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  • 6/15/2010

Persian Proverbs (Part 2)

persian caligraphy

"آدم زنده، زندگي مي‌خواد."

Literal Translation: A living person needs a life.

Connotation: Human beings need meaningful lives.

English Equivalent: Remember to live before you die.


"آدم زنده وکيل وصي نمي‌خواد"

Literal Translation: A living man doesn't need an heir or an executor.

Connotation: He who is alive and well needs no proxies to speak and act for him.

English Equivalent: Eat drink and make merry, for tomorrow you might die


"آدم گدا، اينهمه ادا؟"

Literal Translation: So down-and-out, so high-and-mighty!

Connotation: For someone who has very little to offer, he makes a great deal of demands.

English Equivalent: Beggars can't be choosers. Lying in the gutter, looking at the stars.


"آدم ناشي، سرنا را از سر گشادش ميزنه"

Literal Translation: A bungler blows into Sorna's bell.

Connotation: An incompetent person does not know how to go about doing a task (he blows into trumpet's bell instead of its mouthpiece).

English Equivalent: He doesn't know which end is up.


"آرد خودمونو ريختيم، الک مونو آويختيم"

Literal Translation: We sifted our flour and hung up our sifter.

Connotation: I took care of my own business.


"آرزو بر جوانان عيب نيست"

Literal Translation: Aspiration is not a defect for youngsters.

Connotation: It's ok for youths to be dreamers.


"آستين نو پلو بخور"

Literal Translation: O New Sleeve, eat pilau!

Connotation: People admire and value your trappings and outer personalities instead of your inner self.

English Equivalent: Don't judge a book by its cover


"آسوده کسي که خر نداره --- از کاه و جوش خبر نداره"

Literal Translation: Comfortable is he who doesn't have a donkey -- He who doesn't know of its straw and barley.

Connotation: Lucky are those who don't have too many responsibilities.


"آسه برو آسه بيا که گربه شاخت نزنه"

Literal Translation: Go slowly, come slowly, lest the cat should gore you.

Connotation: Do your work quietly, so that you won't get in trouble. Keep a low profile.

English Equivalent: Don't rock the boat. Don't make waves.


"آشپز که دوتا شد، آش يا شوره يا بي‌نمک"

Literal Translation: Between two cooks, the soup becomes either salty or bland.

Connotation: Too many decision-makers may doom the outcome.

English Equivalent: Too many cooks spoil the broth.


"آش نخورده و دهن سوخته"

Literal Translation: Uneaten soup and burned mouth.

Connotation: Applied in situations where one gets in trouble for an action one hasn't committed.


"آفتابه خرج لحيمه"

Literal Translation: The ewer is cheaper than its solder.

Connotation: It's less costly to dispose of an item than to repair it.

English Equivalent: It's no use throwing good money after bad.


"آفتابه لگن هفت دست،اما شام و ناهار هيچي"

Literal Translation: Seven sets of ewers and washbowls, but no dinner or lunch.

Connotation: Applied when there's a lot of side-preparation/advertisement for an event without any important event.

English Equivalent: All fur coat and no knickers


"آفتابه و لولهنگ هر دو يک کار مي‌کنند، اما قيمتشان موقع گرو گذاشتن معلوم مي‌شه"

Literal Translation: A ewer and a hose do the same thing, but their real values show when they are pawned.

Connotation: Goods have value only to those who desire them.

English Equivalent: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


"آمدم ثواب کنم، کباب شدم."

Literal Translation: I attempted to be benevolent, but I got burnt.

Connotation: I was trying to help out, but I got in trouble myself.

English Equivalent: No good deed goes unpunished.


"آنانکه غني‌ترند، محتاج‌ترند"

Literal Translation: The richer they are, the needier they are.

Connotation: The rich are subjugated by their greed for more riches.

English Equivalent: Mo' Money, Mo' Problems.


"آنچه دلم خواست نه آن شد --- آنچه خدا خواست همان شد"

Literal Translation: What I wished for happened not -- What God willed happened to a dot.

Connotation: Events are governed by the will of God, not the whims of men.

English Equivalent: We are not in charge of our own destiny.


"آنرا که حساب پاکه، از محاسبه چه باکه؟"

Literal Translation: He who is honest at finance, what fear of audit will he have?

Connotation: One who's innocent is not afraid of investigation.

English Equivalent: The honest don't need to lie.


"آنقدر بايست، تا علف زير پات سبز بشه"

Literal Translation: Stand so long until grass grows under your foot.

Connotation: You can wait as much as you want, but it's useless.

English Equivalent: You can stay here until the cows come home.


"آنقدر سمن هست، که ياسمن توش گمه"

Literal Translation: Amongst the genus of Jasminum, a single jasmine does not stand out.

English Equivalent: We are all unique


Source: wikiquote.org

Other Links:

Bosnian Proverbs

Belgian Proverbs

Bulgarian Proverbs

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