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Author Topic: English proverbs  (Read 8732 times)
anoesjka
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« on: October 20, 2011, 01:26:53 PM »

In every language we use proverbs. I'm from the Netherlands. An example of a Dutch proverb is:

' Al draagt een aap een gouden ring, het is en blijft een lelijk ding.'
Translated to English: Although a monkey wears a golden ring, it will stay an ugly creature. ;D

The meaning of this proverb is:
Trying to improve your external look/appearance, won't make you more beautiful as a person (internally).

I would love to learn English proverbs. Could you teach me English proverbs and tell me the meaning of them?
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kirsten
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2011, 02:39:13 PM »

Hey Anoesjka,

Your post is quite interesting. The proverb about the monkey and the ring used in the Dutch language is quite funny and in my opinion the English language definitely has to adopt this one! Although the English language doesn’t know the above proverb, it actually does know some proverbs with a great history. I will give you some examples:

‘Don’t try to teach your Grandma to suck eggs.’ This means ‘Don't offer advice to someone who has more experience than oneself’.

‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen’, means ‘Don't persist with a task if the pressure of it is too much for you. The implication being that, if you can't cope, you should leave the work to someone who can.’

Well, if you just have a look on the Internet you’ll find many examples! Good luck!
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Margaux
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2011, 02:39:45 PM »

I totaly agree with that!!

To answer your proverb, in France we say "l'habit ne fait pas le moine". In english : "the clothes do not make the monk". The meanning of that is: whatever your wear that's cannot show your mind and your personnality.

It's a great idea!  ;D

(it's not very usefull to improve my english, but that will be interesting ;))
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Libienella
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2011, 02:37:47 PM »

Hi,

in Germany wie have a proverb with the contrary meaning: "Kleider machen Leute"
translated in English: "Clothes make the man" or "Fine feathers make fine birds".

If somebody is poor but dressed in fine clothes - he seems to be "upper-class", but he istn´t.

Shows the superficiality of our society :)

Cheers

Sabrina
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Martin Barge
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2011, 03:08:00 PM »

Hi! This is an interesting discussion - proverbs are fascinating, aren't they? They contain so much meaning and have such cultural significance. It's always interesting to think about what they mean.

In English we have the expression "Clothes make(or maketh) the man" - a similar phrase is said to have been used by the Ancient Greeks: http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/7/messages/213.html.

The phrase is said to mean that the clothes a person wears says something about their character and status in society. Apparently it was also used by Mark Twain, "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/253.html.

The proverb about the monkey wearing a gold ring is interesting. We have an expression in English, "Mutton dressed as lamb", which is used to describe an older person (usually a woman) who tries to appear younger by wearing a younger person's clothes. 
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