11 - proverbs

updated October 19, 2010


A proverb is a sentence that has been used in society for many generations. proverbs are part of a country's popular culture and are supposed to encapsulate a popular wisdom. You can find their definitions online and in most dictionaries. It is almost impossible to translate them, so if you want to render them in a different language, you need either to find an equivalent or paraphrase the meaning. In conversations, you can quote the original version and explain it in the language of the person that you are talking to.

Use proverbs and any quote sparingly. As with illustrations, one per paragraph is enough.

Exercise: which proverbs do you like, Choose five and write them down and tell in a sentence what they mean. Do they have an equivalent in your original language? Write down why you agree or disagree.

Here is our selection of some that I like.

Sources: Gottfried Andreas - Wegweiser fur alle Lebenslagen, Wien 1933 -
Merriam Webster dictionary, Proverbs online, Erasmus of Rotterdam: Adagia, Jean de La Fontaine: Fables,
E- French Translation based in Vancouver, BC Canada,

If like me, you are learning a language, it is not a good idea to learn a lot of proverbs, in my case, being fluent in English, French and German, I know the ones listed below. However, I decided only on 10 each for Spanish, Czech and Irish - because I still need to walk before I can run. Erasmus of Rotterdam liked proverbs and found wisdom in them and ended up writing a book called Adagia about them. The Tales of Aesop and the Fables of La Fontaine also teach wisdom through their stories.

http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/object3/1150/125/q28357862504_1326.jpgErasmus of Rotterdam -
 from Adagia (Latin proverbs)
1) Oleum et operam perdidi  (losing both time and trouble)
2) Annus producit, non ager (The year brings the yield, not the field)one's education is of far more importance in contributing to virtue than one's lineage..
Polypi mentem obtine.(In Rome do as Romans do)
A mortuo tributum exigere (to benefit from the dead) .
Fumos vendere (English: to sell smoke) To sell an illusion.
Ut fici oculis incumbunt (As styes lie on the eyes)
blinded by one's own prejudices
Festina Lente (the more haste, the less speed)
from Wegweiser:
Edimus ut vivamus, non vivimus ut edamus. (live not to eat, but eat to live)
In necessariis unitas, in dubii libertas, in omnibus autem caritas.
(in necessary things unity; in uncertain things freedom; in everything compassion"). (Antonio de Dominis)
Quieta non movere (let sleeping dogs lie)
Do not disturb things that are quiet.
Qui tacet, consentire videtur (silence gives consent)
(if you do not object to it, then it can be assumed that you agree with it)
Semper idem (always the same) things will never change...
Variatio delectat (variety is the spice of life)
doing a lot of different things make life interesting)
Tempora mutantur (as time goes by)
Carpe diem (seize the day)

http://www.anus.com/zine/images/spanish_flag.jpgSpanish: (need to add the accents) June 20th
A mucho hambre, no hay pan duro (hunger is the best sauce)
A donde el corazon se inclina, el pie se camina
(home is where the heart is)
A la ocasion la pintan calva (seize the opportunity)
A palabras necias, somos sordos. (Take no notice of what stupid people say)
A quien no le sobra pan, ne le crie can (do not count your chicken before they have hatched yet) do not make plans for things you don't have yet.
Al vivo la hogazo, al murto la mortaja (life is for the living)
Ausencias causan olvido (long absent, soon forgotten)
Comer hasta enfermar, y ayunar hasta sanar (He that eats till he is sick must fast until he is well)
Como dos y dos son cuatro (at the end of the night, there is a new day)
De musico, poeta y loco, todos tenemos un poco (we all have a bit of craziness)
Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres. (you are judged by the company that you keep)
El movimiento se demuestra andando (actions speak louder than words)
El que algo quiere, algo le cuesta (If you want it, you have to put the effort in it/ to pay for it)
El remedio puede ser peor que la enfermedad (Sometimes, the remedy is worse than the illness)
En el termino medio, esta la virtud (More than enough is too much)

1) Co můžeš udělat dnes, neodkládej na zítřek.
Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

2) Hněv je špatný rádce.
Anger is a bad advisor.

3) Kdo hledá, najde.
He who looks, finds
4) Když kocour není doma, myši mají pré.
When the cat is not home, the mice have a party.

5) Ranní ptáče dál doskáče.
The early bird catches the worm.

6) Trpělivost růže přináší.
Patience brings roses.

7) V noci každá kočka černá.
Every cat is black at night.

8) Líná huba, holé neštěstí.
Loose lips sink ships .

9) Co se v mládí naučíš, ve stáří jako když najdeš.
What you learned young will benefit you forever.
10) Důvěřuj, ale prověřuj
Trust, but verify

sources: http://www.myczechrepublic.com/czech_culture/czech-proverbs.html

http://www.ryanstavern.com/images/shamrock3.png Irish proverbs
1) Más camdíreach an ród, 's é an bothar mór an t-aicearra
Whether the road is crooked or straight,
the short cut is the best way.

2) Is teann gach madra gearr i ndoras a thí féin
Every terrier is bold on the door of its house.

3) Is fearr filleadh as lár an áthe ná bá sa tuile.
It is better to back out of the middle of the ford
than to be drowned in the flood.

4) bhíonn saoi gan locht
There is no wise man without fault.

5) Na ceitre rud is measa amu: ceann tinn, beal seirbh, intinn bhuatha, agus poca folamh
The four least useful things; a headache, a bitter mouth,
a worried mind, and an empty pocket.

6) fhada an lá tagann an tráthnóna.
However long the day, the evening will come.

7) Filleann an feall ar an bhfeallaire
The treachery returns to the betrayer.

8) Beagan a ra agus e a ra go maith
Say little but say it well.

9) Ni fiu sceal gan udar
There's no worth to a story without an author.

10)  Gheibheann cos ar siúl rud éigin
A moving leg gets something.

source: http://www.daltai.com/proverbs/cat01.htm#section02

http://www.ensemblestudios.com/images/flags/british.gifEnglish proverbs :

A friend in need is a friend indeed

(someone who helps you when you are in trouble is a real friend)
A friend of all is a friend of none

(someone who is friend with everyone does not make anyone feel special)
All that glitters is not gold

(do not be deceived by appearances)
After rain comes sunshine.
(do not make hasty decisions)
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

(it is not good for the soul to work all the time, you need a rest)
An empty purse frightens away friends
(when your financial situation deteriorates, you are not left with many friends)
Any time means no time
(when you do not give an exact date,the event does not mean anything)
A stitch in time saves nine.
 (it is better to deal with a problem at an early stage rather than later when everything gets very complicated)
Bad news travel fast

(people tend to circulate bad news quicker)
Beauty is only skin deep
(a person's character is more important than their appearance)
Better be alone than in bad company.
Better late than never

(it is better to do something late than not doing it at all)
Better lose the saddle than the horse

(it is better to accept a minor loss than a bigger one)
Better safe than sorry

(it is better to take precautions before than to be careless and regret it later)
Diamond cuts diamond
(refers to cunning people who are equally matched)
Don't count your chickens before they are hatched
(You must not be too confident that everything will be successful)
Easier said than done.
(what is suggested sounds easy, but it is difficult to achieve)
Every cloud has a silver lining
(there is a positive or hopeful side to every bad situation)
Every rose has its thorn
(every good thing has an unpleasant side)
Experience is the father of wisdom.

(experience and knowledge result in better judgement)
Facts speak louder than words

(people show how they are like, by what they do, not what they say)
Failure teaches success
False friends are worse than open enemies
Familiarity breeds contempt
(being close to someone may lead to disrespect)
Fine words butter no parsnips
(no amount of talking replaces action)
First come, first served
(the first in line, will be attended first)
Give someone an inch, and they will take a mile.
(some people are never satisfied)
Great oaks grow from little acorns
(large successful operations can begin in a small way)
Honesty is the best policy
(it is better to be honest)
However long the night, the dawn will break
(all bad things will come to an end)
Hunger is a good sauce
(things taste better when you are hungry)
In times of prosperity, friends are plentiful
(you have many friends when life is not difficult)
If you let a camel's nose through the tent, its body will follow.
If you let something or someone intrusive enter your life, your life will become difficult.
If you chase two rabbits, you will catch neither of them.
(If you do two things at the same time, they will never get finished)
It takes all sorts to make a world 

(people of different background and abilities live with us and this is a good thing)
Justice delayed is no justice
(If the law is applied too late, there is no justice done)
Kill the goose that lays the golden egg
(destroy something that was beneficial to you)
Knowledge in youth is wisdom in age
(what you learn early will benefit you when you get older)
Learn to walk before you run
(don't rush to do something until you know how to do it)
Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere
(education is something you will keep forever) 
Let bygones be bygones
(let's forgive and forget past quarrels)
Loose lips sink ships
(disclosing important information may result in large losses)
Love is blind.
(a person in love may not see the faults of the person they love)
many hands make light work.
(sharing work makes work easier)
Marry in haste and repent at leisure.
(if you get married too quickly, you may spend all your life regretting it)
Money doesn't grow on trees
(You shouldn't waste money nor resources, because they are not plentiful)
Necessity is the mother of invention.
(necessity will make you find a solution)
Never put off until tomorrow what can be done today
(don't postpone something urgent that you can do now)
Never say die
(don't give up)
Nobody is perfect.
No man can serve two masters.
(It is impossible to follow instructions from two different sources)
No man is an island
(we all need other people)
No news is good news.
(if things were bad we would have heard about it, so we think that everything is fine)
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
(you can't expect things to happen if you don't take any risks)
Once bitten twice shy
(after an unpleasant experience, people are trying to avoid something similar)
One good turn deserves another
(if someone helps you, you should be helpful too)
No sweet without sweat. (if you want something, you need to work for it)
Opportunity seldom comes twice.
(if you get a chance of doing something, then do not miss it)
Out of sight, out of mind
(we tend to forget things or people, we do not see)
Poverty is no vice.
(it is not a crime to be poor)
Practice makes perfect
(doing something repeatedly will make you better at it)
Practise what you preach
(do the things that you tell other people to do) 
Pride comes  before a fall.
(don't be too overconfident, something may happen and you will look foolish)
Procastination is the thief of time

(delaying an action for too long is a waste of time)
Save me from my friends
(our friends can be more dangerous than our enemies)
Silence gives consent.
(if you do not object to it, then it can be assumed that you agree with it)
Snug as a bug in a rug
(feeling very cosy) 
Still waters run deep
(a quiet person may have much knowledge and wisdom)
The best advice is found on the pillow

(after a good night sleep things are much clearer)
The devil looks after its own
(success that comes to people who least deserve it)
the die is cast
(the decision has been made)
The early bird catches the worm
(You should do things as soon as you can)
The first step is the hardest
(the most difficult thing is to begin)
the more haste, the less speed
(If you work in a hurry, you can make mistakes and have to re-do your work)
the pen is mightier than the sword
(words and communication have greater effect than war and fighting)
the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
(the real value of something can only be judged after it is tried)
the wish is the father to the thought
(you think that something is true because you want it so)
there is a trick in every trade
(there is an established way of doing things)
There is safety in numbers
(being in a crowd makes you feel more confident)
Time and tide will wait for no man
(events will take place no matter what)
Time is money.
(do not waste your time)
Too many cooks spoil the broth.
(if too many people are involved in something, it will not be done properly)
Truth is stranger than fiction
(events in real life can be strange than in stories)
Two wrongs do not make it a right
(It is wrong to harm people because they harmed you)
Union is strength
(a group has more force than an individual)
Unwillingness easily finds an excuse
(it is easy to find reasons not do something when you don't want to do it)
Variety is the spice of life
(doing a lot of different things make life interesting)
Virtue is its own reward.
(you should not expect praise for acting in a correct or moral way)
Walls have ears 

(be careful, someone could be listening)
Waste not, want not.
(If you do not waste anything, you will have it when you need it)
When the cat is away the mice dance
(people misbehave when their boss is absent)
When in Rome, do as Romans do
(You should adopt the customs of the country that you are visiting)
Where there is life, there is hope
Where there is a will there is a way.
(if you are determined to succeed, you will find a way of doing it)
Worry often gives small things a big shadow
(if you worry about small details, it will make them worse)
You are what you eat
(what you eat has an effect on your body)
You are never too old to learn
You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.
(you can offer someone an opportunity, but you cannot force them)
You never know what you can do until you try.
(try it first before deciding that you can't do it)
As soon as a man is born, he begins to die (you can die at any time)
Good things sell, bad things advertise (Kenyan Proverb)
A good thing doesn't need to be embellished by words

German - 

Durch Schaden wird man klug (Failure teaches success)
Auf Regen folgt Sonnenschein (However long the night, the dawn will break)
Alter schützt vor Torheit nicht (getting older does not necessary mean that you will be wise)
Jugendblut hat Übermut (Young people are impetuous)
Der Schein trügt (All that glitters is not gold ) Les apparences sont trompeuses
Hunde die bellen, beißen nicht Le chien, qui aboie, ne mord pas
Besser spät als nie (better late than never) mieux vaut tard que jamais.
Gleich und gleich gesellt sich gern. (birds of the same feather flock together) (qui se ressemble, s'assemble)
Kommende Ereignisse werfen ihre Schatten voraus (events can be anticipated)
Totgesagte leben länger (do not write someone off just yet)
List gegen List (Diamond cuts diamond)
Aller Anfang ist schwer The first step is the hardest
Geduld bringt Rosen (be patient and you will get what you are working for) Tout vient à point nommé qui sait attendre.
Aufgeschoben ist nicht aufgehoben. (it's only postponed not cancelled)
Wer stets zu hause bleibt, hat nur häuslichen Verstand. (if you stay at home all the time, you only have homely knowledge) (travel broadens the mind)
Ehrlich währt am längsten (Honesty is the best policy)
Hunger ist der beste Koch. (Hunger is a good sauce )
Viel Lärm um nichts (much ado about nothing)
Ohne Schweiß kein Preis (No sweet without sweat.)
Das gebrannte Kind fürchtet das Feuer (Once bitten twice shy)
Chat échaudé craint l'eau froide
Armut ist keine Schande (Poverty is no vice.) Pauvreté n'est pas vice
Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall - Pride comes  before a fall.
Versprechen sind Schulden - If you make promises it's like having a debt.
Reden ist Silber, Schweigen ist Gold - Silence is golden
Der Geschmack ist verschieden - It takes all sorts to make a world 
Wer nichts hat verliert nichts - Nothing to lose.
Der Rest ist schweigen - The rest goes without saying
Die Gedanken sind frei. - thoughts are free
Kommt Zeit, kommt Rat - The best advice is found on the pillow
Zeit ist Geld - Time is money.
Viele Köche verderben den Brei - Too many cooks spoil the broth.
der Zahn der Zeit - Time and tide will wait for no man
Frisch gewagt ist halb gewonnen - Nothing ventured, nothing gained
Liebe macht blind - Love is blind
Aus der Ferne ist gut lügen.À beau mentir qui vient de loin
Ehre wem Ehre gebührt - Honour to those who deserve it.
Jedes Ding hat zwei Seiten.Chaque médaille a son revers. Every rose has its thorn)
Gesagt - getan Chose dite - chose faite. I'm true to my word
Übung macht den Meister - Practice makes perfect
Man muss das Eisen Schmieden solange es warm ist.
Hier bin ich, und hier bleibe ich. J'y suis et j'y reste. - I am here and here I stay.
Kritisieren ist leicht, Bessermachen schwer
Der Appetit kommt mit dem Essen. - L'appétit vient en mangeant. (Give someone an inch, and they will take a mile. )
Der Klügere gibt nach - Le plus sage cède. - the wise person makes concessions.
Keine Antwort ist auch eine Antwort
Die Gewohnheit ist eine zweite Natur.
Man lernt nie aus
Allzuviel ist ungesund
Alte Geschichten aufrühren
Irren ist menschlich
Einmal ist keinmal - une fois n'est pas de coutume
Ein Unglück kommt selten allein - un malheur ne vient jamais seul
Der Spatz in der Hand ist besser als die Taube auf dem Dache
Wo ein Wille, da ist ein Weg.
Wer Zwietracht säet, arbeitet für des Teufels Scheuer.
Abgeredet vor der Zeit, gibt nachher keinen Streit.
Freundlich abschlagen ist better als unwillig geben.
Ändern ist nicht bessern
Nach getaner Arbeit ist gut ruhen
Mit einem blauen Auge davonkommen
Jenseits des Baches wohnen auch Leute.
Behalte was du hast.
Wie man sich bettet so schläft man
Bildung macht frei - Knowledge is power
Blinder Eifer schadet nur
Der beste Bote ist selber gehen - You are better off doing it yourself
Keine Rose ohne Dornen - No rose without thorns
Dummheit und Stolz wachsen auf einem Holz - Stupidity and pride are closely related
Erhalten ist schwerer als Ererben - It is more difficult to preserve than to inherit
Jeder fege vor seiner eigenen Tür
Man muss die Feste feiern wie sie fallen.
Frische Fische, gute Fische. - A fresh fish is good
Freunde in der Not geh'n hundert auf eine Lot.
Einem geschenkten Gaul schaut man nicht ins Maul
Das ist gehüpft wie gesprungen - C'est bonnet blanc et blanc bonnet. It's six of one and half a dozen of the other
Wie gewonnen so zerronnen
Glück und Glas, wie bald bricht das.
Bei Nacht sind alle Katzen grau.
Eine Hand wäscht die andere. - You scratch my back, I scratch yours
Mit vielen hält man aus, mit wenigen kommt man aus.
Heiraten ist kein Pferdekauf. - Marry in haste and repent at leisure.
Das Herz auf die Zunge haben. To wear your heart on your sleeve
Geschwindigkeit ist keine Hetzerei.
Jung gewohnt, alt getan
Das macht den Kohl nicht fett. - Fine words butter no parsnips
Das sind doch nur Krokodilstränen - crocodile's tears
Er lügt wie gedruckt. What a liar!
Wer zuerst kommt, mahlt zuerst. - First come, first served
Mitgegangen, mitgefangen, mitgehangen.
Morgenstunde hat Gold im Munde. - The early bird catches the worm
Muss ist eine harte Nuss.
Tauben Ohren predigt man vergebens.
Die Ratten verlassen das sinkende Schiff - The rats are leaving the sinking ship , les rats quittent le navire
Wer den Schaden hat, braucht für den Spott nicht zu sorgen.
Ein Schelm ist der gibt was er nicht hat.
Besser verwahrt als beklagt.
Wer die Wahl hat, hat die Qual
Bäume wachsen im Himmel nicht.
Was lange währt wird gut.
Dem Mutigen gehört die Welt
Des Menschen Willen ist sein Himmelreich.Where there is a will there is a way.
Endlich zuhause! - Home again Et retour au bercail!

http://www.greenwichmusic.com/images/languages/french.jpgFrench incl. http://www.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/7056699/2/istockphoto_7056699-french-canadian-design.jpg

À beau mentir qui vient de loin (you can tell a lot of lies if your story happened in a place too far from us)
Chaque médaille a son revers. Every rose has its thorn)
Chat échaudé craint l'eau froide  (once bitten twice shy)
Chose dite - chose faite. I'm true to my word
En apprenant, on devient maître. (practise makes perfect)
Il faut battre le fer pendant qu'il est chaud. (strike the iron while it is hot)
Il n'y a que le premier pas qui coûte. (the first step is always the hardest)
J'y suis et j'y reste. - I am here and here I stay.
La critique est aisée et l'art difficile. (easier said than done)
La nuit porte conseil. (The best advice is found on the pillow )
L'appétit vient en mangeant. (Give someone an inch, and they will take a mile. )
Le chien, qui aboie, ne mord pas. (barking dogs don't bite - they are all talk)
Le plus sage cède. - the wise person makes concessions.
Der Klügere gibt nach
Le silence vaut une réponse. (silence is an answer too)
L'habitude est une seconde nature. (habits are second nature)
Ne jugez pas sur l'étiquette. (All that glitters is not gold )
Nul n'est prophète dans son pays. - you may have to leave your place to gain recognition.
On ne peut sonner de la cloche et aller à la procession. (One can't serve two masters) or If you chase two rabbits, you will catch neither of them.
On n'est jamais trop vieux pour apprendre (One is never too old to learn)
On s'instruit à ses dépends.(one learns at their expense)
Petit à petit, l'oiseau fait son nid. (the more haste, the less speed)
Pauvreté n'est pas vice. - Poverty is no vice.
Qui trop embrasse mal étreint. A friend of all is a friend of none
Ne réveillez pas le chat qui dort.
(let sleeping dogs lie)
Quand le chat n'est pas là, les souris dansent.
(When the cat is away the mice dance)
Une fois n'est pas de coutume. Once in a while does no harm
Un malheur n'arrive jamais seul (It doesn't rain, it pours)
Un tien vaut mieux que deux tu l'auras.  (a bird in one hand is better than two in the bush - What you have now is better than more things that you don't have)
Vouloir, c'est pouvoir. (Where there is a will there is a way).
Bonne renommée vaut mieux que blason doré. (it is more important to have a good reputation)
Décrocher la timbale. (that takes the biscuit!)
La fortune sourit aux audacieux (fortune favours the brave)
Le monde appartient à ceux qui se lèvent tôt. (The early bird catches the worm)
Qui va à la chasse, perd sa place. (out of sight, out of mind)
Plaie d'argent n'est pas mortelle.
Tant l'or luit, force d'amis. (In times of prosperity, friends are plentiful )
Dans l'adversité on connaît ses amis. (A friend in need is a friend indeed )
De deux maux, il faut choisir le moindre. (Better lose the saddle than the horse )
L'espoir fait vivre. (Never say die)
Être entre l'enclume et le marteau (between a rock and a hard place)
À chacun ses défauts. (Nobody is perfect.)
Beaucoup de bruit pour rien. (much ado about nothing)
Les conseilleurs ne sont pas les payeurs. (talk is cheap)
La curiosité est un vilain défaut.(curiosity killed the cat)
Ne pas dépasser les bornes. (don't be intrusive / know your limits)
La culture est comme la confiture, moins on en a, plus on l'étale.
(people who have little knowledge tend to spread it thinly)
Le jeu ne vaut pas la chandelle. (it's not worth it)
Méfiance est mère de sûreté. (better safe than sorry)
Ne pas repentir d'une faute en est une autre. (no to atone for a sin is to commit another one)
Ne pas voir plus loin que le bout de son nez. (not too look beyond the rim of your teacup  - to be narrow-minded)
On promet comme on veut, et on tient comme on peut. (One cannot keep all the promises they make)
Qui n'entend qu'une cloche, n'entend qu'un son. (There are two sides to a story)
La violence engendre la violence. (violence breeds violence)
À dure enclume, marteau de plume. (good work endures)
À cœur vaillant, rien n'est impossible. (Where there is a will there is a way.)
beau parleur, petit faiseur - Fine words butter no parsnips
Bien faire et laisser dire. ( do your own thing and let people talk)
C'est le premier pas qui compte (the first step is the most important)
De la discussion jaillit la lumière - Two heads are better than one
Le grand bœuf apprend à labourer au petit. (the more experienced teach the others)
Hâtez vous lentement. (the more haste, the less speed)
Un homme averti en vaut deux (Forwarned is forarmed)
Mieux vaut être seul que mal accompagné (Better be alone than in bad company)
Les mots valent moins que les actions. (Facts speak louder than words )
On apprend toujours de ses erreurs. (you always learn from your mistakes)
Profitez de la vie pendant qu'il est encore temps. (seize the day)
La sagesse c'est se contenter de peu. (make do and mend)
Tout vient à point nommé qui sait attendre.(patience will reward you)
À beaucoup d'ouvriers la tache est aisée. (many hands make light work.)
Affaire bien engagée est à demie-terminée. (a task well-begun is almost done)
C'est au pied du mur qu'on connaît le maçon. (the proof of the pudding is in the eating)
Quand le puit est sec, on sait ce que vaut l'eau. (you only realise what you had until it's gone)
Qui sème le vent, récolte la tempête. (if you cause trouble, you will be in worse trouble)
Qui s'y frotte, s'y pique (if you dare come near it, then you'll get hurt)
Les murs ont des oreilles. (the walls have ears)
Mieux vaut arriver à la fin d'un repas, qu'au début d'un combat.
(it is better to arrive at the end of meal than at the beginning of a war)
Quand on veut tuer son chien on l'accuse de la rage. (If we want to get rid of someone, we tarnish their name)
Qui a bon voisin a bon matin. (good neighbours is a good thing)
À demande insolente, réponse tranchante. (if you are disrespectful in your demands, don't be surprised if you get a curt answer)
Il ne faut pas dire: " fontaine je ne boirai jamais de ton eau".
(never say never)
La langue est un bon bâton. (words can be harsh)
Personne n'est sensé ignorer la loi. (nobody is supposed to ignore the law)
À tout oiseau son nid est beau. (My home is my castle)
Chacun voit midi à sa porte. (everyone thinks they know everything)
l'hôte et la pluie, après trois jours ennuient. (After three days, rain and guests become tiresome)
Après la pluie, le beau temps.(Every cloud has a silver lining)
Une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps. (do not make hasty conclusions based on one thing) A swallow doesn't make the summer
Mauvaise herbe pousse toujours. (the devil looks after its own)
Pluie du matin réjouit le pèlerin (the early morning rain is the one we like best)
Aux grands maux, les grands remèdes. (big problems demand big solutions)
Ce qu'on apprend au berceau dure jusqu'au tombeau. (Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere)
À bon vin, point d'enseigne. Good things sell, bad things advertise (Kenyan Proverb)
C'est dans les vieux pots, qu'on fait de la bonne soupe. (there is a trick in every trade )
Bon repas doit commencer par la faim. (hunger is the best sauce)
Cuisine mangée, amis dispersés. (An empty purse frightens away friends)
Être bête à manger du foin. (to be as thick as two planks)
Ne pas mettre tous ses œufs dans le même panier. (Do not put all your eggs in the same basket)
C'est bonnet blanc et blanc bonnet. It's six of one and half a dozen of the other
Ne pas laver son linge sale en famille. (don't wash your dirty laundry in public)
Et retour au bercail! - Home again!  Endlich zuhause!
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose - There is nothing new under the sun
À Rome, fais comme les Romains: When in Rome, do as the Romans do.