Proverbs are like pearls: precious, concentrated, hidden drops of wisdom our ancestors have forged and transmitted to us. They say a lot about the way people live and think.
This is why my pupils and I are suggesting you all a game: comparing our proverbs. They have chosen and translated a few proverbs on some of their favourite topics and here they are. Do you have similar ones? Will you tell us yours?
- Show me your friend and I’ll tell you who you are.
- Love your friend moderately, for he may be your enemy some day; hate your enemy moderately, for he may be your friend some day.
- You get to know your friend in times of need.
- One hundred friends is not enough, one enemy is too many.
- Who is alike will rally (Such a sack, such a patch. Such a Turk, such a pistol)
- A friend is worth much more than a bagful of gold.
- Protect me, God, from my friends, for I can protect myself from my enemies.
- Brother or no brother, the cheese is for sale ( meaning:don’t ask me for favours)
- Friendship is a flower that does not grow by the road.
- Where there’s two, the strength will grow.
- Scold your friend privately and praise him in public.
- Make brothers with the devil till you’ve crossed the bridge.
LIFE AND DEATH
- A man’s life is like an egg in a child’s hand.
- The one who fears death lost his life.
- It’s hard for the poor man to live and for the rich one to die.
- The death shuts every mouth
- I’d rather be an eagle for a day than a crow for a lifetime. (The reverse: Better a living ass then a dead wise man.)
- The dead-man won’t return from his grave.
- The one who digs another man’s grave will fall into it himself.
- Anyone who sees birth, sees death.
- Dead with the dead, living with the living
- About the dead, nothing but good (words).
- If the woman’s tongue were shorter, the man’s life would be longer.
- Rather than to live dying, die living.
- The one whom you won’t let die won’t let you live.
- Money attract money and lice attract lice. (the rich will grow even richer and the poor, poorer)
- He has as much money as the frog has hairs.
- Money won’t bring schooling, but schooling will bring money.
- The rich won’t believe the poor, the fed won’t believe the hungry.
- Honesty can be neither bought, nor sold.
- To a poor man not even money are drawn. (can’t translate this properly, it’s a rhyme)
- I’d rather get milk from a barren cow than money from you.
- And a funny one: It’s not money that makes you happy….it’s the amount of it.
- The gentle cat scratches badly. (about hypocrisy, of course)
- The cat wearing a bell catches no mice.
- When the cat is not at home, the mice dance on the table. (this is a rhyme).
- Whatever is born from a cat will eat mice. ( Another version: the owl will not hatch nightingales).
- He bought a cat in a sack. (about imprudence)
- The cat entered the sack, but her claws are showing.
- The mouse with only one hole gets caught by the cat.
- They get along as well as the cat an the dog.
- To pull the cat by the tail (meaning living poorly, having no steady income etc.)
- The cat has nine lives.
Play with us!
Irina and pupils from School 92, Bucharest