Proverbs series 1

As part of the Ancient Proverbs Challenge, some have been selected to illustrate in three languages, how the same has been used in totally different languages and cultures.   If you use any of them in your specific language, just add as a comment.

English: Experience is the mother of wisdom.

Dutch: Wijsheid komt met de jaren.

Portuguese: A experiência é mãe da ciência.


English: Kill two birds with one stone.

Dutch: Twee vliegen in een klap slaan.

Portuguese: Matar dois coelhos com uma cajadada só.


English: A liar should have a good memory.

Dutch: Al is de leugen nog zo snel de waarheid achterhaalt ze wel.

Portuguese: A mentiroso, boa mémoria .


English: Constant dropping wears the stone; Water dropping day by day wears the hardest rock away.

Portuguese: Água mole em pedra dura, tanto dá até que fura.

Dutch: De gestage druppel holt de steen uit.


English: Looks can be deceiving.

Dutch: Het is niet alles goud wat er blinkt.

Portuguese: As aparências iludem. or, equivalently, As aparências enganam.


English: It’s better to be alone than in bad company.

Dutch: Beter alleen, dan in kwadd gezelschap.

Portuguese: Antes só do que mal acompanhado. (Brazil and Portugal)


English: The best defence is a good offense.

Dutch: Aanval is de beste verdediging.

Portuguese: Ataque é a melhor defesa.

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Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do when I want.

17 thoughts on “Proverbs series 1

  1. I have used many of the English ones. Probably the most frequent one is Kill two birds with one stone. Even though if taken literally it sounds awful, I use it to mean being able to accomplish two things at once. Maybe post a blog to NaBloPoMo and share it with another event like your blog site. Use my post for 2 purposes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If I translate the Portuguese version, it would be: Kill two rabbits with one stick. And Dutch is a bit softer..’to hit two birds with a clap’. But we don’t mean anything else than what you had just said.
      What did you mean with your suggestion?


      1. I meant that sometimes I use the same post for 2 different things. I did not mean for your site exactly. But if I did a quote for a post a quote event and then decided to use it for my daily post for NaBloPoMo. So I don’t have to do 2 separate posts. Does that make sense?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m afraid that I also use the harsh “Kill two birds with one stone” not infrequently — at least, I say it in my head. (My father is a birdwatcher, so killing birds is taboo for him, although I married someone who likes to hunt doves, so I’m caught between two extremes.) And I use it exactly the way Deborah does: I did a combined Photo 101/Writer’s Quote post, which killed 2 birds with one stone. I also would say, “Looks can be deceiving.” By that, I mean that you can’t trust outward appearances: it is the heart and the motive that matter.


    1. I can imagine the face of your father when you say that. You’re indeed caught in between! I said it once to a little niece and she – being an ‘animals’ activist’ at the age of 5, was in shock with my words! We don’t realize that we say things that once made sense but now are out of context, even though the meaning is the most important as opposed to the metaphor itself. Just you said, looks can be deceiving.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The other day, I started to use the phrase “chafing at the bit” in a post. Then, I thought, “Wait, that’s a cliche, I shouldn’t use it.” And THEN I thought, “What does it even really mean — something to do with horses not liking a piece in their mouths (I read Black Beauty a long time ago)? But I’ve never ridden a horse except as a small child at the county fair.” I still like the word “chafing,” however.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wonderful story! It reminded me of some prayers I learned at a catholic school as a kid. I memorized them but never grasped the meaning.
          When my brother died i prayed again after many years, and caught myself laughing with what I was saying as it was a prayer for angels from little kids.


          1. Please don’t be ashamed. You don’t need to comment. I love your presence here. Sometimes there isn’t much to add, and grief is one of those moments. It is a very solitary moment. Thanks for your kindness.


  3. I remember reading one of your posts about losing your brother, Lucile; I think you had written it back in the spring. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t comment because I couldn’t come up with any words (for me, that is a rare thing!). Grief touches us in the deepest places, doesn’t it? It is strange how the words and images of childhood may still be buried in those forgotten corners of our minds.


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