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Proverbs and idioms in different cultures!

  1. Oct 4, 2005 #1

    Lisa!

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    Please share interesting proverbs and idioms of your country here. I know some of proverbs don't sound so interesting when you translate them, but I think it would be fine anyway! And En idioms are more welcome. :rolleyes:
    I can't think of any interesting one right now but I'll do later.


    Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2005 #2
  4. Oct 4, 2005 #3
    Celtic -
    The daughter of a king is a flame of hospitality, a road that cannot be entered.
    Let he who is a chief be a bridge.
    The person who tramples the world tramples themselves
     
  5. Oct 4, 2005 #4
    Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.
    Cherokee
     
  6. Oct 4, 2005 #5

    Hurkyl

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    Lol, TheSwerve, I was just trying to remember that phrase. :smile:
     
  7. Oct 4, 2005 #6

    Evo

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    That was a good episode. :approve:
     
  8. Oct 4, 2005 #7
    haha yeah......*content sigh*
     
  9. Oct 5, 2005 #8

    loseyourname

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    An té a phósfas an t-airgead, pósfaidh sé óinseach.

    Roughly, something like "He who marries money, marries a fool." I like that one. I also like that the Irish say "Dia dhuit" for hello, and the response is "Dia is Muire dhuit." Literally, "God be with you" and "God and Mary be with you."
     
  10. Nov 29, 2005 #9
    Sur American, I believe well know around a few countries.

    "Dios le da comida al que no tiene dientes"
    or something like
    "god gives food to the one that does not have any teeth"

    "No es la Flecha si no el indio"
    or en ingles.
    "is no the arrow is the indian"

    another i really like.
    "El sentido comun es le menos comun de los sentidos"
    or
    "Comun sense is the least comun of the senses"

    Oh I'm new here and I already like it a lot.
     
  11. Nov 29, 2005 #10

    selfAdjoint

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    I think the English would be "There is no arrow if there is no indian" or more briefly "No indian, no arrow".
     
  12. Nov 29, 2005 #11

    marcus

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    IMO literally, "no smoke unless fire"
    oops I mean "no arrow unless indian"

    where there are arrows flying around
    probably there must also be some indians

    good thinking
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2005
  13. Nov 29, 2005 #12

    marcus

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    the excellent Alejandro (particles forum, quantum gravity forum) lives in Zaragoza Spain and works at the university there. He has contributed some proverbs special to his region.

    Alejandro says that the Zaragozans are proud to be recognized as the most stubborn people in all Spain. they tell of two men arguing about a block of substance whether it is soap or cheese.

    to one man it looks like cheese, and to the other it looks like soap and they cannot agree. so the first man cuts a chunk off and eats it

    as he is chewing and chewing, bubbles begin to come out of his mouth, and he says (because he is from Zaragoza)

    "It tastes like soap, BUT IT IS CHEESE."

    this is now a proverb. If someone is being very stubborn about denying a fact, then you may comment by quietly saying "yes, it may taste like soap but nevertheless it is cheese, isn't it?"
    post #9 on this thread
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=702593#post702593
    and also post #16
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=703726#post703726

    Sabe a jabon, pero es queso

    You will also find other Spanish proverbs in that thread, especially from the province of Aragon, where Zaragoza is.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2005
  14. Nov 29, 2005 #13

    marcus

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    this saying hit me like a thunderbolt. it appeared for a while as one PF poster's sig.
    I never exactly understood, it made me laugh without knowing why.
    It could be proverbial.



    "I am from Barcelona. I know nothing!"

    be careful how you interpret this saying, if it is a saying.
    it might mean NOT that the Barcelona people consider themselves an proverbially ignorant, but that they think of themselves as savvy and too sly to reveal it.
    It might be a line in a play---a comic farce scene---where someone is caught in ludicrous and embarrassing circumstances and protests that he knows nothing.
    does anybody know?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2005
  15. Nov 29, 2005 #14

    selfAdjoint

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    Could be close to the US "I'm from Missouri; show me."

    or the Royal Society's "Nullius in verbo" (infl?), "take no-one's word".
     
  16. Nov 29, 2005 #15
    "Kuin kaksi marjaa." (finnish)
    Directly it would translate as "Like two berries" but the meaning is that some people are lookalikes.

    "Se joka kuuseen korkottaa, se katajaan kapsahtaa" (finnish)
    "Who reaches for a fir will fall on a juniper" This is specifically hard one since there is no good translation for "kapsahtaa". It means when you reach for something out of your abilities it wont end up well.

    I will write more sometimes. I dont think these interest anyone...
     
  17. Nov 29, 2005 #16

    matthyaouw

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    Almost right!
    It is from an old UK sitcom called Fawlty towers. It is said by a character called Manuel. His English is very poor and he's reasonably inept at his job. There's been a misunderstanding about some money and a bet, and Manuel is the only witness that the money belongs to his boss Basil, but since he was sworn to secrecy by Basil (so Basil's wife didn't find out he was betting), even when asked by Basil to testify that he is the owner of the money, he sticks to his promise and says he knows nothing. Basil looses the money in the end. The "I'm from Barcelona" is a running Joke in the series- Every time Manuel does something wrong in front of a customer, Basil says "I'm sorry, he's from Barcelona."
    Not quite as deep as you might have thought?

    Its a terrible program, don't watch it :tongue:
     
  18. Nov 29, 2005 #17

    matthyaouw

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    Thats a good one. I like it. :smile:
     
  19. Nov 30, 2005 #18

    Lisa!

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    Wow, I'd forgotten all about this thread!

    "A person who's ignorant of his ignorance, remains ignorant forvever."

    I read this one in a magazine:
    "Ugly woman doesn't like the mirror."- Chinese proverb :tongue:


    Interesting!:biggrin:
     
  20. Nov 30, 2005 #19
    actually that proverb refers to the constant need for Individuals to compensate (focus, Blame, excuse) for their in-avilities via Equipment, so is something like does not matter how sofisticated and expensive is the equipment that you have if you don't know how to use propertlly...

    do i make sense...???
     
  21. Nov 30, 2005 #20

    selfAdjoint

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    AH! So it is interpreted from the viewpoint of the indian, rather than the settler (different histories, different assumptions!).

    So the idea is, "The arrow won't work unless there's an indian to shoot it."
     
  22. Dec 1, 2005 #21

    Lisa!

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    "Asking a bear when's Saturday!"
    usage: when someone asks an ignorant person/layman a question!
     
  23. Dec 1, 2005 #22
    when one points out the moon, to you, do not mis-take the finger for the moon.
     
  24. Dec 1, 2005 #23
    Here comes more (you talked me into this).
    "Ei auta itku markkinoilla" (have fun pronouncing these)
    "Crying doesnt help you in the marketplace" (direct translation)
    This would mean something like: being a bellyacher wont get you far. Well the meaning sticks with the direct translation.
    "Hullu paljon työtä tekee, viisas pääsee vähemmällä"
    "Mad does a lot of work when wise manages more easily"
    This means something like: it is stupid to spend a lot of energy into something if there is an easier way to do it. It doesnt encourage you being lazy.
    "Parempi virsta väärää kuin vaaksa vaaraa"
    "Better a verste to the wrong than a span to the danger"
    Do not take unnecessary risks. Simply. Even if it needs more work.
    "Oma maa mansikka, muu maa mustikka"
    "Own land strawberry, other land blueberry"
    Basically this means that other places are good but nothing beats one´s own place.
    "Jokainen on oman onnensa seppä"
    "Everyone are the blacksmith of their own luck/happiness"
    One word there means two things. Luck or happiness.
    "Hätä ei lue lakia"
    "Emergency doesnt read the law"
    When in emergency it isnt such a big deal to break the law or one is allowed to break the law if one has to.
    "On vähäkin tyhjää parempi"
    "A little is better than none"
    No explanation needed.
     
  25. Dec 1, 2005 #24
    Nope the idea is.....
    that no matter how sofisticated you equipment is, it makes NO diference if you don't know how to use it..

    basically regards experience, human skill and heritage, a step above man made objects.. just they way it needs to be if you ask me.

    My bicycle track coach just to use this all the time, since we complain about obsolete equipment when in reality the "power house" was in your legs and heart but more than anything your Mind (and GUtts) and pain tresshold to be able to sustain the almost 200BpM require to really win a race.

    is very interesting how even a straigt translation (well almost, kind of ...) can be interpretated in suchs diferent ways, I guess semiotic and cultural aspect do play a part in the way a subject is view...

    actually tell me about it, living in the Berkeley california now but growing up in Sur America gets you into a lot of situation when you think you are doing everything "Just right" but some of your actions are miss interpretaded or at least view by others with a diferent connotation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2005
  26. Dec 2, 2005 #25

    matthyaouw

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    Theres some good ones there. Thanks for sharing.
     
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