When there were no self-help books, as Delfin Carbonell Basset mentions in his article “ Proverbs to guide us through the year,” people took refuge in proverbs. Proverbs were probably born out of mistakes people made repeatedly, as we still do, but in stead of learning the lesson and moving on, now we read a bunch of self-help books which take up space and precious time. Why not go back to the good old proverbs!
Here are some fun ones to get you going!
Beggars can’t be choosers: Donde hay hambre, no hay pan duro.
Better late / later than never: Nunca es tarde si la dicha es buena.
Cowards die many times: Quien teme la muerte no goza la vida.
Dead men have no friends: El muerto al hoyo y le vivo al bollo.
Give a dog a bad name (and hang it): Cria fama y echate a dormir.
He that would have the fruit must climb the tree: El que algo quiere, algo le cuesta.
If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas: Quien con ninos se acuesta, cagado amanece / se levanta.
Long absent, soon forgotten:Cuando de vista te pierdo, si te vi ya no me acuerdo
The early bird catches the worm: El que madruga coge la oruga.
The shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot: En casa de herrero, cuchillo de palo.
Two in distress makes sorrow less: Mal de muchos, consuelo de todos / tontos.
You have to strike while the iron is hot: A la ocasion la pintan calva.
And who can give us the translation of this last one? Tiran mas dos tetas que dos carretas:….
A book you might enjoy is: Dictionary of Proverbs. Spanish/English by Delfin C. Basset