Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    7
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Do English know these PROVERBS? Do they use them at all?

    Hi all! I found in a magazine for learners of English some proverbs. But I`m not sure about them. Are they only Slovak proverbs translated into English? Or English people really know/use them...
    Here they are:
    1.Fish start to smell from the head.
    2.When Lady Luck is tired,she sometimes sits on an ox.
    3. Fear has big eyes.
    4. Lies have short legs.
    5.What is possible for God is not possible for an ox.
    and many other..: 6.They haven`t even caught the wolf, and they`re already drinking to its pelt. ..it should be 'Don`t count your chickens before they`ve hatched.'
    7.The more languages you know, the more you are a human being.
    Thanx for help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    163
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Do English know these PROVERBS? Do they use them at all?

    Well, I certainly never heard those in Canada....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,554
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Do English know these PROVERBS? Do they use them at all?

    Number 4 is a proverb in German, but not English. I think, Beny, your suspicions are correct, and these are merely Slovak proverbs translated word-for-work. If anyone used any of those on me, I would, as the Germans say, believe myself to be standing in the forest.

  4. #4
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    3,385
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Do English know these PROVERBS? Do they use them at all?

    I like number 3.

  5. #5
    curmudgeon's Avatar
    curmudgeon is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,658
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Do English know these PROVERBS? Do they use them at all?

    I have a mental picture of Lady Luck sitting on an ox

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,574
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Do English know these PROVERBS? Do they use them at all?

    When I was at school in the '50s we had a book called 'First Aid in English' full of outlandish expressions that the author believed were colloquial. We were given lists to learn as homework. The list that started this string is reminiscent of those - they (mostly) sound as if they may have been current once, but I have never heard them actually used.

    b

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,554
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Do English know these PROVERBS? Do they use them at all?

    Of course, the ultimate in badly translated idioms was the famous book English as She is Spoke, written in 1855 by two Portuguese gentlemen who apparently only had a Portuguese-to-French dictionary and a French-to-English dictionary. It was so bad, it was an instant bestseller in Britain and had people rolling about with laughter.

    A programmer calling himself zompist has selected a few quotes from that book and compared them with what Babelfish would do. English as She is Spoke vs Babelfish

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    7
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Do English know these PROVERBS? Do they use them at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
    Number 4 is a proverb in German, but not English. I think, Beny, your suspicions are correct, and these are merely Slovak proverbs translated word-for-work. If anyone used any of those on me, I would, as the Germans say, believe myself to be standing in the forest.
    Well,number 4 is a proverb in Slovakia too.
    Thanx.I just wanted to know if the proverbs are translated word-for-work.Or they are English proverbs that match with the Slovak.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,554
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Do English know these PROVERBS? Do they use them at all?

    They're not English idioms, but if you want the true English idioms, you'll probably have to explain to us what the proverbs actually mean. I can guess that 4 means that if you tell a lie, you may have trouble living with it afterwards, but I can't think of an English equivalent. You were right about 6.

    7 is interesting. I don't think there's an English equivalent, but the Welsh have a saying: "Cenedl heb iaith, cenedl heb galon", which means: "A nation without a language is a nation without a heart" -- which is different, but probably related.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    58
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Do English know these PROVERBS? Do they use them at all?

    I've never heard any of these in English, but an equivalent for No4 might be:

    "O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."

    Maybe it's not really a proverb but it is a well-known quotation from Sir Walter Scott.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Help
    By zhangjin in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 29-Mar-2008, 19:47
  2. Seminar
    By mallikatweety in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 30-Jun-2006, 11:07
  3. Is it right?
    By Genrikh in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-Dec-2005, 15:59

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •