Chi due lepri caccia, l’una non piglia e l’altra lascia. La troppa bonezza finisce nella monnezza. English equivalent: You snooze, you lose. English equivalent: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Nothing defines a culture as distinctly as its language, and the element of language that best encapsulates a society’s values and beliefs is its proverbs. Translation: Where there is no temptation there is no glory. And finally: My Roman neighbors love to give me advice. Literal translation and English equivalent: No news is good news. Literal translation: There’s a sea between saying and doing. My mother used to always tell me to stop making a mountain out of a molehill. English equivalent: Laughter is the best medicine. Italian Proverb Necessity becomes will. Set sail when the winds are fair. Meglio un giorno da leone che cento da pecora. Literal translation: Unsolicited excuse, evident charge. Una cena senza vino è come un giorno senza sole. Chi va piano va sano e va lontano. I came across this one in a novel: Chi abbisogna, non abbia vergogna. Quando finisce la partita il re ed il pedone finiscono nella stessa scatola. This literally means “Either eat this soup or jump out of this window,” but it would be better known in English as “you can take it or leave.” Of course, the Italian version has to incorporate food! She is the founder and editor of this blog and prefers all of her days to include coffee, gelato, and wine. But the best little treasures of advice and insight always come in the form of Italian proverbs. Popular Origins. With the Italian audio course “Ripeti con me!”. English equivalent: Do it yourself if you want it done right. I love these! But actually means: Lying a little might make the story better. Spot on. A treasure of popular wisdom! To learn from famous people, read this collection of Italian quotes, Italian sayings, and Italian idioms. Don’t look a gift horse in … When you finish the game, the king and pawn end up in the same box. Don’t make a big deal out of something so small! Cavallo che corre non ha bisogno di sproni. The most literal translation here would be “The hasty cat gave birth to blind kittens.” In other words, doing something too quickly can result in less-than-perfect results. Receive my free resources in your mailbox, Italian audio lessons + readings “Impara con me!”, Bilingual readings with slow audio “Leggi con me!”. If you don’t go you won’t see, if you don’t see you won’t know, if you don’t know you’ll take it in the ass every time. (Or you might also like quotes about Rome and quotes about Venice). To seek the hair in the egg, to pick faults where there are none. Literal translation: Everything has a reason. Si dice sempre il lupo più grande che non è. Literal translation: The wolf is made bigger than it is. Proverbs are used in conversation by adults more than children, partially because adults have learned more proverbs than children. Experience is more important than theory. Learn how your comment data is processed. Literal translation: who does it by itself does it for three people. Natalie is a food and travel writer who has been living in Rome full time since 2010. Italian Proverb Who moves, picks up, who stands still, dries up. In other words: we all meet the same end. Italian Proverb Wise men learn by other men's mistakes, fools by their own. English equivalent: A guilty conscience needs no accuser. Do you have any other favorite Italian proverbs or sayings? I LOVE proverbs in other languages – they always show that direct translation isn’t everything, “traduttore, traditore” (the translator is a traitor, meanings the translation is never right, perfect). Where there is no temptation there is no glory. ... Love Proverbs - Life Proverbs - Death & Dying Proverbs - Success Proverbs - Happiness Proverbs - Friendship Proverbs - View All Topics. (Sasso – James Sturz 2001). Literal translation: He who laughs last, laughs best. A proverb is a short, pithy saying that expresses a traditionally held truth or piece of advice, based on common sense or experience. !function(e,i,n,s){var t="InfogramEmbeds",d=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0];if(window[t]&&window[t].initialized)window[t].process&&window[t].process();else if(!e.getElementById(n)){var o=e.createElement("script");o.async=1,o.id=n,o.src="https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js",d.parentNode.insertBefore(o,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async"); Sometimes it’s hard to find the English equivalent of an Italian proverb and the literal translation doesn’t make sense, but you can still guess from the context. Which literally translates to: The wolf is made bigger … I fratelli uniti tra loro formano un fascio che pùo resistere agli sforzi più robusti. Better give a penny then lend twenty. (Which – obviously – is totally true). (Italian Proverb) Crows weep for the dead lamb then devour him. Many Italian proverbs are regional and based on local sayings – but there are a few that you will hear over and over if you live in Italy. A meal without wine is a day without sunshine. Literal translation: Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow. It’s by the head that the cow gives the milk. The best Italian proverbs with English translation to learn the Italian language! She regularly contributes to guidebooks, magazines, and more, sharing her love of la dolce vita between pizza slices and gelato breaks. Cesare, for example, will often stop me in the stairway to ensure that I know the proper techniques for creating a specific dish we spoke about recently (and he will bring me his own pots and pans to borrow when he is convinced that even if I did understand WHAT to do, I don’t how the correct implements for HOW to do it). O mangiar questa minestra o saltar questa finestra. Meglio un uovo oggi che una gallina domani. Your email address will not be published. Italian proverbs, because they are indirect, allow a speaker to disagree or give advice in a way that may be less offensive. Italian Proverbs (1849 Proverbs) Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. He who does evil, is never short of an excuse. Literal translation and English equivalent: Love is blind. Bisogna navigare quando il vento e propizio. When a friend asks, there is no tomorrow. He that goes to Rome a foot returns a fool, Where gold speaks, every tongue is silent, Gli nomini hanno gli anni che sentono, e le donne quelli che mostrano, Men are as old as they feel, but women are as old as they look, When the beast is dead, the venom is dead, Red sky in the evening, one hopes for good weather, A noble death is an honor to the whole life. Your email address will not be published. Italian Proverb Anger can be an expensive luxury. Si dice sempre il lupo più grande che non è. 115 Italian proverbs to learn. United we stand, divided we fall; Union is strength. Literal translation: Laughter makes good blood. Tra il dire e il fare c´è di mezzo il mare. Cuando l’amico chiede, non v’è domani. Si dice sempre il lupo più grande che non è. That is why quality translators are so hard to come by. If you’re going to Italy, you need something more practical like these common Italian sentences. The English translation would be: When you finish the game, the king and pawn end up in the same box. English equivalent: He who laughs last, laughs longest. La troppa bonezza finisce nella monnezza. Senza tentazioni, senza onore. Literal translation: Good seed makes good fruit. La famiglia è la patria del cuore. English equivalent: Easier said than done. Chi non va non vede, chi non vede non sa e chi non sa se lo prende sempre in culo. When a friend asks, there is no tomorrow. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. It’s supposed to mean Whoever has need has no shame. Sometimes it’s hard to find the English equivalent of an Italian proverb and the literal translation doesn’t make sense, but you can still guess from the context.. A caval donato non si guarda in bocca. Which means: home (or in this case, family) is where the heart is. Many authors have used proverbs in their writings, for a very wide variety of literary genres: epics, novels, poems, and short stories. Required fields are marked *. (He who goes slowly goes safely and far). My friend is German and loves sharing some of the proverbs she grew up with – the direct translations are always entertaining! I take it to mean avoid making a drastic change until things are calm. Italian Proverb Give time time. Here are more Italian proverbs. Which literally translates to: The wolf is made bigger than it is. In Italian, the proverb is a bit more creative: “To make an elephant out of a fly.”. 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