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Learning language with proverbs

Have you learnt any interesting ones while studying a foreign language?
10 years ago, September 2nd 2010 No: 1 Msg: #118576  
B Posts: 11.5K
The first one I remember picking up when I started learning Japanese was

'Even monkeys fall from trees' = "No one's perfect"

And of course instead of "packed like sardines" it's "packed like sushi" :-)

Reply to this

10 years ago, December 21st 2010 No: 2 Msg: #125058  
A Dutch one by my boyfriend translates to 'You can't get feathers from a frog', meaning you can't get the money you are owed, if the person who owes it has no money. Reply to this

10 years ago, December 22nd 2010 No: 3 Msg: #125115  
"Beer without vodka is a waste" - Russian Reply to this

10 years ago, December 22nd 2010 No: 4 Msg: #125140  
B Posts: 897
A thousand years ago I had a french (fodors from memory) travel guide to France with a few examples of phrases...one that has always stuck with me roughly translated as.....My hovercraft is full of eels. Ive been waiting all my life to need to say that in French or any other language. Reply to this

10 years ago, January 7th 2011 No: 5 Msg: #126169  
Across the English Channel, where I once worked, are people who have a strange choice of animals in their proverbs:

Il ne faut pas vendre la peau de l’ours avant de l’avoir tué (Don’t sell the bearskin before killing the bear)
English: Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.

Quand on parle du loup, on en voit la queue (When you speak of the wolf, you’ll see his tail)
English: Speak of the devil and he’s bound to appear.

Un chien vivant vaut mieux qu’un lion mort (A live dog is worth more than a dead lion)
English: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

and, from these same people, who eat little wild birds:

Faut de grives, on mange des merles (For want of thrushes, one eats blackbirds)
English: Half a loaf is better than none.

Garde le sourire! Reply to this

10 years ago, January 7th 2011 No: 6 Msg: #126171  
B Posts: 137
A pearl of Thai wisdom I that learnt in Bangkok:

"Grabbing sh!t is better than grabbing a fart" Reply to this

10 years ago, February 17th 2011 No: 7 Msg: #129289  
B Posts: 18
When I started to learn German:

Du mußt ein Schwein sein in dieser Welt
(You must to be a pig in this world)

I´m not sure if I have to say: '...be a pig´ in the bad way cuz being a pig is not that bad for me! lol Reply to this

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