는 것이 발견됐습니다.

= Birds feeding on human flesh were discovered.

That is, it sounds like you discovered the scene of the birds eating human flesh, or even the birds themselves. On the contrary, your original English sentence can also be used when researchers examined the evidence many years later, and discovered that those long-dead birds had eaten human flesh.

I can think of several alternatives:

새들은 인육을 먹고 (있는/있던) 것으로 밝혀졌습니다.

새들이 인육을 (먹는다는/먹었다는) 사실이 (발견됐습니다/밝혀졌습니다/알려졌습니다).

...는 새들이 인육을 (먹는다는/먹었다는) 사실을 (발견했습니다/밝혀냈습니다).

  • By the way, what an awkward example sentence... :)

You need to note that translation of any language could be made wrong or misleading without knowing the full context.

If you want to emphasize only the fact discovered in the past, your sentence will be best translated to:

새들이 인육을 먹는다는 것이 (사실이) 밝혀졌습니다 (발견됐습니다).

However, if you want to emphasize the fact that the birds had been eating for a long time before it was found, you can translate it to:

새들이 인육을 (그때까지) 먹어왔다는 것이 (사실이) 밝혀졌습니다 (발견됐습니다).

You should not use "먹었다는" in place of "먹는다" and "먹어왔다" because it could indicate it's just a simple past action before the discovery.

You also need to note that if you use "먹었다는" and "먹어왔다는", it might indicate they stopped eating (or didn't eat) human flesh at the time of the discovery. It will all depend on the surrounding context.

As commented, I would not use '알려졌습니다" in place of "밝혀졌습니다" or "발견됐습니다", because it has announcement or hearing the news sense.

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