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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: May 2004
    • Posts: 39

    When the wind blows...

    Dear Teachers,

    There is an expression in Japan which basically means that the most unexpected people profit from a phenomenon or event even when seemingly there is no causal relationship. It goes like this; When the wind blows many people go blind because they get dust in their eyes. These people seek jobs as Japanese Shamisen ( banjo) players so a lot of cats are killed because catskin is used to make the instruments. This causes an increase in rats and the rats nibble on casks so the coopers profit. This is the long story but the shorter expression is, "When the wind blows the coopers profit." Is there a similar expression in English? What is the best way to translate this into English without telling the whole story?

    Thank you,


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: When the wind blows...

    It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good. Someone profits by every loss; someone is benefited by every misfortune.

  1. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038

    Re: When the wind blows...

    But for a long string of unexpected consequences I don't know of a proverb. There's a poem I learnt at school called 'For want of a nail', but maybe I have an inflated opinion of its currency! (For want of a nail rhyme) . There's also the modern weather forecaster's reference to a butterfly flapping its wings the other side of the world (with a string of consequences ending in a change in the local weather).


    • Member Info
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      • British English
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      • UK
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      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 58,425

    Re: When the wind blows...

    Mind you, it is a good story and well worth telling.

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