Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Russian Words of Wisdom

Being the Russophile that I am, I was reading up on Russian proverbs earlier today. For those wondering – yes, I am able to read the Cyrillic alphabet, though whether or not I understand what I read is quite a different matter altogether.

The Russian language is replete with hundreds (possibly thousands) of proverbs and sayings, most of which were derived from folktales. I have selected these few to ponder upon:

Дуракам закон не писан
There is no law written for fools

Волков бояться — в лес не ходить
If you are afraid of wolves, do not go into the woods

Когда деньги говорят, тогда правда молчит
When money talks, the truth stays silent

Лбом стенку не расшибёшь
You cannot break a wall with your forehead

Баба с возу — кобыле легче
It is easier for the horse when the woman is off the cart
This one has several meanings – don’t let a woman do a man’s job, good riddance, etc

Всякому овощу своё время
Every vegetable has its time
It’s alright if it’s not looking good right now – everything needs time to be ready

Курица не птица, баба не человек
The hen is not a bird; the woman is not a human being

Раньше церковь да вино – а теперь клуб да кино
Before, we went to churches and bars – now we go to clubs and cinemas

Язык до Киева доведёт
Your tongue can get you to Kiev

Лучше один раз увидеть, чем сто раз услышать
Better to see once than to hear a hundred times

Яйца курицу не учат
Eggs don’t teach hens.

And my personal favourite:
Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей
Do not have a hundred rubles but have a hundred friends (it doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it as it does in Russian however – ne imey sto rubley, a imey sto druzey)


Blogger Mimi said...

I especially love the last one as well.

Thu Dec 15, 03:24:00 am 2005  

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