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Thread: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

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    Hanna
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    Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

    This is to teach people some good sayings and proverbs in English and Russian... Add some proverbs that you like or use a lot; or just one that you envountered but do not know.

    How about this one, how do you say it in Russian?
    "One bird in your hand is worth more than 100 in the forest"
    Means: It's better to worry about what you have right now than dream/speak about what you might be getting in the future. Also, don't believe everything that people promise you about the future, focus instead on the present.

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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Притчи по-русски и по-англи

    Притча is a wrong word; it means "parable".
    "Proverb" is пословица or поговорка.

    "One bird in your hand is worth more than 100 in the forest"
    Лучше синица в руке, чем журавль в небе.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Притчи по-русски и по-англи

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Притча is a wrong word; it means "parable".
    "Proverb" is пословица or поговорка.
    и насчёт "по-англи?"
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Притчи по-русски и по-англи

    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    а насчёт "по-англи?"
    Я думаю, Юханна правильно написала, просто всё в заголовок не поместилось.

    Правильно - "по-английски", конечно.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

  5. #5
    Hanna
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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Притчи по-русски и по-англи

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    а насчёт "по-англи?"
    Я думаю, Юханна правильно написала, просто всё в заголовок не поместилось.
    Ты верно думаешь. [DELETED]

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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Притчи по-русски и по-англи

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    A я ему изменила на "пословицы".
    "Я ему изменила" = I was unfaithful to him.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

  7. #7
    Hanna
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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

    NOOOOOO
    I give up for today.

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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    "One bird in your hand is worth more than 100 in the forest"
    Means: It's better to worry about what you have right now than dream/speak about what you might be getting in the future. Also, don't believe everything that people promise you about the future, focus instead on the present.
    The usual English phrasing uses a more modest ratio of 1:2, instead of 1:100 -- "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"

    And note that "bush" in this context means roughly the same thing as "forest" (лес) although the more usual meaning is synonymous with "shrub" (куст or кустарник).
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

    I have a feeling that the most widespread Russian and English proverbs don't coincide... but there are some that do:

    to beat about the bush -- ходить вокруг да около
    birds of a feather flock together -- рыбак рыбака видит издалека
    the early bird catches the worm -- кто рано встаёт, тому бог подаёт
    the end justifies the means -- цель оправдывает средства
    a friend in need is a friend indeed -- друг познается в беде
    all that glitters is not gold -- не всё то золото, что блестит
    more haste, less speed -- тише едешь, дальше будешь; поспешишь -- людей насмешишь
    better late than never -- лучше поздно, чем никогда
    no pain, no gain -- без труда не выловишь и рыбки из пруда; под лежачий камень вода не течёт
    still waters run deep -- в тихом омуте черти водятся
    to add fuel to the fire -- подливать масла в огонь
    when pigs fly -- после дождичка в четверг
    to carry coals to Newcastle -- ездить в Тулу со своим самоваром
    once bitten, twice shy -- обжегшись на молоке, дуем на воду
    like a bolt from the blue -- как гром среди ясного неба
    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

  10. #10
    Hanna
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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

    Great summary Starrysky!

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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

    To find similar English and Russian proverbs was harder than I thought. There are very few of them indeed. So I decided to make a list of close equivalents - some of them are almost word-to-word renditions, the others differ but they express the same idea.

    Also I don't know if these English proverbs are popular (I used a book of proverbs, and some of them seem really bookish), but their Russian equivalents are quite common, and most of them can be heard in everyday speech.

    A bird may be known by its song - Видна птица по полёту
    A man is known by the company he keeps - Скажи мне, кто твой друг, и я скажу, кто ты
    A storm in a teacup - Буря в стакане воды
    A word spoken is past recalling - Слово - не воробей, вылетит - не поймаешь.
    All is well that ends well - Всё хорошо, что хорошо кончается
    Don't look a gift horse in the mouth - Дареному коню в зубы не смотрят
    Don't count your chickens before they are hatched - Цыплят по осени считают
    Drunkenness reveals what soberness conceals - Что у трезвого на уме, то у пьяного на языке
    Easier said than done - Легче сказать, чем сделать
    East or West - home is best - В гостях хорошо, а дома лучше
    Every bird likes its own nest - Всякий кулик свое болото хвалит
    Every dark cloud has a silver lining - Нет худа без добра
    Every man to his taste - На вкус и цвет товарища нет
    Far from eye, far from heart - С глаз долой - из сердца вон
    Fish begins to stink at the head - Рыба с головы гниет
    Four eyes see more (better) than two - Одна голова хорошо, две лучше
    From bad to worse - Из огня да в полымя.
    Give a fool горе enough, and he will hang himself - Попроси дурака богу молиться, он и лоб себе расшибет
    Не laughs best who laughs last - Хорошо смеется тот, кто смеется последним
    Не that fears every bush must never go a-birding - Волков бояться - в лес не ходить.
    Не who makes no mistakes, makes nothing - Не ошибается тот, кто ничего не делает
    If you run after two hares, you will catch neither - За двумя зайцами погонишься, ни одного не поймаешь
    Iron hand (fist) in a velvet glove - Мягко стелет, да жестко спать
    It is never too late to learn - Учиться никогда не поздно or Век живи, век учись
    It is no use crying over spilt milk - Слезами горю не поможешь
    To find a needle in a haystack - Искать иголку в стоге сена
    Like father, like son - Яблоко от яблони недалеко падает
    Love is blind - Любовь зла, полюбишь и козла

  12. #12
    Hanna
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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

    Interesting comparison and great list! I actually only knew about 50 % of those you listed. On average I'd say I usually know the majority of English idioms that I hear... So I think you are right that these are quite unusual ones.

    I only know three idioms in Russian:

    "Стоять над душой у кого-либо" Not sure how to translate it; Wiktionary says "to pester; to worry the life out of somebody." But it's a bad translation. In fact, I am not too sure of exactly what it means!

    "Смотреть в рот кому-либо" This has the same meaning in Swedish, so it's easy for me. But in English I think it would be "hang on someones' every word".

    "Стоять горой за кого-либудь" means: Watch over someone

    =======================================

    English people LOVE this one, which made no sense to me when I first heard it:

    "The pot calling the kettle black"

    This means that someone is accusing someone of doing something that they themselves are also doing. For example if I complain about somebody speaking loudly on the phone in the office, someone might say..... "Hey Jo, don't you think that's a case of the pot calling the kettle black.... ? You speak quite loudly on the phone yourself!!"

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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    "Стоять над душой у кого-либо" Not sure how to translate it; Wiktionary says "to pester; to worry the life out of somebody." But it's a bad translation. In fact, I am not too sure of exactly what it means!
    "Смотреть в рот кому-либо" This has the same meaning in Swedish, so it's easy for me. But in English I think it would be "hang on someones' every word".
    Yes, the translation is correct (kinda). It means to stand over someone's shoulder, irritatiting the hell out of this person (literally "to stand over someone's soul"). For example when you are impatient for results and wait for this person to finish the work or just watch him or her working. A common response in this case is "Не стой над душой!"

    But these are idioms, not proverbs. Proverbs usually have some message in them, grains of wisdom, so to speak.
    "Стоять горой за кого-либудь"
    To defend or support someone.

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    Hanna
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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    But these are idioms, not proverbs. Proverbs usually have some message in them, grains of wisdom, so to speak.
    Oops... really...? I wasn't quite clear on the difference.

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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

    "The pot calling the kettle black"
    Yeah, I've heard this one many times.
    In Russian we say "Чья бы корова мычала, а твоя бы молчала" (Whoever's cow is mooing, yours is better to stay silent"). Often it's shortened to "Чья бы корова мычала..."
    This expression is rather childish and is not recommended to use in a serious discussion.

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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    This expression is rather childish
    Hmm.... I'd say it's rather rude.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    This expression is rather childish
    Hmm.... I'd say it's rather rude.
    I'd say it's very childish and unbecoming (like stucking your tongue at someone), but it's not exactly rude. Though it does have an implied meaning "Do shut up".

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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    To find similar English and Russian proverbs was harder than I thought. There are very few of them indeed. So I decided to make a list of close equivalents - some of them are almost word-to-word renditions, the others differ but they express the same idea.

    Also I don't know if these English proverbs are popular (I used a book of proverbs, and some of them seem really bookish), but their Russian equivalents are quite common, and most of them can be heard in everyday speech.
    gRomoZeka, thanks for the list! I've added my edits as follows:
    blue means that the English expression you gave was okay, but there's another expression that's equally popular (or more so);
    red means that the English expression from your book sounded "hopelessly uncolloquial" to me ("don't go a-birding" was the worst offender!) and I suggested something much better;
    green also means that your book's suggestion sounded "weird", but in this case I can't think of a better way to say it, at the moment.

    [s:tiax4yr2]A bird may be known by its song[/s:tiax4yr2] ? ? ? - Видна птица по полёту
    A [s:tiax4yr2]storm[/s:tiax4yr2] tempest in a teacup - Буря в стакане воды
    [s:tiax4yr2]A word spoken is past recalling[/s:tiax4yr2] Once you've said it, you can't un-say it. - Слово - не воробей, вылетит - не поймаешь.
    Drunkenness reveals what soberness conceals (In vino veritas) - Что у трезвого на уме, то у пьяного на языке
    [s:tiax4yr2]East or West - home is best[/s:tiax4yr2] Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home - В гостях хорошо, а дома лучше
    [s:tiax4yr2]Every bird likes its own nest[/s:tiax4yr2] ? ? ? - Всякий кулик свое болото хвалит
    [s:tiax4yr2]Far from eye, far from heart[/s:tiax4yr2]Out of sight, out of mind - С глаз долой - из сердца вон
    [s:tiax4yr2]Four eyes see more (better) than two[/s:tiax4yr2]Two heads are better than one - Одна голова хорошо, две лучше
    From bad to worse (Out of the frying-pan, into the fire.) - Из огня да в полымя.
    [s:tiax4yr2]Не that fears every bush must never go a-birding[/s:tiax4yr2] If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen - Волков бояться - в лес не ходить.
    [s:tiax4yr2]Не who makes no mistakes, makes nothing[/s:tiax4yr2] Nothing ventured, nothing gained. - Не ошибается тот, кто ничего не делает
    [s:tiax4yr2]If you run after two hares, you will catch neither[/s:tiax4yr2] ? ? ? - За двумя зайцами погонишься, ни одного не поймаешь
    Like father, like son (The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.) - Яблоко от яблони недалеко падает
    NB: The expressions I removed from my edited version of your list are the ones that sounded 100% normal and colloquial to me.

    I would add a few more that have entered the language in the 20th century:

    "It ain't over till the fat lady sings" ("It" is understood to mean "An opera") = Nil desperandum; Keep hope alive until the bitter end; Don't give up the fight.

    "You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube"
    = What's done cannot be undone.

    "You can lead a horticulture, but you cannot make her think."
    Credited to Dorothy Parker -- who supposedly said it when someone asked her to use the word horticulture in a sentence -- this is both a silly pun on the phonetic similarity between "horticulture" and "whore to culture", and also a rather clever update of the traditional proverb "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink." (Which basically means "You can't help a person who isn't willing to put his own shoulder to the wheel.")
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee
    Drunkenness reveals what soberness conceals (In vino veritas) - Что у трезвого на уме, то у пьяного на языке
    We Russians apply another meaning to this latin proverb: Истина в вине - Drinking is a true thing.
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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    Re: Proverbs in Russian & English -- Послов по-русски и по-анг..

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77
    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee
    Drunkenness reveals what soberness conceals (In vino veritas) - Что у трезвого на уме, то у пьяного на языке
    We Russians apply another meaning to this latin proverb: Истина в вине - Drinking is a true thing.
    If you stop and think about that you will see that the meaning is still the same - In wine the truth is. A drunken man unfastens his tongue and reveals the truths he would otherwise have preferred to conceal.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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