March 4th, 2014


Comparing proverbs

Yay, another language discussion! I was just talking with cowgrrl and thought this is a topic equally interesting to discuss. Because I love to compare proverbs and have found a few which mean the same thing, but are totally different described in different languages.

I don't know if you know of any more? You would obviously need to know another language than just English. Here are some from the top of my head, comparing English and German proverbs:

"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink!" would in German probably be: "You can't carry a dog to the hunt" (Man kann einen Hund nicht zum Jagen tragen).

Or how about "The straw that broke the camel's back" would be "The drop that made the barrel flow over" (Der Tropfen, der das Fass zum Überlaufen brachte).

Or "Two birds with one stone" would be "Two flies with one swat" (Zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen).

Or "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" would be "Better to have the sparrow in the hand than the dove at the roof" (Besser den Spatz in der Hand als die Taube auf dem Dach)

So, does anyone want to add anything? If you like, you can also read the replies to my entry here: