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Words of Wisdom -- My Favorite Proverbs from Around the World

Posted by Guy Pirro   07/14/2020 10:54PM

Words of Wisdom -- My Favorite Proverbs from Around the World

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
- Lao Tzu


“A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click.”

- American Proverb (Silicon Valley)




Words of Wisdom -- My Favorite Proverbs from Around the World


"When you have completed ninety-five percent of your journey, you are halfway there."
- Japanese Proverb

"A diplomat must always think twice before he says nothing."
- Irish Proverb

"If you can walk, you can dance... If you can talk, you can sing."
- Zimbabwean Proverb

"A half-truth is a whole lie."
- Jewish Proverb

"By learning you will teach -- By teaching you will learn."
- Italian Proverb

"If the camel once gets his nose in a tent, the body will soon follow."
- Saudi Proverb



“If you don't know where you are going, then any road will do.”

- Tibetan Proverb

"Better to be slapped with the truth than kissed by a lie."
- Russian Proverb

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day… Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
- Chinese Proverb



“The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people.”

- Ghanaian Proverb



“There is no right way to do the wrong thing.”

- Turkish Proverb



"Words must be weighed, not counted."
- Polish Proverb



“Fruits of labor are always sweet.”

- Nepali Proverb



“Quarrels end, but words once spoken never die.”

- Sierra Leone Proverb



“Pride is concerned with who is right... Humility is concerned with what is right.”

- Pakistani Proverb

"When the blind man carries the lame man, both go forward."
- Swedish Proverb

"The fish sees the bait, not the hook."
- Mongolian Proverb



“A dog that barks all the time gets little attention.”

- Argentinean Proverb



“Lower your voice and strengthen your argument.”

- Lebanese Proverb



“It's not shameful to not know… But it is shameful to not ask.”

- Azerbaijani Proverb



“Learn politeness from the impolite.”

- Egyptian Proverb



“The roaring lion kills no game.”

- Tanzanian Proverb



“Truth and oil always come to the surface.”

- Spanish Proverb



“Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.”

- Liberian Proverb



“The one chased away with a club comes back… But the one chased away with reason does not.”

- Eritrean Proverb



“Rare is the person who can weigh faults of another without putting his thumb on the scale.”

- Paraguayan Proverb



“You cannot un-ring a bell.”

- American Proverb



“There is no competition among lighthouses.”

- Mexican Proverb



“You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.”

- British Proverb



“Don't ask God to guide your footsteps if you are not willing to move your feet.”

- Portuguese Proverb



“Even a blind hen sometimes finds a grain of corn.”

- German Proverb



“He who is in a hurry always arrives late."

- Georgian Proverb



“Spoken words fly away… Written words remain.”

- Latin Proverb



“Two men in a burning house must not stop to argue.”

- Sudanese Proverb



“God gives food to every bird, but does not throw it into the nest.”

- Montenegrin Proverb



“One minute of patience… Ten years of peace.”

- Greek Proverb



“Sometimes you have to be silent to be heard.”

- Swiss Proverb



“Until the lion tells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”

- Gambian Proverb



“A drowning person can be saved by the smallest stick.”

- Indian Proverb



“If you dream of moving mountains tomorrow, you must start by lifting small stones today.”

- Equatorial Guinean Proverb



“He who asks is a fool for five minutes... But he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”

- Chinese Proverb



“Words are like spears -- Once they leave your lips they can never come back.”

- Gambian Proverb



“We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.”

- Native American Proverb



“The horse must graze where it is tethered.”

- Belgian Proverb



“A chattering bird builds no nest.”

- Cameroonian Proverb



“Listen to what they say about others and you will know what they say about you.”

- Cuban Proverb



“A wise man hears one word and understands two.”

- Jewish Proverb



“Knowledge is like a garden -- If it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested.”

- Guinean Proverb



“At high tide the fish eat ants… At low tide the ants eat fish.”

- Thai Proverb



“Do not choose for anyone what you do not choose for yourself.”

- Iranian Proverb



“Having two ears and one tongue, we should listen twice as much as we speak.”

- Turkish Proverb



“The hunter in pursuit of an elephant does not stop to throw stones at birds.”

- Ugandan Proverb



“Even though words have no wings, they can still fly a thousand miles.”

- Korean Proverb



“You shake in vain the branch that bears no fruit.”

- Samoan Proverb



 “No one tests the depth of the river with both feet.”

- Ghanaian Proverb



“It's not enough to learn how to ride -- You must also learn how to fall.”

- Mexican Proverb



“Don't insult the alligator until you've crossed the river.”

- Haitian Proverb



“The frog does not jump in the daytime without reason.”

- Nigerian Proverb



“Listen with one ear… Be suspicious with the other.”

 - Laotian Proverb



“If I listen, I have the advantage… If I speak, others have it.”

- Moroccan Proverb



“Everyone is creator of his own happiness.”

- Slovakian Proverb



“The path is made by walking.”

- South African Proverb



“The more wisdom you acquire, the more humble you become.”

- Armenian Proverb



“Stupidity is a disease without a medicine.”

- Saudi Proverb



“If the needle doesn't pass, the thread doesn't follow.”

- Comoros Proverb



“A horse has four legs, yet still stumbles.”

- Hungarian Proverb



“Clouds do not always mean rain… But smoke is a sure sign of fire.”

- Djiboutian Proverb



“In youth we learn… In old age we understand.”

- Ecuadorian Proverb



“Zeal without knowledge is a runaway horse.”

- German Proverb



“The hare jumps when you least expect it.”

- Honduran Proverb



“The drunken man's words are the sober man's thoughts.”

- Swedish Proverb



“More things grow in the garden than the gardener sows.”

- Spanish Proverb



“By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed.”

- Guinea Bissau Proverb



“Don't hear one and judge two.”

- Czechian Proverb



 “Treat the earth well -- It was not given to you by your parents. It is loaned to you by your children.”

- Kenyan Proverb



“The wind does not break a tree that bends.”

- Namibian Proverb



 “You can bend a young twig, but it is hard to bend an old tree.”

- Laotian Proverb



“Those who speak aloud are boastful... Those who speak softly are unsure... Those who don’t speak are dangerous.”

- Singaporean Proverb



“First think -- Then talk.”

- Tajik Proverb



“What you don't see with your eyes, don't invent with your mouth.”

- Jewish Proverb



“The worst currents are hidden under gently flowing water.”

- Mexican Proverb



“A good listener needs few words.”

- Basque Proverb



“Half of an orange tastes just as sweet as a whole one.”

- Panamanian Proverb



“In the ditch where water has flowed, it will flow again.”

- Afghan Proverb



“Kindness can pluck the whiskers of a lion.”

- Moroccan Proverb



“He who knows much, does not speak much.”

- Ethiopian Proverb



“You don't really see the world if you only look through your own window.”

- Ukrainian Proverb



“God gives the wheat… He doesn't bake the bread.”

- Austrian Proverb



“In dense woods, the trees grow straight.”

- Latvian Proverb



“Many see… Few understand.”

- Moldavian Proverb



“Don’t choose a house, choose a neighbor.”

- Uzbek Proverb



“An old poacher makes the best gamekeeper.”

- Zambian Proverb



“Ninety-nine lies may help you, but the hundredth will give you away.”

- Botswanan Proverb



“If you always walk down the same path, you’ll only go where you’ve already been.

- Chadian Proverb



“Say nothing about another that you wouldn't want to hear about yourself.”

- El Salvadoran Proverb



“Knowledge builds up… Ignorance destroys.”

- Kyrgyz Proverb



“Do not cut down the tree that gives you shade.”

- Jordanian Proverb



“What is said over the dead lion’s body cannot be said to him alive.”

- Congolese Proverb



“To one who does not know, a small garden is a forest.”

- Gabonese Proverb



“The child learns to walk by falling down.”

- Kazakh Proverb



“There are no shortcuts to the top of the palm tree.”

- Mozambican Proverb



“He who doesn't look ahead, gets left behind.”

- Venezuelan Proverb



“As the old ones sing, so do the young ones chirp.”

- Dutch Proverb



“Only he who wanders finds new paths.”

- Norwegian Proverb



“Better an hour of thought than a year of regret.”

- Slovakian Proverb



“Politeness costs little, but yields much.”

- Catalan Proverb



“In a fight with a fool, it's the wise man who quits.”

- Madagascar Proverb



 “Facts are stubborn things.”

- Scottish Proverb



“Even the fool is thought wise if he remains silent.”

- Swedish Proverb



“By learning to obey, you will know how to command.”

- Italian Proverb



“The more you give, the more you receive.”

- Polynesian Proverb



“Dig your well before you are thirsty.”

- Indian Proverb



“A sparrow in the hand is better than a pigeon on the branch.”

- Serbian Proverb



“It is not the hen that cackles the loudest that hatches the most eggs.”

- French Proverb



“You cannot hunt with a tied dog.”

- Albanian Proverb



“Where people are promising you much, bring a small bag.”

- Bosnian Proverb



“God closes one door, but opens a hundred.”

- Croatian Proverb



“Wisdom is easy to carry, but difficult to gather.”

- Czechian Proverb



“Every man is the blacksmith of his own happiness.”

- Danish Proverb



“Do bad and remember… Do good and forget.”

- Algerian Proverb



“Iron must be forged when it is hot.”

- Finnish Proverb



“If you want to beat a dog, you will soon find a stick.”

- Latin Proverb



 “Good wine needs no label.”

- Hungarian Proverb



“A wise man changes his mind… A fool never will.”

- Icelandic Proverb



“An empty drum gives a loud sound.”

- Indonesian Proverb



“He who has no money in the purse must have honey in the mouth.”

- Italian Proverb



“The tree is known by its fruit.”

- Polish Proverb



“What the goat does, the kid follows.”

- Jamaican Proverb



“Even monkeys fall from trees.”

- Korean Proverb



“Vision with action is a daydream… Action without vision is a nightmare.”

- Japanese Proverb



“Without the support of small pebbles, a big rock cannot be stable.”

- Indian Proverb



“Straight ahead is shortest, but not always easiest.”

- Norwegian Proverb



“He who looks at only the face, doesn't see the heart.”

- Portuguese Proverb



“He who does not act when he can, may not be able to act when he wants.”

- Spanish Proverb



“Politeness costs nothing, but yields much.”

- Slovenian Proverb



“Gratitude ranks as the least of virtues… And the lack of gratitude as the worst of vices.”

- Paraguayan Proverb



“What is unclearly said, is unclearly thought.”

- Swedish Proverb



“The person who recognizes his major mistakes is on the road to wisdom.”

- Colombian Proverb



“Cocks that crow too early will quickly find themselves in the pot.”

- Turkish Proverb



“When a father's work is done, the result is a well-trained son.”

- Uzbek Proverb



“Proverbs in conversation are torches in darkness.”

- Venezuelan Proverb



“From a pound of talk, an ounce of understanding.”

- Yemeni Proverb



“The shark that has eaten cannot swim with the shark that is hungry.”

- Zambian Proverb



“The one who throws the stone forgets… The one who is hit remembers forever.”

- Angolan Proverb



“Let him speak who has seen with his eyes.”

- Congolese Proverb



“A musician paid in advance does not play as well.”

- Nicaraguan Proverb



“Don't think there are no crocodiles because the water is calm.”

- Malaysian Proverb



“If you run from a wolf, you may run into a bear.”

- Lithuanian Proverb



“If you are planning for a year, plant rice…  If you are planning for a decade, plant trees…  If you are planning for a lifetime, educate your children.”

- Chinese Proverb



“The bitterness of studying is preferable to the bitterness of ignorance.”

- Filipino Proverb



“A little spark can kindle a great fire.”

- Syrian Proverb



“All birds will flock to a fruitful tree.”

- Senegalese Proverb



“To be without knowledge is to be without light.”

- Somali Proverb



“He who has studied himself is his own master.”

- Sri Lankan Proverb



“Don't butter the skillet before catching the fish.”

- Togolese Proverb



“If a tree is not consumed by insects from within, it can live for a thousand years.”

- Turkmen Proverb



“It is better to slip with the foot, than with the tongue.”

- Montenegrin Proverb



“Until the snake is dead, do not drop the stick.”

- Ivory Coast Proverb



“Youths talk first and then listen… The elderly listen and then talk.”

- Lesotho Proverb


"A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit."
- Greek Proverb


“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors... We borrow it from our children.”
- Native American Proverb

“A tortoise makes progress when it sticks its neck out.”

- Swazi Proverb



“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

- British Proverb



“You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

- American Proverb



“A buffalo is held by ropes -- A man by his words.”

- Malawian Proverb



“You can't feed your donkey only when you need to ride it.”

- Sudanese Proverb



“The one who understands does not speak… The one who speaks does not understand.”

- Chinese Proverb



“A hunter who has only one arrow does not shoot with careless aim.”

- Namibian Proverb



“You catch fish with both hands.”

- Vietnamese Proverb



“Open your door to a good day… And prepare yourself for a bad one.”

- Moroccan Proverb



“He who avoids the temptations, avoids the sin.”

- Guatemalan Proverb



“You don't study to be a fool.”

- Uruguayan Proverb



“What makes you happy, makes you rich.”

- Belarusian Proverb



 “Life is a ladder -- Some will climb up… Others down.”

- Bulgarian Proverb



“Envy shoots at others and wounds itself.”

- Costa Rican Proverb



“Only you can scratch your itch.”

- Libyan Proverb



“Never poke a jaguar with a short stick.”

- Brazilian Proverb



“Revere the elders… Respect the peers… Be kind to the young.”

- Burmese Proverb



“A quarrel is like buttermilk… The more you stir it, the more sour it grows.”

- Bolivian Proverb



“Where there is sugar, there are ants.”

- Malaysian Proverb



“You make the road by walking on it.”

- Nicaraguan Proverb



“It is better to prevent than to cure.”

- Peruvian Proverb



 “Rotten wood cannot be carved.”

- Chinese Proverb



“A monkey dressed up is still a monkey.”

- Filipino Proverb



“The monkey does not see his own hind backside… He sees his neighbor's.”

- Zimbabwean Proverb



“If you hurt the reputation of another, you damage your own.”

- Togolese Proverb



“Never dive before you measure.”

- Tunisian Proverb



“Arguments of the strongest always carry the most weight.”

- French Proverb



“Birds of a feather flock together.”

- British Proverb



“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

- American Proverb



“You must not run after two hares at the same time.”

- Romanian Proverb



“Advice is least heeded when most needed.”

- Latin Proverb



 “The monkey knows the tree it climbs.”

- Puerto Rican Proverb



“Don’t sail out farther than you can row back.”

 - Danish Proverb



“Those who wish to sing always find a song.”

-  Swedish Proverb



“The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

- British Proverb



“Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.”

- Native American Proverb



“Even a small star shines in the darkness.”

- Finnish Proverb



“Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough, but not baked in the same oven.”

- Jewish Proverb



 “There is no medicine to cure hatred.”

- Ghanaian Proverb



“Don't count your chickens before they hatch."

- British Proverb



“The palest ink is more reliable than the most powerful memory.”

- Chinese Proverb



“A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click.”

- American Proverb




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