A few proverbs from around the world

GRiM

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Just a few proverbs I think is worth sharing.



He who blames others has a long way to go on his journey.
He who blames himself is halfway there. He who blames no one has arrived.
(Chinese proverb)

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Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. (Plato)

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He who builds to every man's advice will have a crooked house. (Danish proverb)

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He who buys what he does not need steals from himself.

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He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass. (George Herbert)

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He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed. (Albert Einstein)

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He who slings mud looses ground.

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He who stands for nothing, falls for anything.

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History repeats itself, but each time the price goes up.

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Humans are like tea bags. They never realize their strength until they are put in hot water.

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A fall will always make a wise man wiser. (ancient Chinese)

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Consider how hard it is to change yourself; and you will understand what little chance you have trying to change others.

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People say walking on water is a miracle, but to me walking peacefully on earth is the real miracle. (Thich Nhat Hanh)

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If you are willing to admit you are wrong when you are wrong, you are all right.

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If you believe everything you read, don't read (chinese proverb)

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If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying? (Shantideva)

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If you came and you found a strange man teaching your kids to punch each other, or trying to sell them all kinds of products, you'd kick him right out of the house, but here you are; you come in and the TV is on, and you don't think twice about it. (Jerome Singer)

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Even if I'm not asleep, that doesn't mean I'm awake.

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Choose well. Your choice is brief, and yet endless. (Goethe)

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Politics: Poly (many) + ticks (bloodsucking parasites)
 

Craig

Jedi Master
They are very, very, very good and insightful! Plato's words on responsibility remind me of something that struck me deeply the first time I read it, from Ovid's Metamorphoses:

The golden age was first; when Man yet new,
No rule but uncorrupted reason knew:
And, with a native bent, did good pursue.
Unforc'd by punishment, un-aw'd by fear,
His words were simple, and his soul sincere;
Needless was written law, where none opprest:
The law of Man was written in his breast.
 

Ruth

The Living Force
GRiM said:
Just a few proverbs I think is worth sharing.

He who blames others has a long way to go on his journey.
He who blames himself is halfway there. He who blames no one has arrived.
(Chinese proverb)

I like this one. I think I'll "adopt" it!
 

Gawan

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Very good Grim, thanks!

The first proverb you mentioned, is imo absolutely worth remembering it. As far as I can remember it, there is a similar Chinese proverb which is existing also in the natively language I speak.


Leopher said:
They are very, very, very good and insightful! Plato's words on responsibility remind me of something that struck me deeply the first time I read it, from Ovid's Metamorphoses:

Could you tell me in which book and line I can find it?
 

Craig

Jedi Master
abcdefghiJoerg said:
Leopher said:
They are very, very, very good and insightful! Plato's words on responsibility remind me of something that struck me deeply the first time I read it, from Ovid's Metamorphoses:

Could you tell me in which book and line I can find it?

Click: book one, scroll down to The Golden Age.
 

Recto

Jedi
My grandmother used to quote proverbs/popular saying/maxims. She was a strong woman with a sharp mind who had a lot of first hand experience in life as a 24/7 business owner (bar restaurant/grocery store/caterer) in a small rural town, meeting lots of people from various backgrounds and dealing with a lot of peculiar situations. What struck me was that, according to my mother, she always had a saying at hand for any occasion. And many times over the years, by studying the sayings themselves, I've realized that they embedded little golden bits of wisdom that became invaluable to me.

It is popular wisdom distilled over many generations, a leg of our ancestors. So I was curious if there were other sayings people were familiar with around the world; between culture, history (country and family) and language, I'm sure there's a lot a different "nuggets of wisdom" out there transmitting from generation to generation. What do you think ? Are there sayings that you hold dear in that regard ?

Here are a few sayings that my grandmother used to say, most are used by French people in general. I'll leave the original quote alongside my (literal and amateurish) translation for reference purpose :

On n’est pas Louis d’or, on ne peut pas plaire à tout le monde.
One isn't Louis d'or, one cannot please everyone.
Explanation : The Louis d'or is a common term to designate government minted/issued gold coin. While gold appeals to everyone, our individuality will inevitably displease some people. Such is diversity.

Un problème bien lu est à moitié résolu.
A well read problem is half solved.

Il faut de tout pour faire un monde.
Everything makes up a world.

L'exactitude est la politesse des rois.
Exactitude is the kings' politeness.

On ne mélange pas les torchons avec les serviettes
One doesn't mix dishclothes and napkins.
Explanation : Usually said during discussions to warn/avoid mixing up/confusing two different topics/issues.

Les chiens ne font pas des chats
Dogs don't spawn cats.
Explanation : Said when there's a common trait between people related in some way (e.g. parent/child, teacher/student, etc).

L'habit ne fait pas le moine.
The attire doesn't make the monk.
Explanation : Equivalent of "do not judge a book by its cover"

Les chiens noirs courent aussi bien que les chiens blancs.
Black dogs run as well as white ones.
Explanation : She used to say that when parents berated their children for having dirt on their clothes/faces.
 

Goemon_

Jedi Master
@Recto

According to expressio.fr :

FR: ne pas mélanger les torchons et les serviettes
EN: do not mix tea towels and napkins

FR: Les chiens ne font pas des chats
EN:
the apple doesn't fall far from the tree
(USA) he's a chip off the old block
blood will out
children are what they are made
good seeds make good crops
like breeds like
like father, like son

FR: L'habit ne fait pas le moine.
EN:
all that glitters is not gold
beauty is only skin deep
clothes don't make the person
don't judge a book by its cover
the cowl does not make the monk
 

Mariama

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
ThIt is popular wisdom distilled over many generations, a leg of our ancestors. So I was curious if there were other sayings people were familiar with around the world; between culture, history (country and family) and language, I'm sure there's a lot a different "nuggets of wisdom" out there transmitting from generation to generation. What do you think ? Are there sayings that you hold dear in that regard ?
Thank you for reviving this thread, Recto! It's also interesting to observe these different sayings all over the world. An old colleague of mine wrote a paper at university about the differences between French and Dutch sayings, which I thought was very interesting.

I have many Dutch proverbs and sayings that I hold dear, and sometimes they rhyme (I put the words that rhyme in bold).

Al is de leugen nog zo snel de waarheid achterhaalt men wel

Even if lies are swift one will find out the truth.

Elk huis heeft zijn kruis

Every house bears its cross
(Meaning: No family is spared grief)

Eendracht maakt macht

Unity builds power

Twee geloven op een kussen, daar slaapt de duivel tussen.

The devil sleeps between two religions being on one pillow
(Meaning: Married people who have different faiths do not fare well)

Aan de vruchten kent men de boom
By their fruits you shall know the tree. (By their fruits you shall know them.)
 

Recto

Jedi
@Recto

According to expressio.fr :

FR: ne pas mélanger les torchons et les serviettes
EN: do not mix tea towels and napkins

FR: Les chiens ne font pas des chats
EN:
the apple doesn't fall far from the tree
(USA) he's a chip off the old block
blood will out
children are what they are made
good seeds make good crops
like breeds like
like father, like son

FR: L'habit ne fait pas le moine.
EN:
all that glitters is not gold
beauty is only skin deep
clothes don't make the person
don't judge a book by its cover
the cowl does not make the monk

I didn't know such a website existed ! Thank you @Goemon_, it really shows how some sayings/proverbs are transnational/cross-cultural as well as adding lengthy historical explanations. A great way to illustrate that countries and ethnicities are more alike than different in their essence.

Thank you for reviving this thread, Recto! It's also interesting to observe these different sayings all over the world. An old colleague of mine wrote a paper at university about the differences between French and Dutch sayings, which I thought was very interesting.

I have many Dutch proverbs and sayings that I hold dear, and sometimes they rhyme (I put the words that rhyme in bold).

Al is de leugen nog zo snel de waarheid achterhaalt men wel

Even if lies are swift one will find out the truth.

Elk huis heeft zijn kruis

Every house bears its cross
(Meaning: No family is spared grief)

Eendracht maakt macht

Unity builds power

Twee geloven op een kussen, daar slaapt de duivel tussen.

The devil sleeps between two religions being on one pillow
(Meaning: Married people who have different faiths do not fare well)

Aan de vruchten kent men de boom
By their fruits you shall know the tree. (By their fruits you shall know them.)

Do you happen to have a link to that paper ? I would be interested in reading it too :-)

This particular proverb you shared really touched me :

Eendracht maakt macht
Unity builds power

Can't help but think about STO-type networking. By sharing and applying knowledge we build power, not to destroy but to protect. I will probably create a wallpaper out of it, as a daily reminder. Thank you for sharing :-)
 

Mariama

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
This particular proverb you shared really touched me :

Eendracht maakt macht

Unity builds power
Can't help but think about STO-type networking. By sharing and applying knowledge we build power, not to destroy but to protect. I will probably create a wallpaper out of it, as a daily reminder. Thank you for sharing :-)
I had a look at this proverb Unity makes strength (or power) and apparently it was used by the authorities of the Dutch Republic and Belgium and many more countries, which makes sense because we see the same kind of motto like "Strength through Unity" in the movie V for Vendetta! So, this saying Eendracht maakt macht was just ordinary propaganda!:umm:
 

Recto

Jedi
I had a look at this proverb Unity makes strength (or power) and apparently it was used by the authorities of the Dutch Republic and Belgium and many more countries, which makes sense because we see the same kind of motto like "Strength through Unity" in the movie V for Vendetta! So, this saying Eendracht maakt macht was just ordinary propaganda!:umm:

Well, my interpretation of it was way off then. Too bad, I liked it better :lol: So unity under the all mighty state it is... same principle as using religion to unite empires. Well, it's often STS forces who are seeking power above all else, the true meaning isn't surprising now that I think about it.
 
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