I Speak English

"Practice Makes Perfect"

16 September, 2011

Proverbs in English

Filed under: Proverbs — csa1 @ 23:38

ORAL EXPRESSION

 Translation:

Find the equivalent

PROVERBS 

Proverbs in English are sometimes more similar to their Creole equivalent in imagery and structure  than to French which uses more abstract concepts.

ex : The early bird catches the worm

Bef douvan brè dlo klè  /  Bef douvan brè bon dlo.

  L’avenir / Le monde appartient à ceux qui se lèvent tôt.***

 

  Birds of a feather flock together

Menm bet menm pwel.

Qui se ressemble s’assemble.

***

It never rains but it pours.

The more  ragged you are the more dogs tug at you.

Pli ou chiré, pli chyen ralé ou./Sé lè ou pli an chyen ou ka jwenn bel mè’w.

Un malheur n’arrive jamais seul

***

 

Find the equivalent in French and Creole for the  following proverbs (then look at the answers below)

Come what may.

Don’t teach your grandmother to suck eggs.

What’s bred in the bone comes out in the flesh.

Don’t count your chicken before they are hatched.

Little streams make big rivers.

A stitch in time save nine.

Might is right.

Once bitten twice shy.

The early bird catches the worm.

Like father like son.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

When the cat’s away the mice will play.

Many hands make light work.

An empty bag will not stand upright.

Old pots make good soup.

Out of sight out of mind.

Two many cooks spoil the broth.

Haste makes waste.

Birds of a feather flock together.

Among the blind the one-eyed is king.

When there is smoke there is fire.

He laughs longest who laughs last.

A good bargain is a pick-purse.

Beggars can’t be choosers.

Forewarned is forearmed.

Life is not a bed of roses.

The pot calls the kettle black.

Love is blind.

Speech is silver silence is golden.

The more the merrier.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

 

Don’t judge a book by its cover.

All that glitters is not gold.

Better a live coward than a dead hero.

It never rains but it pours.

The more you are in rags, the more dogs tug at you.

 Come what may.

Sa ki fet fet.

 Advienne que pourra.

***

Don’t teach your grandmother to suck eggs.

 

Sé pa makak ou key aprann monté pyé bwa.

On n’apprend pas à un vieux singe à faire la grimace.

***

 

What’s bred in the bone comes out in the flesh.

Tiré chik ba chyen, i ka mandé’w kous kouri.

Chassez le naturel, il revient au galop.

***

Don’t count your chicken before they are hatched.

Don’t sell the pelts before you have shot the bear.

Don’t put the horse before the cart.

Fòk pa ou filé kouto avan ou tjenbé kabrit/pa konté zé an tjou poul.

Il ne faut pas vendre la peau de l’ours avant de l’avoir tué.

Il ne faut pas mettre la charrue avant les bœufs.

***

 

Little streams make big rivers. 

Sé grenn diri ka fè sak diri.

Les petits ruisseaux font les grandes rivières.

***

 

A stitch in time save nine.

Sé pa jou ou fen pou alé chèché travay.

Il ne faut jamais remettre à demain ce qu’on peut faire le jour même.

***

 

Might is right

Ravet pa ni rézon douvan poul / Poul pa ka chanté douvan kok

La raison du plus fort est toujours la meilleure.

***

Once bitten twice shy.

Chat chodé pè dlo fwèt.

Chat échaudé craint l’eau froide

*** 

Like father like son

 Yich tig pa ka fet san zong / Chen pa ka fè chat.

Tel père Tel fils.

***

The early bird catches the worm

 Bef douvan brè dlo klè  /  Bef douvan brè bon dlo.

 L’avenir / Le monde appartient à ceux qui se lèvent tôt. 

La vache la première au pré,  lèche toute la rosée.

 

*** 

Many hands make light work.

An sel dwet pa sa pran pis./ An sel dwet pa janmen manjé kalalou.

L’union fait la force.

***

 

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

A sparrow in the hand is better than a pigeon on the roof.

Gwo bek di sé sa ki an fal’i ki ta’y./ Sé sa ki an fal’ou ki ta’w.

Un ‘tiens’ vaut mieux que deux ‘tu l’auras’.

***

Haste makes waste.

 Tro présé pa ka fè jou ouvè.

Rien ne sert de courir il faut partir à point

***

 An empty bag will not stand upright.

Sak vid pa ka tjébé doubout.

A estomac vide, travail impossible. 

 ***

When the cat is away, the mice will play.

Lè chat pa la , rat ka bay bal.

Quand le chat n’est pas là, les souris dansent.

***

Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Trop sel gaté soup.

L’excès en tout nuit./ Trop de cuisiniers gâche la sauce/Tant va la cruche à l’eau qu’à la fin elle se casse.

***

Out of sight out of mind.

Jaden lwen gonbo gaté./Tanbou lwen pa ni son.

Loin des yeux loin du coeur.

*** 

Old pots make good soup.

Vié kannari ka fè bon soup.

C’est dans les vieilles marmites que l’on fait les meilleures soupes.

***

When there is smoke there is fire.

Pa ni la fimen san difé

Il n’y a pas de fumée sans feu.

 

***

He laughs longest who laughs last

Ri di ri ou ké pléré lanti./ Pli ta pli tris.

Rira bien qui rira le dernier./ Qui rit vendredi dimanche pleurera.

***

 

A good bargain is a pick-purse.

Bon maché kouté chè.

Le bonheur des uns fait le malheur des autres.

 

***

 

Beggars can’t be choosers.

Lè ou pa ni manman pou tété, ou ka tété kabrit.

Faute de grives, on mange des merles.

 

***

Forewarned is forearmed.

Lè bab kanmarad’ou pri difé, wouzé ta’w.

Un homme averti en vaut deux.

***

Life is not a bed of roses.

lavi-a pa an bol toloman.

la vie n’est pas toujours rose.

***

The pot calls the kettle black.

The owl tells the sparrow that he has a big head.

Ti kochon té mandé manman’y poutji djol li long kon sa, manman an réponn : “tanto tanto !”

C’est l’hospice qui se moque de l’hôpital.

***

Love is blind.

Makak pa ka janmen touvé ich li led. 

L’amour rend  aveugle.

***

In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Si pa té ni tig, makak té ké wa dan bwa.

Au  royaume des aveugles, les borgnes sont rois.

***

Speech is silver silence is golden.

Twop palé pa bon.

La parole est d’argent mais le silence est d’or.  

***

The more the merrier

Plus on est de fous, plus on rit.

***

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Les pomme sont bonnes pour la santé et gardent de la maladie.

***

Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Bel manniè, mové karaktè.

Il ne faut pas juger l’arbre par l’écorce.

***

All that glitters is not gold.

Bel mariyaj pa vé di bon ménaj.

Tout ce qui brille n’est pas or.

***

Better a live coward than a dead hero.

Kapon viv lontan.

***

It never rains but it pours.

The more you are in rags, the more dogs tug at you.

Pli ou touni, pli chyen ralé’w.

La dévenn ka apiyé asou nèg.

Un malheur n’arrive jamais seul.

***

Bibliography :

  • Le Grand Livres des Proverbes Créoles,  rassemblés par Raphaël Confiant, Ed. Presse du Châtelet

  • Tradewinds, …? à compléter

  • Proverbes créoles illustrés, Isambert Duriveau, K. Editions

…/…

From :

http://www.phrasemix.com/collections/the-50-most-important-english-proverbs

The most important English Proverbs

This is a list of some of the most important and well-known English proverbs. Below each one, there’s a simple explanation.

The meanings of some of these phrases have shifted over the years, so a proverb might have originally had a different meaning than the one I explain.

  1. “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

    When someone has done something bad to you, trying to get revenge will only make things worse.

  2. “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

    Trying to convince people with ideas and words is more effective than trying to force people to do what you want.

  3. “When in Rome, do as the Romans.”

    Act the way that the people around you are acting. This phrase might come in handy when you’re traveling abroad notice that people do things differently than you’re used to.

  4. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

    You can get better service if you complain about something. If you wait patiently, no one’s going to help you.

  5. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

    Strong people don’t give up when they come across challenges. They just work harder.

  6. “No man is an island.”

    You can’t live completely independently. Everyone needs help from other people.

  7. “Fortune favors the bold.”

    People who bravely go after what they want are more successful than people who try to live safely.

  8. “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”

    Don’t criticize other people if you’re not perfect yourself.

  9. “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”

    Bad things might happen, so be prepared.

  10. “Better late than never.”

    It’s best to do something on time. But if you can’t do it on time, do it late.

  11. “Birds of a feather flock together.”

    People like to spend time with others who are similar to them.

  12. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

    If you have an enemy, pretend to be friends with them instead of openly fighting with them. That way you can watch them carefully and figure out what they’re planning.

  13. “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

    Pictures convey emotions and messages better than written or spoken explanations. That’s why PhraseMix has illustrations :)

  14. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

    Things that are offered for free always have a hidden cost.

  15. “There’s no place like home.”

    Your own home is the most comfortable place to be.

  16. “Discretion is the greater part of valor.”

    Sometimes it’s important to know when to give up and run away, instead of always acting brave and maybe getting hurt.

  17. “The early bird catches the worm.”

    You should wake up and start work early if you want to succeed.

  18. “Never look a gift horse in the mouth.”

    If someone offers you a gift, don’t question it.

  19. “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.”

    When you try to do something great, you’ll probably make a few people annoyed or angry. Don’t worry about those people; just focus on the good results.

  20. “God helps those who help themselves.”

    Don’t just wait for good things to happen to you. Work hard to achieve your goals.

  21. “You can’t always get what you want.”

    Don’t whine and complain if you don’t get what you wanted.

  22. “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”

    Be clean. God likes that.

  23. “A watched pot never boils.”

    If something takes time to finish, don’t watch it too closely because it will seem like it’s taking forever.

  24. “Beggars can’t be choosers.”

    If you’re asking for a favor from someone else, you have to take whatever they give you.

  25. “Actions speak louder than words.”

    Just saying that you’ll do something doesn’t mean much. Actually doing it is harder and more meaningful.

  26. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    Don’t try to improve something that already works fairly well. You’ll probably end up causing new problems.

  27. “Practice makes perfect.”

    You have to practice a skill a lot to become good at it.

  28. “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”

    When there are too many people trying to lead and give their opinions, it’s confusing and leads to bad results. Jobs and projects should have one or two strong leaders.

  29. “Easy come, easy go.”

    When you get money quickly, like by winning it, it’s easy to spend it or lose it quickly as well.

  30. “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

    If someone’s paying you or helping you out, you have to be careful not to make them angry or say bad things about them.

  31. “All good things must come to an end.”

    You can’t keep having good luck or fun forever; eventually it will stop.

  32. “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

    When you try to change someone’s behavior and it doesn’t work, you might have to change instead. For example, if you’re trying to get your classmates to focus on studying but they want to party, maybe you should just party with them.

  33. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

    Different people have different ideas about what’s valuable.

  34. “There’s no time like the present.”

    If you need to do something, don’t wait until later. Do it now.

  35. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

    Different people have different ideas about what’s beautiful.

  36. “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

    When you’re really in need, you think of creative solutions to your problems.

  37. “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

    Save your money. Saving money is just like making money.

  38. “Familiarity breeds contempt.”

    When you’re around someone for too long, you get tired of them and annoyed by them.

  39. “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

    Things sometimes look different than they really are. A restaurant that looks old and small might have amazing food, for example.

  40. “Good things come to those who wait.”

    Be patient. Eventually something good will happen to you.

  41. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

    Have a backup plan. Don’t risk all of your money or time in one plan.

  42. “Two heads are better than one.”

    When two people cooperate with each other, they come up with better ideas.

  43. “The grass is always greener on the other side of the hill.”

    People tend to want whatever they don’t have.

  44. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

    Don’t do mean things to people.

  45. “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”

    If one member of a team doesn’t perform well, the whole team will fail.

  46. “Honesty is the best policy.”

    Don’t lie.

  47. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

    Sometimes it’s good to be away from your partner, because it makes you want to see each other again.

  48. “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

    If you try to help someone, but they don’t take your advice or offers, give up. You can’t force someone to accept your help.

  49. “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”

    Your plans might not work out, so don’t start thinking about what you’ll do after you succeed. Wait until you’ve already succeeded, and then you can think about what to do next.

  50. “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”Don’t trust other people to do important things for you. You have to do things yourself to control the quality of the results.
  51. “A broken clock is right twice a day”When an old clock stops working, it shows one specific time but doesn’t move. So once in the day and once at night, the clock is pointing to the correct time. In the same way, even a person who’s not very smart can sometimes be correct by accident.
  52. “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”If someone helps you when you’re in trouble, that person is a true friend.

  53. “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

  54. Sometimes when a person knows a little bit about something, they feel like they’re an expert. Because they feel like an expert, they try to do things that they shouldn’t and they mess everything up.
  55. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

  56. Some things, like learning to speak English fluently, take a really long time. It might seem like too much work. But the only way to achieve your goals is to start working now.
  • “All is fair in love and war.”

    In love and romance, you sometimes do things that aren’t very nice. For example, you might break up with someone or steal another person’s partner. This phrase means that that’s OK.

  • “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

    You can’t work all of the time. You have to relax as well.

  • “Better safe than sorry.”

    You should be careful, even if it seems like it’s not necessary. The consequences if something goes wrong are much worse than wasting a little time and effort by being careful.

  • “Better the devil you know than the one you don’t.”

    When you have a choice between two bad things, it’s safer to pick the bad thing that you’ve already experienced. The other bad thing might be worse.

  • “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.”

    Sometimes people criticize each other. But it’s not fair to criticize someone else if you haven’t had the same experiences.

  • “Don’t put the cart before the horse.”

    Pay attention to what’s most important. Don’t let things which aren’t as important take up all of your time and attention.

  • “Don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk.”

    You shouldn’t brag about being able to do something if you can’t actually do it.

  • “Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.”

    When you’re trying to get rid of something bad, you might accidentally get rid of the good things that are connected with it as well. Don’t do that.

  • “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

    This is a quotation from the famous American inventor and diplomat Benjamin Franklin. It means it’s healthy and smart to go to sleep early and wake up early.

  • “Every cloud has a silver lining.”

    When something bad happens to you, don’t get too upset. There’s usually something good associated with any bad experience. For example, if you get fired from your job, it might push you to get a better job instead.

  • “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man how to fish, he eats for a lifetime.”

    Don’t try to help people by just giving them things. The result will be temporary. If you want to help someone long-term, teach them how to do things on their own.

  • “Great minds think alike.”

    Smart people often have the same ideas. Say this when someone has the same smart idea that you have.

  • “Haste makes waste.”

    When you try to work too quickly, you make mistakes. That can waste time, money, or materials. So slow down.

  • “Hindsight is 20/20″

    It’s easy to know what you should have done in the past, but making correct decisions is harder in the moment. This phrase means that you shouldn’t judge someone’s past decisions based on the information you know now.

  • “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

    Keep working hard and trying to succeed, even if you fail at first.

  • “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”

    Don’t spend a lot of time wishing for things. Wishes are useless. Instead of wishing, you should work hard to achieve your goals.

  •   “If you snooze, you lose.”
    You have to act quickly to get the things you want.
  • “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

    Don’t say mean things about other people.

  • “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

    Don’t just complain about problems that you see. Do something to solve the problems.

  • “It’s no use crying over spilled milk.”

    If you break something, lose money, etc., don’t get too upset about it. It’s already happened, so getting upset isn’t useful.

  • “It’s not over ’till the fat lady sings.”

    Say this in a competition or game. When other people think that the result has already been decided, but you’re not ready to admit that it’s finished, use this phrase.

  • “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

    Someone who is good at a lot of different skills is usually not very good at any of them.

  • “Knowledge is power.”

    You should try to learn a lot. Knowing more things makes you more powerful.

  • “Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.”

    If you associate with dishonest people, bad things will happen to you.

  • “Look before you leap.”

    Make decisions carefully. Don’t make a decision without thinking about it and researching it carefully.

  • “Measure twice, cut once.”

    Once you’ve made some decisions, it’s hard to change it. Think carefully before making a decision.

  • “Misery loves company.”

    People who are unhappy want to make other people unhappy too.

  • “Never put off till (until) tomorrow what you can do today.”

    Don’t be lazy. If you have some work that you need to do, do it now. Don’t wait to do it later.

  • “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    When people get power, they always do mean, dishonest things. We shouldn’t allow anyone to have too much power.

  • “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

    Doing important work takes a long time. Be patient.

  • “Slow and steady wins the race.”

    You shouldn’t use all of your energy at the beginning of a project. Work slowly so that you won’t run out of energy quickly.

  • “Still waters run deep.”

    People who don’t talk a lot sometimes have really interesting thoughts.

  • “Strike while the iron is hot.”

    When you have a good opportunity, go for it. Don’t wait for too long.

  • “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

    Children are very similar to their parents.

  • “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

    What you want or intend to do doesn’t matter. Your actions matter. Simply wanting to do the right thing isn’t enough; you have to actually do the right thing.

  • “The best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

    Men love women who can cook well.

  • “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

    When people talk about a business, it’s good for the business, even if they’re saying bad things about it.

  • “Time is money.”

    Wasting time is expensive, so hurry up!

  • “Two is company, three is a crowd.”

    You say this when you want to be alone with someone (often because you are romantically interested in them) but someone else is also with you. In other words, you want the third person to go away.

  • “What goes around comes around.”

    If you do bad things to other people, bad things will happen to you. On the other hand, good things will happen to you if you do good things to other people.

  • “What goes up must come down.”

    Nothing can continue to increase forever. Everything that grows or rises will shrink or fall eventually.

  • “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

    A goose is a type of bird. A gander is the male version of that bird. So this phrase means that things which are good for women are also good for men, and vice versa.

  • “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

    To get what you want, be nice to people. Don’t yell at them or be mean.

  • “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”

    This means that you can’t have everything you want. There are trade-offs in life. You may also hear people say that you can have your cake and eat it too.

  • “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

    Older people don’t change their habits easily.

  • “You reap what you sow.”

    Your actions have consequences. When you do good things, good things happen to you. When you do bad things, bad things happen to you.

 

So make yourself some flash cards and try memorizing some of these proverbs!

Leave a Reply

 

Conseils de Livres, BD et M... |
natnat973 |
Simon-Dwight's Translation |
Unblog.fr | Créer un blog | Annuaire | Signaler un abus | clcailleau
| AHLALAY
| manonjouanni