International Proverbs


From time to time I receive proverbs that are claimed to be from a spesific country.
Many of these proverbs show an interesting outlook on the countries history.
Therefore I have included a page to record some of these sayings.

Australia
  • Everybody's magpie is always the whitest.
    Magpies are a black and white bird.
Czechoslovakia
  • It is easy to criticize somebody, who is doing a complicated work, when you didn't do anything similarly complicated.
    The person who provided this saying stated:-
    "If you know the English equivalent, I would be grateful for indication."
    The best I could do was :-
    It is easy to criticise others work, when you are not working.
    and
    He who does nothing, does not damage anything.
China
  • Bend, but don't break.
  • He who is bitten by a snake avoids long grass.
  • In good times we forget to burn incense; in hard times we embrace the Buddha's feet.
  • Patience and a mulberry leaf will make a silk gown.
  • To succeed, consult three old people.
  • When the market is brisk, the seller does not stop to wash the mud from his turnips.
France
  • Men make laws, but women make morals.
  • Who loves well, forgets slowly.
  • Marriage teaches you to live alone.
  • Lending money to a man causes him to lose his memory.
Germany
  • It is too late to cover the well when the child is drowned.
  • The guest is dearest when he is leaving.
  • As fast as laws are devised, their evasion is contrived.
  • Love can turn the cottage into a golden palace.
  • Patience is often better than medicine.
Greece
  • Little bean by little bean the sack will surely fill.
  • Patience caught the nimble hare.
  • Swift gratitude is the sweetest.
  • The drunkard and the fool never keep secrets.
  • The heart that loves is always young.
  • The other man's bread tastes sweetest.
  • To the bad driver, the mules are always to blame.
India
  • The crane, hoping to eat dried fish when the sea dries up, wasted away in expectancy.
  • An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind. - from Mahatma Gandhi
  • Those who live in houses are proud, but there is a God even for those who live in huts.
  • Where there is love there is life. - from Mahatma Gandhi
Italy
  • He who knows but little presently outs with it.
  • A little truth helps the lie go down.
  • He who never boasts is esteemed at a third more than his value.
Japan
  • The second word makes the fray.
  • From poverty to profusion is a hard journey, but the way back is easy.
  • Fall seven times, stand up the eighth time.
  • Happiness rarely keeps company with an empty stomach.
  • Learning without wisdom is a load of books on an ass's back.
  • The biggest of serpents has no terrors for the eagle.
  • Cold rice and cold tea are bearable, but cold looks and cold words are not.
  • When one has no needle, thread is of little use.
Korea
  • He could survive on a bare rock.
  • He was resourceful and resilient no matter what the circumstances.
  • The thread follows the needle.
New Zealand
Russia
  • What fell off the cart is [as good as] gone.
Spain
  • Talking is easy, action is difficult.
  • Wine has two defects: if you add water to it , you ruin it; if you don't add water, it ruins you.
  • It is not the same to talk of bulls as to be in the bull ring.
Sweden
  • Don't cross the stream to find water.
  • The fields are ever frozen for lazy pigs.
Uganda
  • An ear that doesn't heed to advice is chopped off together with the head.
  • The death of a cow marks celebration to even a dying dog.
Vietnam
  • You learn by looking and listening as opposed to talking.
    That's why you have two ears, two eyes, and only one mouth.

Also see the international weather sayings at   Folk Lore Weather Forecasting

 
Send an email if you are aware of another proverb that is suitable for inclusion.