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FrancescaI've always wondered why in England "One swallow does not make a summer" while in Italy it doesn't make a springEmotion: big smile
Hi Francesca

I suppose Finns are "more British" than you! We also say: 'One swallow doesn't make a summer', we just use a poetic word order and place the 'not' at the very beginning.

By the way, I find the Finnish equivalent of 'Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise' untranslatable. I don't think there is an English equivalent for three Finnish words we use in a corresponding proverb, which isn't a big surprise as one or two of the three words aren't actually used in any other context. They are so-called nonce words.

FrancescaI thought that swallows go to England in summer because English spring is colder than Italian one

I have a similar notion: persistent damp + intermittent heat = many small insects.

Though I'm not sure whether our ancestors especially distinguished between hirundines; the "window swallow" is an old name for the house martin (Delichon urbica), for instance.

(There's a similar proverb in ancient Greek: mía chelidôn éar où poieî, "one swallow doesn't make spring".)

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FrancescaIn Tuscany we say wolves
Fran, of course you're right! Sardinia we say Wolves lose their fur, but not their habits, too!
Emotion: embarrassed
This is definitely one of the perks of teaching English here in Holland - learning the delightful creativity of another language when it comes to idioms.
Dutch is similar to Finnish when it comes to being "... as poor as a church RAT."
Another Dutch example I came across recently:
- "I can't make head or tail of it" - they say "I can't make chocolate out of this".

The Dutch are also creative when it comes to simple words. For example: a slug is "a naked snail" ...

Ann :-)
A few more:
They are as alike as two peas. In Finnish: They are like two berries.
He is as angry as a bear. = He is as angry as a bee.
To bury one's head in the sand. = To put one's head in the bush.
Cheers, CB
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Hello everyone,

I just wonder one thing. How can you prove that those proverbs are translated from English to other languages? Maybe Finnish people found these proverbs first and English gentlmen translated it.

Thanks. [A]
@Doll: I think Cool Breeze just asks for the colloquial translations of English idioms.

Here are the Vietnamese version of some sayings:

VI: Nhập gia tùy tục.
(When you join a family, you must follow the family customs).
EN: When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

VI: Thà làm đầu chuột còn hơn đuôi trâu.
(Better be the head of a mouse than a tail of a buffalo).
EN: Better be the head of a dog than a tail of a lion.

Tre già khó uốn.
(You can hardly bend an aged bamboo).
You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.

Lợn lành chữa thành lợn què.
(To turn a healthy pig into a lame one).
The remedy may be worse than the disease.

Nuôi ong tay áo.
(To keep bees inside one's sleeves).
He who brought up a crow to pick out his own eyes.


There are many else VNmese equivalent proverbs but I'm quite lazy now Emotion: big smile
Not quite the same, but in Finnish there is "who saves the whip, hates his child". That's also sort of charity isn't it Emotion: smile
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good goat goes with bad goat who eats people's yarn tubers, the good goat soon learns to eat yarn tubers translate plz
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