20 April 2017

Estonian proverbs

Good morning 🌞
Today´s post is dedicated to Estonian language and one interesting part of it - proverbs. These are something that are usually a bit difficult to understand at first, because they can´t be directly translated. Just like figures of speeches like metaphors and other tropes. Another aspect that might make truly understanding them difficult is the cultural factor, everyone might not realise and see these things as native speakers do. I thought it would be interesting to try to explain you some of our proverbs. I will do my best to make them as clear as possible :)
  • Hommik on õhtust targem - Morning is smarter than evening. I believe this is quite easily understandable - don´t make hasty decisions in the evening, in the morning you will see things probably differently and more clearly. 
  • Hirmul on suured silmad - Fear has big eyes. When you are scared or afraid of something, it seems more terrible and scarier than it actually is. Also, you might see something where it actually isn´t. Like, when you are being paranoid and you start imagining all kind of things. 
  • Jänes šampust ei joo - A rabbit doesn´t drink champagne. Rabbit is here thought as a person, who is too shy or afraid to do something. It means that if a person doesn´t try or work for her dreams; doesn´t try to catch her goals, then she won´t achieve, what she wants, therefore she won´t be able to enjoy the "prize"; the goal, achievement.
  • Kingitud hobuse suhu ei vaadata - Don´t look in the mouth of a given horse. If someone gives you something, it is polite to accept it and not refuse it, even if you don´t actually like it. It would be very inappropriate to criticise the gift as that what it is - a present someone has given you; it´s a gift- accept it, smile, and say "thank you",
  • Lootus sureb viimasena - Hope dies last. Until there is hope, it is possible that things will figure out and everything will be alright. Even if there is nothing else left, there is still hope that situation will change.


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  • Nagu hane selga vesi - Like water on goose´s back. You may try to explain something to someone, but if they are certain about their opinion, it is impossible to change their mind. Therefore, anything you say won´t make a difference and it´s like water on goose´s back - water or your thoughts in this case won´t get through to that person´s mind, because she is so stubborn and doesn´t let anything change her opinion. 
  • Sõprus on väärt rohkem kui raha - Friendship is worth more than money. I believe this one doesn´t need further explanation and is clearly understandable to everyone. I also believe you agree with that, don´t you?
  • And for the last, very well known vanasõna, in English and in Estonian (and probably in other languages as well)  - Rääkimine hõbe vaikimine kuld - Taking is silver, silent is gold.
Are there some similar proverbs in your language as well? You are very welcome to share some from your mother tongue as well!