You may have heard the saying that we have two ears and one mouth and we should use them in that ratio… it speaks of the importance of listening over talking in everyday life. Our talking proverbs help you do that.
When starting out learning a new language many people jump straight into teaching themselves how to say certain words or phrases, putting an emphasis on learning how to communicate with others around them in that specific language. What people often give little thought to is how important it is to be able to listen and understand the language also. Many people will recognize, when being tested on a new language, that the listening portion of the exam will be the hardest to complete correctly.
When we take the time to listen to someone talking to us, we take in the information they are giving us easier and our brain works through that information by tucking it away in our short-term memory in bite-size chunks. These chunks are organised by the various rules incorporated into how the language is spoken. When we learn a new language, we don’t know these language rules just yet, so we have to interpret each word separately as they are spoken. But by listening to the new language being spoken we start to familiarize ourselves with the rules and it makes the storage of information much easier for us.
In this section we have laid out several proverbs in six different languages. This is to aid you in the learning of the different languages through the form of talking proverbs. As proverbs are deeply embedded in every culture and every language they are an invaluable way of familiarizing yourself with language pronunciation and the constructs of sayings and phrases in those languages. They also aid language learning because they are usually short, easy to pick up and remembered and can be easily related to everyday life.
What we feel is vital in learning a language through talking proverbs, is to hear each proverb being spoken by someone of that native tongue.
Simply click on the flag at the end of each sentence to hear the proverb being read aloud to you.
These talking proverbs have been posted on Twitter a few years ago to illustrate comments on day events.
The First Proverb
E. It is the first STEP that is difficult.
F. Il n’y a que le premier pas qui coûte.
I. Il passo più difficile è quello dell’uscio.
S. El primer paso es el que cuesta.
P. O primeiro passo é o mais difícil.
O primeiro passo é que custa.
R. Începutu-i anevoie, urma vine de la sine.
Var. The first step is the only difficulty.
Sim. The hardest step is over the threshhold / The greatest step is that out of doors / Every beginning is hard.
The Second Proverb
Berlusconi has promised to resign… BUT NOT YET! He had promised so many things to Italians before and did not maintain his promises. This proverb might say something about the man.
E.The WOLF may lose his teeth, but never his nature.
F. Les loups peuvent perdre leurs dents, mais non le naturel.
Le loup change de poil, mais non de naturel.
I. Il lupo cambia il dente, ma non la mente.
Il lupo perde il pelo, ma non il vizio.
S. El lobo pierde los dientes, mas no las mientes.
El lobo muda el pelo, mas no el celo.
Muda el lobo los dientes y no las mientes.
P. O lobo perde os dentes mas não o costume.
O lobo muda o pêlo, mas não o vezo.
R. Lupul îşi schimbă părul, dar năravul ba.
Lupul îşi pierde măselele, dar nu obiceiurile.
Sim. The fox may grow grey, but never good.
The Third Proverb
Berlusconi again! In this by now pastlegislature he hanged to power by openly bying votes from corrupt Italian members of Parliament. This proverb is about his ‘bought’ friendship. It’s a great thing for Italy that he will be out in a few days. Excellent work done by the President Napolitano.
E. It is a good FRIEND that is always giving, though it benever so little.
F. Les petits cadeaux entretiennent l’amitié.
I. Se vuoi che l’amicizia si mantenga, fa che un paniere vada e l’altro venga.
Piccoli regali mantengono l’amicizia.
S. Los pequeños obsequios mantienen la amistad.
Pequeños regalos conservan la amistad.
P. Quanto mais te dão, mais amigos são.
Sim. Small gifts keep friendship alive / Giff-gaffe makes goodfriends.
The Fourth Proverb
E. Hasty CLIMBERS have sudden falls.
I. Chi troppo in alto sal, cade repente, precipitevolissimevolmente.
S. A gran salto, gran quebranto.
A gran subida, gran caída.
A gran subida, gran descendida.
P. Quem depressa sobe, depressa cai.
De alto cai quem alto sobe.
R. Cine sare cam sus îndată cade jos.
Sim. The bigger they are, the harder they fall / The higher the mountain, the greater descent / The higher standing, the lower fall.
The Fifth Proverb
E. With FOXES you must play the fox.
F. Avec le renard on renarde.
I. Con la volpe convien volpeggiare.
S. Cuando vivas entre zorros, zorrea tú un poco.
P. Com raposas é bom ser manhoso.
The Sixth Proverb
Berlusconi is out, Monti is in. We can now safely say
(safely, because with Berlusconi you never know):
E. The KING is dead. Long live the King!
F. Le Roi est mort. Vive le Roi!
I. Morto un papa, se ne fa un altro.
S. A rey muerto, rey puesto.
P. Rei morto, rei posto.
R. Regele e mort. Trăiască Regele!
Schimbarea domnilor, bucuria nebunilor.