While they were eating it, Michael risked asking Howl what the King had wanted.
“Nothing definite yet,” Howl said gloomily. “But he was sounding me out about his brother, quite ominously.”(Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones)
sound out: to try to find out from somebody what they think about something, often in an indirect way (OALD)
When I read the passage I thought, 타진하다 [tajin-hada], for ‘sound out.’ (I can find that Japanese use the same word, だしん [dashiŋ]; 打診). And OLAD’s Korean translation also used the word, 打診. When I hear the Korean equivalent, 타진하다, I picture the image or sound from an activity of percussion or tapping, e.g. by a physician, even though in the politic news in which the word is used as an idiom.
I hear too much ‘it’s an idiom, no argue at all! Just accept it as it is!” These are not a few sayings to hear even in this LEARNING website. QUESTION (1): Don’t your teachers in classrooms say about the word’s backgrounds, even though it’s from just their pure imagination, not based on grounds?
QUESTION (2): Where the words, sound out, came from? Don’t you recall any images or sounds as I recall, when you hear the sounds, at all?