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Wisdoms from Other Cultures

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So, I'm sure we've all ready phrases/expressions from our parents or people in our communities which may not lend well to translation BUT do offer an interesting insight. A lot of times these kinds of sayings reveal a lot to do with the values and outlook of a particular culture or sometimes just make you think again.

 

One which is very relevant to me and I hear all the time is the old Indian saying that 'your eyes are bigger than your stomach' for the over-ordering and under-being-able-to-finish-your-food.

 

A recent one which I really liked my dad told me lately. This was in the context of religious leaders in a society going corrupt and what consequences it has for the general population. It's more a rhetorical question and translated (from Pashtu) it goes roughly like: 'Salt is meant to preserve fresh meat from going rotten and bad, but what do you do when the salt itself goes bad?'.

 

I also love the simple Afghan 'a crooked mouth is fixed by a timely punch'- no explanation necessary ;)

 

SO- give me your unique phrases/expressions that you've come across (either from your own culture or others) and if necessary, the explanation/commentary behind them. The more obscure or profound the better!

 

MooseMedia_proverb2.jpg

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So much could be learned from Japanese culture. So much could be learned from them - sure they have their bad (ahem high suicide rate) but honestly being with Japanese people is like... I don't even know how to describe their adhab. They have 50% of Islam in check, my biggest wish is to see a mass conversion by Japanese people to Islam. I am not lying when I say we have MUCH to learn from them.

 

Sayings that I love:

 

猿も木から落ちる。 (Saru mo ki kara ochiru)

 

'' Even monkeys fall from trees''

 

It means that nobody's perfect, everyone makes mistakes.

 

 

井の中の蛙大海を知らず。 (I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu)

 

''A frog in a well does not know the great sea.''

 

People are satisfied to judge things by their own narrow experience, never knowing of the wide world outside.

 

 

七転び八起き (nanakorobi yaoki)

 

''stumbling seven times but recovering eight.''

 

what means: perseverance is better than defeat.

 

 

AND LASTLY MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE!!!!! XD

 

馬鹿は死ななきゃ治らない。 (Baka wa shinanakya naoranai)

 

''Unless an idiot dies, he won't be cured.''

 

Only death will cure a fool. / You can't fix stupid.

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^ that first comment you made about the Japanese being well-mannered, I remember another scholar saying the same thing at a conference. :hmm: /offpoint.

 

-sw

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This is a Moroccan sorta vulgar one :lol:

 

(I know how much you hate numbers, but I have no arabic keyboard!)

 

: 7eka fel therma wa 9alet ldfar

 

Which literally means: Itchy ass and lack of nails!

 

Haha something that annoys you like an itchy bum but you can't scratch because you ain't got no nails. This saying makes me LOL all the time. You say it to someone when they are annoying you/as an insult haha

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I also love the simple Afghan 'a crooked mouth is fixed by a timely punch'- no explanation necessary

 

can we get this transliterated?

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Ooh, looks like Jedi beat me to it. Japanese idioms really stand out for me. There's two I found that I like in particular:

 

Ame futte ji katamaru (after the rain, earth becomes firm)

Adversity builds character. After a storm, things will stand on more solid ground than they did before.

 

Rakka eda ni kaerazu, hakyou futatabi terasazu (A fallen blossom doesn't return to the branch; a broken mirror can not be made to shine)

Simply 'What's done is done'.

 

 

And here are two Hindu sayings I like:

 

Ghar ka Jogi jogna, Aan gaon ka Siddh (A wise man to the rest of the world, but a nobody at home)

We do not value the the things that we already possess.

 

Jo garajte hain woh baraste nahin hain (Clouds that thunder seldom rain)

Those who make the most threats seldom do anything.

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This is a Moroccan sorta vulgar one :lol:

 

(I know how much you hate numbers, but I have no arabic keyboard!)

 

: 7eka fel therma wa 9alet ldfar

 

Which literally means: Itchy ass and lack of nails!

 

Haha something that annoys you like an itchy bum but you can't scratch because you ain't got no nails. This saying makes me LOL all the time. You say it to someone when they are annoying you/as an insult haha

that's not a wisdome. An idiom maybe, not a wisdom.

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Zimi - There's a similar proverb in Hindi to the "crooked mouth". It goes, "Laaton ke bhoot baaton se nahi maante" - People who need kicks cannot be taught by speech. :P

 

So much could be learned from Japanese culture. So much could be learned from them - sure they have their bad (ahem high suicide rate) but honestly being with Japanese people is like... I don't even know how to describe their adhab. They have 50% of Islam in check, my biggest wish is to see a mass conversion by Japanese people to Islam. I am not lying when I say we have MUCH to learn from them.

 

Sayings that I love:

 

猿も木から落ちる。 (Saru mo ki kara ochiru)

 

'' Even monkeys fall from trees''

 

It means that nobody's perfect, everyone makes mistakes.

 

 

井の中の蛙大海を知らず。 (I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu)

 

''A frog in a well does not know the great sea.''

 

People are satisfied to judge things by their own narrow experience, never knowing of the wide world outside.

 

 

七転び八起き (nanakorobi yaoki)

 

''stumbling seven times but recovering eight.''

 

what means: perseverance is better than defeat.

 

 

AND LASTLY MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE!!!!! XD

 

馬鹿は死ななきゃ治らない。 (Baka wa shinanakya naoranai)

 

''Unless an idiot dies, he won't be cured.''

 

Only death will cure a fool. / You can't fix stupid.

The second and third are similar to Indian sayings.

 

Well, this isn't a saying but we call such people "kuway ka maindak" - a frog of a well. He's unaware of the world around him. It's usually not a nice thing to say to a person's face.

 

And the other, "der aaye durust aaye" - he was late but he was finally right. Even though it took him a while to understand the right way (the good way), but he's finally changed for the better.

 

Ooh, looks like Jedi beat me to it. Japanese idioms really stand out for me. There's two I found that I like in particular:

 

Ame futte ji katamaru (after the rain, earth becomes firm)

Adversity builds character. After a storm, things will stand on more solid ground than they did before.

 

Rakka eda ni kaerazu, hakyou futatabi terasazu (A fallen blossom doesn't return to the branch; a broken mirror can not be made to shine)

Simply 'What's done is done'.

 

 

And here are two Hindu sayings I like:

 

Ghar ka Jogi jogna, Aan gaon ka Siddh (A wise man to the rest of the world, but a nobody at home)

We do not value the the things that we already possess.

 

Jo garajte hain woh baraste nahin hain (Clouds that thunder seldom rain)

Those who make the most threats seldom do anything.

They aren't really Hindu. Just general Indian sayings. Such things are just regularly taught in schools. You'll hear them from all kinds of Indians on a regular basis. There are so many Indian sayings that mom and I love repeating.

 

"Bhains ke aage been bajana"

Literal: Playing the flute in front of a buffalo

You should tailor your speech according to the audience. Or ignorant people can't appreciate certain things.

 

"Ab Pachchtaye hoth kya jab chidiya chug gayi khet."

Literal: No use in having regrets after the birds have eaten away the farm.

Crying over spilt milk.

 

Samajhdaar ko ishara kafi hai.

Literal: A smart individual only requires a hint.

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how to you say a matak (the utensil used to fill water)? Can some one post an image, I have a wise crack related to that

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clay_matki.jpg

this?

yes, but the bottom part should be more 'pregnant' and the mouth should be smaller. Traditionally in south asia, water was stored in these.

 

Now the wise-crack proverb:

literal: Water in a full matki doesn't splish-splosh (there is a proper word for splish splosh)

intended meaning: A wholesome/cultured person is quietude - doesn't speak much.

 

background: if you half fill one of those, and move it a little, you hear a lot of splish-splosh inside. But if you fill it to the brim, water remains very calm.

 

PS> found it!

pot3.jpg

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Cool thread.

 

Off the top of my head, these are the ones I remember :

 

 

Ghar ki murghi, daal barabar.

Meaning : Self-possessions are always under-mined. All that glitters usually belongs to someone else.

 

 

..and I love this one because I use it a lot of times :P :

Jitni chaadar ho, utney hi paer phailaney chahiye.

Stretch your legs only as far as your counter-pan can cover 'em.

Meaning : Know your limits and limitations.

 

 

Jal mei rehkar, magar sey baer theek nahi hai.

When you live in the water yourself, it's not a wise decision to make enemies with the crocodile.

Ha. That one needs no explanation

 

.

Andhon mei kaana raja.

A one-eyed fellow is always the King when amidst blind men.

 

 

Bandar kya jaaney adrak ka swaad.

What does a monkey know of the taste of ginger?

Meaning : One who cannot understand, cannot appreciate.

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