View Full Version : adages and proverbs from your countries..

01-05-2010, 03:58 AM

I have heard to really amazing adages from two of my friends, both a world apart, and I find alot of value in them.. since this is a pretty international forum I'd like if you'd share the best adages from your countries..

my Russian friend had a proverb that goes

''lying can always take you forward but it will never take you back''

and the other from my friend from Punjab who (well this one is really funny) it goes back to our grad school days and you can imagine way..

it goes..

''the eyes are always bigger than the stomach'' it denotes how we'd come home starved with eyes as big as saucers wanting to devour everything, but then our stomachs would never accommodate...

I look forward to all of yours..and why you find them special or effective..


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01-05-2010, 07:05 AM
Malaysian proverb:

"Hujan emas di negeri orang, Hujan batu di negeri sendiri.. lebih baik di negeri sendiri"

Literally it means: "It's raining gold in other people's country, It's raining stones in (our) own country.. it's better in our own country"

Meaning: Regardless whether our nation is so poor than others, it's better to live in our own country.

01-05-2010, 07:42 AM
Here is the translation of one...it comes in handy when advising the younger ones.

"Obey what the elders tell you, at first they may sound sour, later it will be sweet."

And another one I like, now this may sound very odd in English ;D

"The patient wanted milk and the doctor prescribed milk"

This is what you say when things turn out fine under circumstances expected to be harsh.

01-05-2010, 09:15 AM
1. nau koh daryea te suthan mohde te (punjabi)
Translation: The river is nine miles away but you've already slung your pants over your shoulder.
Meaning: You're worrying about something that hasn't happened (cross that bridge when you come to it)
Meaning 2: You're too eager to do something.

2. Kuri kuchar te shehr tandhora
Translation: The babe's in your arms and you're announcing it's missing on the streets.
Meaning: Whatever you're looking for is right under your nose.

3. Sooran nu soor sau koh da wala maar ke milde ne
Translation: Pigs will meet pigs even after a 100 mile round trip (lol)
Meaning: Bad people end up together no matter how far they go

4. Door de dhol suhane
Translation: Distance drums sound sweet
Meaning. The grass looks greener on the other side

5. Ki hove jedd chiriyaan chugh gai kaeth
translation: What can you do when birds have eaten the grain? (refering to when farmers scatter seeds but don't take measure to prevent them being eaten by birds.
Meaning: No use crying over spilt milk/what's happened has happened.

6. Ghar ki murghi daal barabar
translation: Home cooked chicken is equal to lentils
Meaning: People take for granted what they already possess.

7. Kutte di pooshal kaddi siddhi nai hondi
Translation: A dogs tail can never be straightened
Meaning: same as 'a leopard never changes his spots'

8. Bhaagte chor di langoti hi sahi
Translation: Even the pants of a running thief
Meaning: Grab opportunities when you get the chance

9. Rassi jal gai par bal na gaya
Translation: The rope burnt but the twist didn't disappear
Meaning: remaining stubborn even after being defeated

10. Sau choohey kha ke billi hajj ko challi
Translation: The cat is going on a pilgrimage after killing 100 mice
Meaning: A person who's done a lot of wrong is claiming to have changed

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01-05-2010, 01:09 PM
I like those alot Jazakoum Allah khyran..

01-05-2010, 01:14 PM
Somali proverb that my dad always told me because of my naughtiness

'' Qunyar socdhe qodhaxi ma mudho ''

which basically means

'' those that walk steadily and take precautions thorns never prick them''

01-05-2010, 01:29 PM
some from one of my favorite languages: Urdu. A person should not die without learning Arabic, Urdu and Farsi. :p

ناچ نا جانے آنگن ٹےڑھا
Transliterated: Naach naa jaanay aangan tayrah
Literal: Doesn't know how to dance, the garden is bent
Literary: To give excuses for your own shortcomings

دھوبی کا کتا نا گھر کا نا گھاٹ کا
Transliterated: Dhobi ka kutta naa ghar kaa naa ghaat ka
Literal: The cleaner's dog is not of the home or the riverside
Literary: Someone who doesn't belong anywhere; A rolling stone gathers no moss

لاتوں کے بهوت باتوں سے نهیں مانتے
Transliterated: Laatoon kay bhoot baaton se naheein maantay
Literal: Ghosts of legs don't listen to advice
Literary: Lazy people or those too used to only working when forced to can't be reasoned with otherwise

and this is my favorite one

ملا کی دوڑ مسجد تک
Transliterated: Mulla ki daur masjid tak
Literal: A mullah only runs to the mosque
Literary: Someone with limited reach or vision

Just shows how under the slavery of the British Masters, Muslims in India came to view Mullahs/Sheikhs as narrow-minded. Sometimes it may even be true if those sheikhs were not properly following Sunnah and giving weird fatwas like the "milk one" from Egypt. These ideas have been inherited over generations and are rampant among secular educated Pakistanis. A Mullah is just that. A Mullah. One focussed on petty issues whether beard is haram or halal. Or so it is said. Very similar to the negative connotations attached to the word "preacher" in the English world. While in reality Mullah is derived from (Maula waala). The one with Lord. Or Lord's lover. The one with knowledge of Lord.

I also like the ones posted by Scent of Jannah. They sounded a bit different in Punjabi, especially the kuttay di poochal. Should not it be Kuttay di dum in Punjabi?

P.S. There are some spelling mistakes in the Urdu text. I just copy/pasted them from some site. Makes me angry that some Urdu speakers cannot even spell their language. Writers must be Punjabis. :p Kidding. I speak Punjabi so no offense :p

01-05-2010, 03:29 PM
those really are amazing .. thank you..
the first one really got me confused with the literal meaning..''
Literal: Doesn't know how to dance, the garden is bent''

we have many Arabic proverbs, I'll share later, for now I want your proverbs :D


01-05-2010, 03:30 PM
From Indonesia.

"Sambil menyelam minum air".
(While diving drink water)
Meaning : Working simultaneously.

"Menang jadi arang, kalah jadi abu"
(The winner becomes charcoal, the loser becomes ash)
Meaning : After fighting, both parties are destroyed.

"Karena nila setitik, rusak susu sebelanga"
(Because a drop of blue dye, a pot of milk going contaminated)
Meaning : (1) Because a little mistake, someone lose his/her reputation.
Meaning : (2) Because one or some person that make a trouble, all people in a community lose their reputation.

"Asam di gunung, garam di laut, bertemu di kuali"
(Tamarind in the mountain, salt in the sea, meet in the cooking pan)
Meaning : Marriage between two persons from different place.

"Lain padang lain belalang, lain lubuk lain ikannya"
(Different field different grasshopper, different pond different fishes)
Meaning : Every place has it own people, culture and tradition that different than other places.

"Dua gajah bertarung, pelanduk mati di tengah"
(Two elephant are in fighting, 'pelanduk' (little mammal) died within)
Meaning : Two army are in fighting, innocent people become victims.

"Ada udang di balik batu"
(There is a shrimp behind the stone)
Meaning : Describe a hypocrite who hide a hidden intention.

"Tong kosong nyaring bunyinya"
(Empty barrel sound loudly (when we knock it))
Meaning : A person who declares his/herself as 'expert', actually is person who has no enough knowledge.

"Kasih ibu sepanjang jalan, kasih anak sepanjang galah"
(Mother's love is long as road, child's love is long as bamboo stick)
Meaning : Mother's love to the children is bigger than child's love to the mother.

"Bersatu kita teguh, bercerai kita runtuh !"
(United we strong, divided we fall !)
You don't need explanation to understand this proverb. But usually "bercerai" is used for "divorced". So, Indonesian people 'twist' this proverb into "Bersatu kita teguh, bercerai ... kita kawin lagi !" (United we strong, divorced ... we marry again !) :D

01-05-2010, 03:32 PM

I really like this one
(Empty barrel sound loudly (when we knock it))

and how true!

01-05-2010, 03:37 PM

One which is used a lot in my family at the moment

New House, New Baby(obvious meaning, but apparently if u get a new house then within a year u supposed to have a baby)

I'm going to turn my bike around or I'm going to see a man about a dog(what my dad used to say to us as kids when we asked him where hes going and he was going to the bathroom)s

Nowt as queer as folk my favourite - means everyone is different, and to us it seems as thoug they are doing strange things but in fact it is normality for them.

01-05-2010, 04:40 PM
Originally Posted by Gossamer skye

I really like this one
(Empty barrel sound loudly (when we knock it))

and how true!
I hope I am not an empty barrel.

01-05-2010, 04:48 PM
Originally Posted by ardianto
I hope I am not an empty barrel.
Not at all..It is applicable to atheists only! :D

01-05-2010, 04:55 PM
I think we have covered most of the languages on IB! :p One of my favourite sayings is an Urdu one: "Ma ki dua, janat ki hawa" which means "A mother prayer [brings] heaven's air".

Skye, share with us you Arabic proverbs!

01-05-2010, 05:05 PM
A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.

. A chameleon does not leave one tree until he is sure of another.

A change is as good as a rest.

A foolish man may be known by six things: Anger without cause, speech without profit, change without progress, inquiry without object, putting trust in a stranger, and mistaking foes for friends.

A friend advises in his interest, not yours.

A god-given beauty needs no beautician.

A good advice is part of the Religion..

A horse of good breed is not dishonored by his saddle.

and I like the last one the most....

01-05-2010, 05:13 PM
^ Wowww.. I love all of them!!

Do you by any chance have the arabic script for them as well?

01-05-2010, 05:18 PM
I'll have to look for them insha'Allah because I am too lazy to write them out :lol:

01-05-2010, 05:22 PM
lol, no probelm. BarakAllahu feek.

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