AFGHANISTAN: Same donkey, different saddle. Not even the five fingers of our hands are alike. Donated vinegar is sweeter than honey. When an ant says 'ocean', he's talking about a puddle. When the hen gets fat, she stops laying. Not cheap without reason, nor dear without value. It may smell like a melon, but is it going to make you sick? If you want to keep camels, have a big enough door. Don't show me the palm-tree, show me the dates. Learning makes some into Mullahs and some into devils. Go out from your village: don't let your village go out form you. If the master gnaws bones, what will he give the dog? In the shop of the sightless jeweller, the ruby and pebble are one. A mother and daughter fought, and fool thought they meant it. The crow is clever- but look at what it eats! Grumbling and carping are the muscles of the weak. The night may be dark, but the apples have been counted. Your aspirations are in heaven, but your brains are in your feet. The mud of one country is the medicine of another. A stick for the nobody, a hint for the nobleman. No deceit, no merchant. AFRICAN, but which country? The butterfly that flies among the thorns will tear its wings. Small termites collapse the roof. He who cannot pick up an ant, and wants to pick up an elephant will some day see his folly. Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters. The little ant at its hole is full of courage. When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you. However much the beetle is afraid it will not stop the lizard swallowing it. The flight of the eagle will not stop that of the sand fly. A fly to a fly.-Telugu The man who has been beaten by a firebrand runs away at the sight of a firefly.-Cingalese Proverbs are the daughters of experience. If you're not living on the edge... you're taking up too much room. Knowledge is not the main thing, but deeds. The miserly man is like a fattened ox: he will give of his fat only when he has been deprived of his life. He who runs after good fortune runs away from peace. The heart of man and the bottom of the sea are unfathomable. Men fall only in order to rise. God conceals himself from the mind of man, but reveals himself to his heart. It takes a whole village to raise a child. A wise man who knows proverbs, reconciles difficulties. Rain beats a leopard's skin, but it does not wash out the spots. One falsehood spoils a thousand truths. Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle. The moon moves slowly, but it crosses the town. The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people. When the cock is drunk, he forgets about the hawk. There is no medicine to cure hatred. When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful. By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed. It is the calm and silent water that drowns a man. Money is sharper than a sword. When you are rich, you are hated; when you are poor, you are despised. It is Mr. Old-Man-Monkey who marries Mrs. Old-Woman-Monkey. No one tests the depth of a river with both feet. A strawberry blossom will not sweeten dry bread. Do not step on the dog's tail, and he will not bite you. He who asks questions, cannot avoid the answers. The heart of the wise man lies quiet like limpid water. The cricket cries, the year changes. Thought breaks the heart. Rain does not fall on one roof alone. Children are the reward of life. Little by little grow the bananas. Love is like a baby: it needs to be treated tenderly. You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla. Man is like palm-wine: when young, sweet but without strength; in old age, strong but harsh. The friends of our friends are our friends. Death does not sound a trumpet. No matter how long the night, the day is sure to come. To love someone who does not love you, is like shaking a tree to make the dew drops fall. Sleep is the cousin of death. Those who are absent are always wrong. To one who does not know , a small garden is a forest. When one is in love, a cliff becomes a meadow. Evil enters like a needle and spreads like a oak tree. Restless feet may walk into a snake pit. Snake at your feet - a stick at your hand! The witness of a rat is another rat. He who learns, teaches. Woman without man is like a field without seed. When the heart overflows, it comes out through the mouth. You cannot build a house for last year's summer. When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion. The fool speaks, the wise man listens. A cat may go to a monastery, but she still remains a cat. A silly daughter teaches her mother how to bear children. It is easy to become a monk in one's old age. The fool is thirsty in the midst of water. As the wound inflames the finger, so thought inflames the mind. Move your neck according to the music. One is born, one dies; the land increases. One camel does not make fun of the other camel's hump. A good deed is something one returns. He who does not cultivate his field, will die of hunger. Knowledge is like a garden: if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested. No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. After a foolish deed comes remorse. Talking with one another is loving one another. Good millet is known at the harvest. A little rain each day will fill the rivers to overflowing. He who marries a beauty marries trouble. When one is in trouble, one remembers God. Time destroys all things. Earth is the queen of beds. If your mouth turns into a knife, it will cut off your lips. An intelligent enemy is better than a stupid friend. It is better to be loved than feared. A big fish is caught with big bait. A cow must graze where she is tied. Do not tell the man who is carrying you that he stinks. ASHANTI AFRICA: When a fly does not get up off a dead body, he is buried with it. The biting fly gets nothing by alighting on the back of the tortoise. The biting fly has no one to come to his aid in trouble. The fly heeds not death; eating is all to him.-Yoruba
AFGHANISTAN: Every ruler sleeps on an ant hill. ALBANIA: He dreads a moth who has been stung by a wasp. ANGOLA: We covet what the Portuguese have in their shop. ARGENTINA: The larger the ship, the larger the storm. ARMENIA: If the timid sees a glowworm he shouts: Fire! The tiny ant dares to enter the lion's ear. BANGLADESH: A man once struck with a firebrand runs away on seeing a glowworm. BELGIUM: Experience is the comb that nature gives us when we are bald. If you don't use your head, you'll use your pocketbook. BENIN: Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it. BOSNIA: Who lies for you will lie against you. BOTSWANA: Two bulls can't stay in the same kraal. BRAZIL: If someone has made you suffer, let their canoe pass in front of you. BRITISH GUYANA: Who play wid de puppy get bit wid de fleas. BULGARIA: A tree falls the way it leans. BURKINA FASO: God provides for the blind vulture. NOTE: In odd-numbered years, Ouagadougou stages one of Africa’s leading cultural events - FESPACO, the Pan-African Film and Television Festival. In even-numbered years, Ouagadougou hosts Africa's largest crafts market: the SIAO. Burkina means physical strength or pride in Moore, the Mossi language, and Faso means homeland or democracy in Dioula. Burkina Faso has the world’s lowest literacy rate; only 9% of women and 27% of men are literate. BURMA: A man with little learning is like the frog who thinks its puddle a great sea. Though the centipede has one of its legs broken, this does not affect its movement. If you take big paces, you leave big spaces. Only with a new ruler do you realize the value of the old. Sparrows who emulate peacocks are likely to break a thigh. The more violent the love, the more violent the anger. The top of a pinnacle now, firewood soon. Day by day passes until the last stands behind the door. The verse will halt if the tongue's too true. BURUNDI: Those who have no fence around their land have no enemies. Without effort no harvest will be abundant. You can hide a mark on your skin, but not a defect. It is easy to pull a thorn out of someone else's skin. A rich man who does not know himself is worth less than a poor man who does. Who made the drum knows best what is inside. CAMBODIA: If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will spare yourself one hundred days of tears. CAMEROON: (including Duala tribe) If you do not step on the dog's tail, he will not bite you. He who asks questions, cannot avoid the answers. Even if thin, the elephant remains the king of the forest. If a bird does not recognise a tree, it will not rest on it. A goat does not always graze in the same place. A cattle eats where it grazes! A raindrop does not spare the head of the notable. A genius is he who is first to be right. The bird has no nest, but a branch to rest on. One should not beg with a basket. It is easier to transport a termite hill than have authority in a village. If you chase away an ant, all the ants will come and bite you. CANADA: The devil places a pillow for the drunken man to fall on. CAPE VERDE: There is no better mirror than a best friend. More than half the citizens of Cape Verde live abroad, many in the northeastern United States. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: An abundance of food at your neighbour's will not satisfy your hunger. Intelligence is a fruit picked in the nieghbour's garden. CHAD: (including Tupuri tribe) A hammer does not work with iron. Do not put your head in front of your words. The Tupuri tribe of Chad says 'One glass can ruin all the beer'. The monkey is a thief because it does not work. If you really love something, your fate is in its hands. The day never turns back again. CHILE: The God who gives wound gives also the medicine. Small fry are caught while the big fish continue to be at large. CHINA: daily proverbs here Actions speak louder than words. A wise man holds his tongue. A miss is as good as a mile. Bad workmen often blame their tools. The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm. A fire cannot be wrapped with paper. A chain is no stronger than its weakest link. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Never write a letter while you are angry. The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking. The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials. Advice comes too late, when thing is done. When the tree is fallen, every one runs to it with his axe. You are never too old to learn. More is meant than meets the ear. Give a lark to catch a kite. Great minds think alike. Don't regret about your past as it's useless, but prevent the same mistakes in the future. A straw shows which way the wind blows. The same man never crossed the same river twice. Never let your feet run faster than your shoes. Seeing for oneself is better than hearing from others. An old man's sayings are seldom untrue. One good turn deserves another. Out of debt, out of danger. An empty sack cannot stand upright. Failure teaches success. Too many cooks spoil the broth. April and May are the key of the year. God gives the milk,but not the pail. He works best who knows his trade. A little labour, much health. Nothing comes out of the sack but what was in it. When opportunity knocks,listen. An uncut gem goes not sparkle. A fall into the pit, a gain in you wit. A tree is known by its fruit. A word once spoken can never be recalled. A close mouth catches no flies. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Bite off more than one can chew. Perseverance is the root of all success. Make no fire, raise no smoke. A near friend is better than a far-dwelling kinsman. A thousand years cannot repair a moment's lost honor. Do for others just what you want them to do for you. Fire and water are good servants,but bad masters. Nothing is certain but the unforeseen. A fool may sometimes give a wise man counsel. One false move lose the game. Many great man have arisen from humble beginnings. Never put off till tomorrow what can be done today. An honest man's word is as good as his bond. If each would sweep before his own door, we should have a clean city. The weaker must avoid a collision with the stronger. A man can do no more than he can. A man cannot whistle and drink at the same time. A bad compromise is better than a good lawsuit. Better late than never. Man proposes, god disposes. One cannot alter the past. No man is his craft's master the first day. Greatest genius often lies concealed. Gold is the dust that blinds all eyes. Experience is something you get while looking for something else. He who borrows to repay may borrow yet another day. The fragrance always stays the hand that gives rose. He whose belly is full, believes not him who is fasting. Everything that satisfies hunger, is good to eat. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. A work ill done must be twice done. A man may lead a horse to the water, but he cannot make him drink. When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them. He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever. When the moth flies around the flame, it burns itself to death. To know the road ahead, ask those coming back. When you want to test the depths of a stream, don't use both feet. The Oxen may be slow but the Earth is patient. The mantis seizes the locust but does not see the yellow bird behind him. The highest is not to never fall but to rise again after each fall. When you want to test the depths of a stream, don't use both feet. Make happy those who are near, and those who are far will come. Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend's forehead. Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them. Those who sacrifice their conscience to ambition burn a painting to obtain ashes. The wise bee does not sip from a flower that has fallen. What appears beautiful is not always good for you. The summer insect cannot talk of ice; the frog in the well cannot talk of heaven. A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think. Study without reflection is a waste of time, reflection without study is dangerous. In the midst of great joy, do not promise anyone anything. In the midst of great anger, do not answer anyone's letter. The palest ink is better than the best memory. Quarter of an hour is worth more than a thousand gold coins. There is no punishment for making someone die laughing. Make sure no one sheds tears for you. The Gods always count them one by one. Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come. Not the fastest horse can catch a word spoken in anger. When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other. Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still. What is told in the ear of a man is often heard 100 miles away. When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other. Add legs to the snake after you have finished drawing it. A book holds a house of gold. Crows everywhere are equally black. Dream different dreams while on the same bed. Even a hare will bite when it is cornered. Have a mouth as sharp as a dagger, but a heart as soft as tofu. An inch of time is an inch of gold, but you can't buy that inch of time with an inch of gold. Looking for the ass on its very back. The longer the night lasts, the more our dreams will be. No wind, no waves. Of all the strategems, to know when to quit is the best. Only the man who crosses the river at night knows the value of the light of day. If I keep a green bough in my heart, then the singing bird will come. One monk shoulders water by himself; two can still share the labor among them. When it comes to three, they have to go thirsty. Paper can't wrap up a fire. A smile will gain you ten more years of life. A sly rabbit will have three openings to its den. Some prefer carrot while others like cabbage. Steal a bell with one's ears covered. There are always ears on the other side of the wall. Better to light a candle, than to curse the darkness. Vicious as a tigeress can be, she never eats her own cubs. We are not so much concerned if you are slow as when you come to a halt. A weasel comes to say "Happy New Year" to the chickens. The poor patronise the pawnshops, the rich patronise the pharmacies COLOMBIA: Who is always sad, does not even have fun when drunk. CONGO tribes: The skin of the leopard is beautiful, but not his heart. A stolen object does not fill ones heart with joy. Clothes should not be made for an unborn child. You are invited to join the hunt when your nets are in evidence. You learn how to cut down trees by cutting them down. COSTA RICA: There is no evil without goodness. CZECHOSLOVAKIA: The big thieves hang the little ones. Many doctors, death accomplished. Learn another language and get another soul. Many a friend was lost through a joke, but none was ever gained so. DENMARK: Bad is never good until worse happens. More flies are caught with a drop of honey than a barrel of vinegar. Life is not holding a good hand; Life is playing a poor hand well. A rich child often sits in a poor mother's lap. He who leaps high must take a long run. It is hard to pay for bread that has been eaten. No man limps because another has been hurt. There is no need to fasten a bell to a fool. Though the bird may fly over your head, let it not make its nest in your hair. Who takes the child by the hand takes the mother by the heart. The best advice is found on the pillow. ECUADOR: We have not inherited the Earth from our ancestors; We have only borrowed it from our children. EGYPT: A camel does not tease another camel about his humps. Dew will not fill a well. And a big bribe is needed to bribe a bureaucrat. The wise man never takes a step too long for his leg. A fly is nothing; yet it creates loathsomeness. Who mistrusts everybody is the real enemy of the village. ENGLAND: Every path has its puddle. A bee was never caught in a shower. An elephant does not feel a flea bite. Laws catch flies but let hornets go. Boys avoid the bees that stung'em. More flies are taken with a drop of honey than a ton of vinegar. Some have been thought brave because they were afraid to run away. Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork. You must lose a fly to catch a trout. Bees that have honey in their mouths have stings in their tails. Every bee's honey is sweet. He's like the master bee that leads forth the swarm. When bees are old they yield no honey. Where bees are there is honey. Flies come to feasts unasked. Flies go to lean horses. Flies will tickle lions being dead. Even a lion must defend himself against the flies. Hungry flies bite sore. We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. Even a fly has its spleen. To a boiling pot flies come not. A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner. A dead bee will make no honey. Write down the advice of him who loves you, though you like it not at present. ESTONIA: Each thing is fair when it is young. ETHIOPIA: (includes Oromo and Amhara tribes) Restless feet may walk into a snake pit. To one who does not know, a small garden is a forest. A fool looks for dung where the cow never browsed. He who learns, teaches. He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured. The same water never runs into the same river. Cactus is bitter only to him who tastes of it. Evil enters like a needle and spreads like an oak tree. When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion. Unless you call out, who will open the door? Confiding a secret to an unworthy person is like carrying grain in a bag with a hole. If one is not in a hurry, even an egg will start walking. The fool speaks, the wise man listens. A too modest man goes hungry. He who wants to barter, usually knows what is best for him. Clothes put on while running come off while running. Living is worthless for one without a home. One rind is enough to tie a thousand pieces of wood. What is hanging up, cannot be reached sitting down. All the handsome men are related to me so I ended up with a fool. Mushrooms will not satisfy a craving for fat meat. The feet take a person to where one's heart is. You think of water when the well is empty. FINLAND: Poverty and love are impossible to hide. Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you what you are. When thinking of yourself, you have no time for others. Even the king's son is a child. Age does not give sense, it only makes one go slowly. FRANCE: Love is friendship set on fire. Bees do not become hornets. A woman should follow her man - to where ever she likes to. Flies will not light on a boiling pot. A lie travels round the world while the truth is putting her boots on. A teacher stands in fear of teaching. GABON: You cannot teach the old gorilla the road. The river swells with the contribution of the small streams. GAMBIA: God provides for the blind vulture. GERMANY:When the fox preaches, look to the geese. Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is. Charity sees the need, not the cause. One bee is as good as a handful of flies. The fatter the flea, the leaner the dog. Nothing should be done in haste but gripping a flea. It is easier to guard a bushel of fleas than a woman. A country can be judged by the quality of its proverbs. A teacher is better than two books. If the servant grows rich and master poor, they are both good for nothing. Noble and common blood is of the same color. When I rest, I rust. There are many preachers who don't hear themselves. Think with the wise, but walk with the vulgar. Truth has a handsome countenance but torn garments. Two doctors are better than a learned one. Who begins too much accomplishes little. GHANA: (includes Ashanti and Ewe tribes) When gold is close to you, it no longer glitters. If you find no fish, you have to eat bread. When the bag tears, the shoulders get a rest. Pray for life, and not for possessions. It is not difficult to share two things. If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a nation. Only the two fighting brothers know the reason why they are fighting. When brothers fight they break their mother's heart. GREECE: Swift gratitude is the sweetest. A fly can drive away horses. Don't even step on an ant. A miser is ever in want. Until the crickets sing it is not summer. Whatever is good to know is difficult to learn. A word out of season may mar a whole lifetime. Act quickly, think slowly. Don't hear one and judge two. Endeavor to bear the ignorance of fortune with patience. Hunger is the teacher of many. Nothing will content the man who is not content with little. Poor men's words have little weight. Seize the end and you will hold the middle. The net of the sleeper catches fish. To the brave men, every land is a native country. GUINEA: Knowledge is like a garden: if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested. A good deed is something one returns. Death is like a robe everyone has to wear. If you are injured by a thorn, you will be healed by a thorn. GUINEA-BISSAU: Also the black cow produces white milk. HUNGARY: A loan though old is not gift. An ox remains an ox, even if driven to Vienna. The prudent man does not make the goat his gardener. The Church is near, but the road is icy. The tavern is far, but I will walk carefully.
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