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Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Czech Proverbs

B

"Bez práce nejsou koláče."
Translation: Without work, there are no cakes .

"Boží mlýny melou pomalu, ale jistě."
Translation: God's mill mills slowly, but surely.

"Bez peněz do hospody nelez."
Translation: Never go to a pub without money.

C

"Často lidé hynou klevetníků vinou"
Translation: People often perish on gossip's fault

"
Člověk musí být velmi hloupý, aby o tom nevěděl"
Translation: One must be really stupid not to know it

"Co můžeš udělat dnes, neodkládej na zítřek."
Translation/equivalent: Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

"Co je doma, to se počítá."
Translation: What's at home, counts.

"Co se v mládí naučíš, ve stáří jako když najdeš."
Translation: What you have learnt young you'll find useful when old.

"Chceš-li ztratit přítele, půjč mu peníze"
Translation: If you want to lose a friend lend him money

"Čistota půl zdraví."
Translation: Cleanliness is half your health.

D

"Dobrá rada nad zlato."
Translation: Good advice is better than gold.

"Dvakrát do stejné řeky nevstoupíš"
Translation/equivalent: You can't step twice into the same river

"Dvakrát měř, jednou řež."
Translation: Measure twice, cut once.
English equivalent: Look before you leap.

H

"Hlad je nejlepší kuchař."
Translation: Hunger is the best cook.
English equivalent: Hunger is the best spice.

"Hloupost a pýcha na jednom dřevě rostou"
Translation: Stupidty and pride grow on one tree

"Hloupý kdo dává, hloupější kdo nebere."
Translation: He who gives is foolish, he who doesn't accept is even more so.

"Hněv je špatný rádce."
Translation: Anger is a bad advisor.

"Host a ryba třetí den smrdí."
Translation: Both the guest and a fish stink by the third day.

"Host do domu, bůh do domu."
Translation: Guest in your home, god in your home.

"Host do domu, hůl do ruky."
Translation: If a guest comes to your home, grab a stick.

"Humor je kořením života"
Translation: Humour is the spice of life

I

"Idea je otcem myšlenky"
Translation: Idea is the father of thought

J

"Jablko nepadá daleko od stromu."
Translation/equivalent: The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

"Jak kdo zaseje, tak také sklidí."
Translation/equivalent: As you sow, so shall you reap.

"Jak se do lesa volá, tak se z lesa ozývá."
Translation: When you yell into a forest it echoes back.
English equivalent: What goes around comes around

"Jak si kdo ustele, tak si také lehne."
Translation: As one makes his bed, that way he shall lie down.
English equivalent: As you make your bed, so you must lie in it.

"Jedna vlaštovka jaro nedělá"
Translation: One swallow does not make a spring
English equivalent: One swallow does not make a summer.

"Jen dvě věci smrdí jako ryba a jedna z nich je ryba."
Translation: Only two things smell like fish and one of them is a fish.

K

"Kdo chválí, rád by prodal, kdo haní, rád by měl"
Translation: He who praises, would gladly give, he who finds fault, would gladly have

"Kdo dřív přijde, ten dřív mele."
Translation: He who comes sooner shall mill sooner.
English equivalent: First come, first served.

"Kdo chce, hledá způsoby, kdo nechce, hledá důvody."
Translation: He who really wants, looks for solutions, he who doesn't want, looks for reasons

"Kdo hledá, najde."
Translation: He who looks, finds.
English equivalent: Seek and ye shall find.

"Kdo je (moc) zvědavý, bude brzy starý."
Translation: He who is (too) curious shall grow old soon.
English equivalent: Curiosity killed the cat

"Kdo jinému jámu kopá, sám do ní padá."
Translation: He who digs a hole for someone, will fall in it himself.

"Kdo neumí, ten čumí."
Translation: He who doesn't know how, just stares.

"Kdo se moc ptá, moc se dozví."
Translation: He who asks too much, learns too much.

"Kdo se směje naposledy, ten se směje nejlépe."
Translation/equivalent: He who laughs last laughs best.

"Kdo si počká, ten se dočká."
Translation: He who waits shall live to see.
English equivalent: All things come to him who waits.

"Kdo šetří, má za tři."
Translation: He who saves shall have as [much as] three [people].
English equivalent: A penny saved is a penny earned.

"Kdo zaváhá, nežere."
Translation: He who's late won't be fed.
English equivalents: First come, first served.
or The early bird catches the worm.

"Když kocour není doma, myši mají pré."
Translation: When the cat is not home, the mice have a party
Equivalent: When the cats away, the mice will play

"Kolik řečí znáš, tolikrát jsi člověkem."
Translation: You are as many times a human as many languages you know.

"Komu se nelení, tomu se zelení."
Translation: He who is not lazy shall get much green.

"Kovářovic kobyla chodí bosa."
Translation: The blacksmith's mare walks without horseshoes.
English equivalent: It's the cobbler's children that go barefoot.

L

"Láska je družka slepoty."
Translation: Love is the partner of blindness.
English equivalent: Love is blind

"Lépe pozdě než nikdy."
Translation/equivalent: Better late than never.

"Lepší jeden prd než deset doktorů."
Translation: Better one fart than ten doctors.

"Lepší vrabec v hrsti než holub na střeše."
Translation: Better a sparrow in the hand than a pigeon on the roof.
English equivalent: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

"Lež má krátké nohy."
Translation: A lie has short legs.
English equivalent: A lie has no legs.

"Líná huba, holé neštěstí."
Translation: A lazy mouth, sheer disaster.

M

"Malé ryby taky ryby."
Translation: Even small fish are fish.

"Mezi slepými jednooký králem."
Translation/equivalent: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is the king.

"Mluviti stříbro, mlčeti zlato."
Translation/equivalent: Speaking is silver, silence is golden.

"Mnoho psů, zajícova smrt."
Translation: Many dogs, rabbit's death.

N

"Na každém šprochu pravdy trochu."
Translation: In all gossip there's a bit of truth.
English equivalent: There's no smoke without fire

"Nehas, co tě nepálí."
Translation: Don't extinguish what isn't burning you.

"Není všechno zlato, co se třpytí."
Translation/equivalent: All that glitters is not gold.

O

"Oko za oko, zub za zub."
Translation/equivalent: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

"Opakování matka moudrosti."
Translation: Repetition is the mother of wisdom.

P

"Pes, který štěká, nekouše."
Translation: A dog that barks doesn't bite.
English equivalent: Barking dogs seldom bite.

"Pivo dělá hezká těla."
Translation: Beer makes beautiful bodies.

"Po bitvě je každý generálem."
Translation: After a battle everyone is a general.
English equivalent: Hindsight is 20-20.

"Pod svícnem bývá největší tma."
Translation/equivalent: The darkest place is under the candlestick.

"Pozdě bycha honiti."
Translation/equivalent: Marry in haste, repent at leisure.

"Pýcha předchází pád."
Translation: Pride goes before, and fall comes after.
English equivalent: Pride comes before a fall

R

"Ranní ptáče dál doskáče."
Translation: The early bird hops further.
English equivalent: The early bird catches the worm.

"Ráno moudřejší večera."
Translation: The morning is wiser than the evening.

"Ryba smrdí od hlavy."
Translation/equivalent: A fish stinks from the head.

S

"Silnější pes mrdá."
Translation: The stronger dog has sex.

"S poctivostí nejdál dojdeš."
Translation: You will get furthest with honesty.
English equivalent: Honesty is the best policy.

"Starého psa novým kouskům nenaučíš."
Translation/equivalent: You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

"Stokrát nic umořilo osla."
Translation: A hundred times nothing killed the donkey.

T

"Tak dlouho se chodí se džbánem pro vodu, až se ucho utrhne."
Translation: You walk so long with a jar for water, until the handle breaks off."

"Tichá voda břehy mele."
Translation: Silent waters wash out banks.
English equivalent: Still waters run deep.

"Trpělivost ruže přináší."
Translation: Patience brings roses.
English equivalent: Patience is the best remedy.

V

"V noci každá kočka černá."
Translation: Every cat is black at night.

"V nouzi poznáš přítele."
Translation: When in need, you shall know a friend.
English equivalent: A friend in need is a friend indeed.

"Vrána k vráně sedá, (rovný rovného si hledá.)"
Translation: A crow sits next to a crow, (one searches for an equal.)
English equivalent: Birds of a feather flock together.

"Vrána vráně oči nevyklove."
Translation: A crow will not peck out a crow's eyes.
English equivalent: Dogs don't eat dogs.

"Všechny cesty vedou do Říma."
Translation/equivalent: All roads lead to Rome.

"Všude dobře, doma nejlépe."
Translation: Everywhere is well, at home it's best.
English equivalent: East or West, home is best.

"Vyhni se opilému, jakož i bláznu."
Translation: Avoid a drunkard as well as a fool.

"Vyřčené slovo nevrátíš."
Translation/ equivalent: A word spoken is past recalling.

"V zdravém těle zdravý duch."
Translation: In a healthy body there's a healthy spirit.
English equivalent: Sound in body, sound in mind.

Z

"Zakázané ovoce chutná nejlépe."
Translation: Forbidden fruit tastes best.
English equivalent: Forbidden fruit is the sweetest.

"Žádný učený z nebe nespadl."
Translation: No learned man has fallen from the sky.
Meaning: There's no shame in not knowing.

4 Comments:

Prague Jen said...

"Kdo zaváhá, nežere."

Wouldn't this be more like "the early bird gets the worm"?

Anonymous said...

konec dobrý, všechno dobré :-)

michal said...

"Kdo zavaha, nezere" is more like "He who hesitates is lost."

"Nehas co te nepali" would be better put into an existing and well established idiomatic phrase such as "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Also I missed in the otherwise abundant account 2 very common proverbs:
"Kuj zelezo, dokud je zhave" which can be expressed in English in at least 2 ways: "Strike the iron while it's hot" or "Make hay when the sun shines".
"Darovanemu koni na zuby nekoukej" as "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth".

Last but least, "Potrefena husa se vzdycky ozve prvni", which is a tough nut to crack and can be freely translated as "A shot goose is always the first one to squawk."

Oh, I forgot. "Konec dobry, vsechno dobre" = "All's well that ends well."

Anonymous said...

Never dip your nib in the office ink.