ことばの坩堝

ことばの坩堝

■インドのことわざ英語と日本語で紹介

■日本の故事・ことわざ英語・ドイツ語・フランス語で解説

■その他、日本語や言葉を見直すきっかけに

Contents

インドの諺

If there be love, impossibilities will become possible.

愛さえあれば、不可能なことも可能になる

インド・タミルの諺だそうです。

しかれば、愛がなくて、実現しなかった事が如何に多かったのか、と思うと、非常に切ない諺だと思います。

しかし、だから、一見不可能と思われる事に、新たにチャレンジせよ、ともとれますね。  

確かゲーテの諺に、「人にものを上げたいとなどと言うな、すぐに上げなさい」と言った意味のものがあったと思います。

A word stirs up anger or love.

一つの言葉が怒りや愛をかき立てる

Kashmiri proverb in India.

インド・カシミールの諺。

A Japanese collector of phrase added the following Japanese translation.

Hitotsu no kotoba ga ikari ya ai wo kaki tateru.

There is an Japanese expression. 一長一短、いっちょういったん or Icchou Ittan.

A person or a thing has both merit and demerit, maybe the literal meaning.

It can be; each merit has its demerit or vice versa.

A physiological status of the ambivalence can happen from the same word.
Ein physiologischer Status der Ambivalenz kann aus einem gleichen Wort erzeugbar sein.

Un état physiologique d’ambivalence peut être généré à partir du même mot.

He who will not open the door to give alms will open it for the doctor.

施しを与えるために戸を開こうとしない者は、医者のために戸を開くものだ

インドの諺だそうです。

何と無く、後味の悪い諺と感じます。

医者であれば、その人物がどうであれ、また、治療行為が正しかろうが、正しくなかろうが、人は金を差し出すのでしょうね。

また、弱者に施しをする心がない、と言うのは、エゴであると思いますが、病気になれば、自分の健康を回復する為に、金を払う、と言う事を皮肉っぽく言っている様ですが、これは、人の行き方の、真実の一面でもありますね。

後味が悪かろうがなかろうが、人間行動の現実を指摘されると、後味が悪いのでしょうか。

してみると、自分も相似形か、と嘆息をつくものであります。

エゴではない「施しの心」とは何か、と考えさせられます。

He who blames himself need not expect praise from others.

我が身を責めるものは、他人からの賞賛を期待する必要はない

インドの諺です。

己に厳しい人は、人の評価など無意味、と言うことかな。

人間として、気高い精神を築く事を賞賛しているのかな、

と思ったりしました。

人が何と言おうと、自分を高めよ、と言う事かな。

He that increases knowledge increases sorrow.

知識を増すものは悲しみを増す

と言う事は何が必要なのか。

インド・タミールの諺の様です。

That means true wisdom is in need?

Celui qui augmente la connaissance, augmente la douleur.

Wisdom has not vanished; the wise have vanished.

知恵がなくなってしまったのではない、賢者がいなくなってしまったのだ

An Indian proverb and the Japanese collector of this phrase added the following Japanese.

What the original phrase expresser represented is full of a bitter irony. Accumulation of materialistic knowledge solely does not construe the major part of the man of sage or religious thoughts supplement the imperfection?

All wise men think the same; every fool has his own opinion.

全ての賢人は同じことを考え、愚か者は誰もが自分自身の意見を持つ

Punjabi proverb in India.

The Japanese collector of this proverb added the following Japanese translation.

Subete no kenjin wa onaji koto wo kangae, oroka mono wa dare moga jibunjishin no iken wo motsu.

Heta no kangae yasumu ni nitari. 下手の考え休むに似たり, is another Japanese dictum which has similar connotation. The person who is not good at thinking deep to create something valuable, the act of thinking itself is same like idling the time. One of the direct translation which I found in internet; the poor man’s idea is like resting.

Thomas Carlyle said, “speech is silver, silence is golden”, “Reden ist Silber, Schweigen ist Gold” “Parler est argent, le silence est or”.

Poison is the medicine for poison.

毒は毒の薬だ

A Tamilian proverb in India.

Collector of this Indian proverb added following translation in Japanese.

A similar proverb in Japan is originated from Chinese Zen in Song dynasty (宋朝). We say in Japanese; 毒を以って毒を制す; doku wo motte doku wo seisu.

In English, there are some expressions such as “fight fire against fire”, “set a thief to catch thief”, “fight over evil with another”.

But German word Homöopathie, which is spelled homeopathy in English was invented as medical alternative cure method which is also widely spreading in India, has no direct connection of the meaning to the original Chinese word as well as Tamilian.

I think Tamilian proverb should be understood as the man’s effort to try to solve the difficult paradoxical perplexity.

When the house is built, the carpenter is forgotten.

家が建った時、大工は忘れ去られる

Proverb from Punjab, India.

Collector of this phrase added the following Japanese translation.

Similar Japanese prober:大恩は報せず Literally; big blessing will not be rewarded.

Connotation may be: Against small kindness of others, people will soon express the gratitude, but to the immense blessings given by others to you, people forget to reward.

Opposite proverb in English: Kindness never goes unrewarded.

Other proverb in German: Vergessen ist einfach, doch verzeihen ist schwerer, can be translated as Forgetting is easy, but forgiving is harder.

It might originated from other aspect.

He only knows the price of ease who once experiences difficulty.

一番困難な経験をした者だけが安楽の値打ちを知る

An Indian proverb.

A Japanese collector of this phrase translated this Indian proverb added the following Japanese.

Ichiban kon’nan na keiken wo shita mono dake ga anraku no neuchi wo shiru.

Literal meaning of the above: Only the person who experienced difficulty in the life knows the value of the comfort.

Interesting Japanese proverb; 桃栗三年柿八年, momo kuri san’nen kaki hachi nen.

Three years are needed to pluck the peach and 8 years are needed to pluck the chestnut.

This means, it takes time to bear the fruit of one’s actions.

Abraham Lincoln said: Prosperity is the fruit of labor.

German says: Wenn du ein Leben lang glücklich sein willst, liebe deine Arbeit.

This means: If you want to be happy for a lifetime, love your work.

French phrase with near nuance may be: Après la pluie, le beau temps. It can be translated as: After rain you will enjoy the good weather.

Forget at once what cannot be obtained.

手に入れられないもののことはすぐに忘れよ

A Tamilian proverb from India.

A Japanese collector of this phrase added the following translation.

Literally, it is better to forget the repentance over the undone things.

It might have connotation; keep the fresh stance of taking something to start at the right time.

English equivalent may be:It’s no use crying over spilt milk.

Simple German paradoxical phrase: Geschehen ist geschehen.

French might say: ça ne sert à rien de pleurer sur ce qui est fait.

Another Japanese phrase might be: Shinki itten 心機一転、change the mind to restart.

Think of those who have done you even one favour as long as you live.

あなたが生きている限りあなたにたった一度でも親切をしてくれた人々のことを思え

インド・タミールの諺

Tamilian proverb in India. The collector of this phrase added following Japanese;

Anata ga ikite iru kagiri anata ni tatta ichido demo shinsetsu wo shite kureta hitobito no koto wo omoe.

But in Japanese proverb, the following is found.

大恩は報ぜず:Dai on wa houzezu.

If someone’s favour for you is too big, that favour will not to be rewarded.
Connotation is, you may soon respond to small favours, however, against big favour, we easily forget the gratitude stupidly.

German may say in such case: Besser spät als nie: Better late than never.
In French, people may say: Dans la vie on ne regrette que ce qu’on n’a pas fait: In life we only regret what we did not do.

It takes great wisdom to laugh at one’s own misfortunes.

自分自身の不運を笑い飛ばすには偉大な知恵を必要とする

An Indian proverb, and a Japanese person who collected this phrase adds following his translation.

A double tongue will slip.

二枚舌はすべるものだ

Tamilian proverb in India.

A Japanese phrase collector added his Japanese translation as

Nimai jita wa suberu mono da.

一口両舌:Ikkou rhyouzetsu means two tongues in one month. Somebody who can say truth and untruth nonchalantly.

詭弁家:kibenka, is sophist in English. It had both meaning that somebody is simply “cleaver” but also “too cleaver’. Not a case of fallacious character of a person, but the word sophism has originally the positive sense of devotion to skill polishing also.

We are masters of the unspoken word, but the spoken word masters us.

我々は口に出して話さない言葉の主人であるが、一度口に出して話した言葉は我々を支配する

Indian proverb.

The collector of this Indian phrase added the following Japanese translation.

一言既に出ずれば駟馬も追い難し; Ichigon sude ni izureba, shiba mo oigatashi.

Once a word is uttered, no fast horse can chase.

If once a word (of promise) goes out of one’s mouth, and if such is regarded as commitment, which cannot be easily cancelled, might be connotation of the phrase. It might be so suggested to be careful in selecting the word in different culture.

Patience, rectitude, friend and wife, all four are tested by calamity.

忍耐、清廉、友人、女房、これら四つのものは、不幸(悲運)によって試験される

An Indian proverb.

Japanese collector of this phrase added the following translation.

Nintai, seiren, yuujin, nyoubou, korera yottsuno mono wa, fukou (hiun) ni yotte shiken sareru.

After you experienced the unfortunate events, the person(s) who don’t leave you alone is genuine value for you.

People often tend to forget important existence surrounding you easily, I think.

Become humble before you become dust.

あなたがちりになる前にへりくだるようになれ

Hindu proverbial phrase collected by a Japanese who translated it into English and Japanese.

Being humble does not mean simple repetition of the superficially formal obeisance.

If there is no self-reflection against the doings by yourself, there is no reason of being (raison d’être), I think.

There is no remedy for superstition.

迷信を治す療法はない

An Indian proverb.

The Japanese translation added by the collector of this Indian proverb;
Meishin wo naosu ryouhou wa nai.

Another phrase in Japanese; 幽霊の正体見たり枯れ尾花

Unmasked ghost was the shape of the dried flower of the pampas grass.

Perhaps in the darkness, people easily believed the dried-up flowers of a certain plant being moved by the wind as a ghost. People tend to believe the groundless existence of superstition.

An English equivalent saying: One always proclaims the wolf bigger than himself.

Interest proverb by Goethe : Der Aberglaube ist die Poesie des Lebens; deswegen schadet’s dem Dichter nicht, abergläubisch zu sein. Literal translation: Superstition is the poetry of life; therefore it does no harm to the poet to be superstitious.

In French: Trèfle à quatre feuilles. This means when you find four leaf clover that is regarded as luck clover because four leaf clover is rare.

At home an elephant, abroad a cat.

家(自国)では象、外(外国)では猫

A Tamilian proverb from India.

インド・タミールの諺。

Behaving like an elephant in house (or domestically), behaving like a cat in foreign countries.

In Japanese, a proverb depicting the same situation: 借りてきた猫。A rented cat stays calm (and does not catch rats).

Usually, a person who is actively moving or playing at home, however, such a person often assumes a poker face.

One person suggested the phrase “bossy at home but timid outside”.

A cat is a lamb in German; Dieses Kind ist heute so sanft wie ein Lamm.

Direct translation into English; this child is as gentle as a lamb today.

Lamm (and not cat) in German is a lamb in English.

Premature genius foretokens a short life.

早熟の天才は短命を予示する

Tamil in India.

Collector of this proverb added following Japanese.

Maybe there can be the case in general that some genius persons cannot live long.

But, hidden meaning of the proverb may connote, if someone misses the optimal chance of making use of the best knowledge and wisdom, the loss is huge for the human life, but often people do not notice such a lost chance in the cause of mediocre daily life, I suppose.

If the hand would do, what the tongue said, there will be no poverty.

もし舌が言うことを手が行えば貧乏は存在しないであろう

An Indian proverb.

The collector of the phrase added his Japanese translation.

This can be replaced with other Japanese 4 words idiom, 言行一致, genkou icchi.

Actually, genkou is an ancient Chinese words meaning word(s) and action(s).

And icchi means matching or consistency.

So combined meaning is the matching of words and actions.

Has no wife nor daughter; only related to Heaven.

妻もなく娘もなく、天国に血がつながっているのみ

An Indian proverb.

A Japanese person, who collected this Indian proverb translated this passage into Japanese.

After all, if one will recognize that his destiny is at least connected to the Heaven, there is no need to become lonely in the life.

Labour is bitter, but sweet is the bread which it buys.

労働は苦しいが、それが手に入れるパンはおいしい

The collector of this Indian proverb added the following Japanese translation.

One Japanese phrase:一日作さざれば一日食わず。

Literally, it can mean: When you don’t work for a day, you don’t eat for a day or you are not deserved to eat.

Original phrase might have come from Zen Buddhism in Southern Song Dynasty in China which dated back to 12 to 13 century AD in the then southern part of China.

At that time, some sects of Zen Buddhists regarded a part of labors such as cleaning of the garden, building, and agricultural work for their living as austere training.

And it was (is) a constituent of religious way of living.

Some part of the ascetic attitude was inherited to Japan from China, I think.

He who wants the fruit should not nip off the flower.

果実を欲するものは花を摘みとるべきでない

The collector of this phrase said this is a proverb of Marathi, India.

If the nature’s change cannot be understood, such man is still unripe may be the meaning, I felt.

A “No” averts seventy troubles.

ひとつの「ノー」は七十のやっかい事を未然に防ぐ

An Indian proverb, which was collected by a Japanese, who translated it into Japanese as follow.

Man may have a choice to refuse the requests from others at the right time. Whether it is good or not will be judged by the third party.

It is unavoidable, I feel.

The value of the father can be understood after his passing away, the value of the salt is understood, if the salt will be used up.

父親の値打ちは彼が死んでからわかり、塩の値打ちは使い尽くした時にわかる

インド・タミールの諺。

Above translation is made by the original collector of this phrase, which was originated in Tamil, India.

Literally, it can mean: The value of the father can be understood after his passing away, the value of the salt is understood, if the salt will be used up.

A bit of irony can be felt, when one cannot learn the important essence while the real subject is existing before our eyes.

An English equivalent proverb: A good thing is known when it is lost.

For the friendship of two the patience of one is necessary.

二人の人間の友情のためには一人の忍耐が必要だ

インド・タミールの諺。

A Japanese collector of this Tamilian viz. Indian proverb added his Japanese translation as below.

It can be translated as:Real forgiveness is the acceptance of the selfishness of your mates.

Seemingly, expression mode is a bit ironical but more or less people are forgiving the egoism of each other.

Another Japanese proverb which might be fit: ならぬ堪忍するが堪忍,
Allowing non-forgiveness of others is the act of forgiveness

English equivalent proverb: Patience is a flower that grows not in every garden, as per net search.

Another better one which I found in net search: True patience lies in bearing the unbearable.

Direct translation of the above into German: Wahre Geduld liegt darin, das Unerträgliche zu ertragen.

I think this translation is fit for the English equivalent as well as Tamilian original.

French equivalent: La vraie patience consiste à supporter l’insupportable.
French verb “supporter” is etymologically common word with “support” in English which seems to be exquisite vocabulary, I think.

Latin word supportare is combined words sub- = up from the under, portare = to carry.

If you believe, it is a god; if not, it is stone.

もしあなたが信心すれば、それは神であり、もし信じないならば、それは石だ。

A Hindu proverb from India.

The Japanese collector of this phrase added the following Japanese.

Equivalent proverb in Japanese is: 鰯の頭も信心から

The head of a sardine can be a great, if you believe it, and: Faith can make sardine sacred.

I think the sharing sensitivities to the natural things such as stone or fish may be common in India and Japan.

Translation into German can be: Der Glaube kann die Sardine heilig machen.

Translation into French can be: La foi peut rendre la sardine sacrée. Il n’y a que la foi qui sauve.

If the ignorant man knows that he is ignorant, then he is not ignorant.

もし無知な人間が自分が無知だということを知っているならば、彼は無知ではない

A Japanese collector of this Indian proverb added his Japanese translation.

Similarly, what Socrates 469 BC – 399 BC, an ancient Greek philosopher might have said and which was noted at the later time by his follower, is referred as “I know that I know nothing”, or “I know that I don’t know anything” in English.

We often call it in short phrase form in Japanese 無知の知, muchi no chi, self-awareness of knowing nothing, das Wissen des Nichitswissens, la connaisance de l’ignorance, in another words.

If somebody notices that he knows nothing, I think it is the starting point to begin the learning.

Things not understood are admired.

理解されないことは感心される

This Indian proverb was collected and translated into Japanese by the collector himself.

The superb human deeds cannot often be explained by words and phrases, but people know the hidden value of deeds.

We may use the word 言外の意味, gengai no imi, unsaid or non –literal meaning of the words. Nuance may be also fit word to depict the grandeur of the human action.

A book is a good friend which reveals the mistakes of the past.

書物は過去の間違いを明らかにしてくれる良き友だ

It is Indian proverb according to a book with me. Attached translation said 書物は過去の間違いを明らかにしてくれる良き友だ。Shomotsu wa kako no machigai wo akiraka ni shite kureru yoki tomo da.

読書を廃す、これ自殺なり。Dokusho wo haisu, kore jisatsu nari.

A Japanese novelist, Doppo Kunikida (1871~1908)said so.

Abolition of the reading habit means committing suicide.

In German, “Ein Haus ohne Bücher ist arm, auch wenn schöne Teppiche seine Böden und kostbare Tapeten und Bilder die Wände bedecken.” – Hermann Hesse –

Literally, A house without books is poor, even if beautiful carpets cover its floors and precious wallpaper and pictures on the walls.

Hermann Hesse is a German novelist 1877 – 1962


日本の諺

下手の道具調べ

Heta no dougu shirabe, a Japanese proverb.

Clumsy person examines the tools.

Some people blames for the tools as the reason of the unsuccessful results, may be one of the meanings. Such person tends to believe his ability is sufficient, however, imperfection of his work is caused by the external condition.

English equivalent proverb: A bad workman always blames his tools.

It is a warning to the avoidance of self-responsibility and this symptom should be overcome.

Ungeschickte Person begutachtet die Werkzeuge.

Einige Leute schreiben den Grund des erfolglosen Ergebnisses den Werkzeugen zu, kann eine der Bedeutungen.

Eine solche Person neigt dazu, dass seine Fähigkeit ausreichend ist. Jedoch ist die Unvollkommenheit seiner Arbeit durch den äußeren Faktoren verursacht ist.

Eine Deutsche Entsprechung, die ich gefunden habe: Ein schlechter Handwerker schimpft immer auf sein Werkzeug.

Eine Französische Entsprechung, die ich gefunden habe : Un mauvais ouvrier blâme toujours ses outils.

Es ist eine Warnung zur Vermeidung von Selbstverantwortung und dieses Symptom sollte überwunden werden.

自己責任回避を自覚したら、少しでも良い方向へ直す様努力するきっかけとすれば良いのだと思います。責任回避が当然になると言う事は正常な日常感覚の麻痺だと思います。

良工は材を択ばず

Ryoukou wa zai wo erabazu, a Japanese proverb.

Skilled worker does not select the materials.

Technique of a skilled craftsman aims at completing the functional beauty through the given characters of the materials, I suppose.

Handwerker wählt die Materialien aus. Ein Japanisches Sprichwort.
Technik eines Handwerkers zielt auf die Vollendung der funktionalen Schönheit durch die Qualität der gelieferten Materialien, nehme ich an.

空き樽は音が高い

Akidaru wa oto ga takai, a Japanese proverb.

Resonance from an empty barrel is loud.

This means the eloquent person speaks lot of the uselessness noisily.

Equivalent English proverb said: Empty vessels make the most sound.

I often think that the talkativeness is not always all the bad habit.

There can be the case, through frank expression of the frivolous words, we’ll try to rethink what should the truth be behind.

Der Nachklang aus dem leeren Fass ist laut.

Ein Japanisches Sprichwort.

Das bedeutet, daß die wortgewandte Person viel von Unbrauchbarkeit spricht.

Die Deutsche Phrase, die ich gefunden habe: Leere Töpfe klappern am meisten.

Die im Franzoesisch : Ce sont les tonneaux vides qui font le plus de bruit.

Aber ich denke oft, daß die Geschwätzigkeit nicht immer die schlechte Gewohnheit ist.

Es kann der Fall sein, durch die offene Auswahl der frivolen Wörte versuchen wir, zu überdenken, was die Wahrheit dahinten sein sollte.

逆説的に言うと、人々の発する根拠の無い、無責任な言葉から、実は、本音は何か、判って来るのではないか、と思う事がしばしばあります。

命あっての物種

Inochi atte no monodane, a Japanese proverb.

Everything can be born as long as a person has a life.

If you will lose the good intention to live, there will be no hope, may be the literal meaning.

Your hope of living happily or meaningfully solely depends on your dauntlessness to live even under the painful circumstances.

English Proverb: Where there’s life there’s hope.

Alles kann entstehen, wenn eine Person immer den Wille zum Leben hat.

Wenn man die gute Absicht zum Leben verlieren wird, wird es keine Hoffnung geben, kann die wörtliche Bedeutung sein.

Die Hoffnung, glücklich oder sinnvoll zu leben, hängt ausschließlich von der Verwegenheit zu überleben wenn auch unter den schmerzhaften Umständen.

Die schöne Phrase von Goethe: Hoffnung gießt in Sturmnacht Morgenröte!

Die Phrase im Französisch: Tant qu’il y a de la vie, il y a de l’espoir. Tant qu’il y a de la vie, il y a une possibilité de bonheur.

どんなに苦しい状況であれ、あたら死を解決の糸口にしてはならない、と思われます。

下手の考え休むに似たり

Heta no kangae yasumu ni nitari, a Japanese proverb.

Poor thinking is similar to taking an idling break time.

Connotation might be the warning against the pretentious and
thoughtful pose which gives misunderstanding to the others, I suppose.

An apparent make-believe of the thinking attitude to the others
deceives others as well as the person himself, herself.

English proverb: It’s hard to tell a poor thinker from a sleeping one.

Schlechtes Denken ist ähnlich wie die zwecklose Pause.

Konnotation könnte die Warnung sein, dass die scheinbar anspruchsvolle
Vorführung der nachdenklichen Haltung das Missverständnis zu den
anderen gibt, nehme ich an.

Eine scheinbare vorgaukelnde Haltung des Denkers täuscht zu den anderen sowie auch die Person sich selbst Andreas Laskaratos (1811 – 1901), ein Griechischer Schriftsteller sagte: Der Verschwender ist wie eine Süßigkeit, an dem jeder lecken will.

Nur der ehrbare Kluge schaut ihn mit Mitleid an und geht ihm aus
dem Weg.

Sprichwort im Französisch: Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait.

無駄に時を過ごしてしまった事を悔いてもしようがないので、真剣に今を生きる、と言う事だと思いますが、過去に無駄な事をしてしまったら、寧ろそれを分析して、繰り返さない方が良い様に思うのですが。

袖振り合うも多生の縁

An accidental touching of your sleeves and mine is born from the fate, karma, a Japanese proverb.

The passage can be understood as the message as below.

Your sudden encounter with someone new now is not simply by chance but fate or destiny.

English equivalence: Even a chance acquaintance is decreed by destiny.

Tashou (多生) here can be understood as reincarnation or repeated rebirth.

But if tashou is understood as 他生, from the past world and not present world, it may mean the present encounter is caused from the predestination.

多生 and 他生 is a homonym.

Karma is expressed as Gou (業) in Japanese.

Unbeabsichtigte Berührung der Ärmel von mir und Ihnen ist aus dem Karma geboren.

Die Redenart kann zu der folgenden Kontext verstehbar sein.

Ihre plötzliche Begegnung mit jemand neu ist jetzt nicht durch puren Zufall, sondern schicksalhaft.

Tashou kann hier als die Reinkarnation oder den wiederholten Wiedergeburt verstehbar sein.

Aber wenn tashou als 他生verstanden, bedeutet es das Leben aus der Vergangenheit nicht das jetzige Leben. Es kann hinweisen, daß die vorliegende Begegnung mit der vergänglichen Vorherbestimmung verbunden ist. 多生 und 他生 ist ein Homonym.

Karma heißt Gou (業) auf Japanisch.

打つも撫でるも親の恩

Utsu mo naderu mo oya no on, a Japanese proverb.

Slap and gentle stroke, both are loves by the parents.

Scolding against the wrong-doing as well as the praise to the good
deeds of the children by the parents are the both forms of the love,
can be the meaning.

Proverb in English with the same nuance: The danger past and God forgotten.

Das Schlagen und sanftes Streichen, beide sind Liebe von den Eltern zur Kindern.

Ein Japanisches Sprichwort.

Schimpfen auf dem Frevel sowie Lob an die guten Taten von den Kindern
sind die beiden Formen der Liebe aus der Eltern, kann die Bedeutung
sein.

Negatives Sprichwort im Deutch: Ist die Gefahr vorbei, lacht man den
Heiligen aus.

Etwaige Ähnlichkeit im Französisch: Rien ne sèche plus vite que les larmes.

子を思う親が子を叩くのは純粋な愛情の現れ、と言う事を忘れがち。

盗人猛々しい

Nusutto takedake shii, a Japanese proverb.

盗人 Nusutto is a thief.

猛々しい Takedake shii means the person’s impudent attitude.

If a thief was detected by somebody, the thief changes attitude suddenly towards victim.

Often a thief insists on his action being justifiable.

English equivalent found was ‘When he was detected, the housebreaker resorted to threatening the family’.

This phrase seems to be used from Edo era.

This phrase was made because warning of over-self-protection is ugly, I think.

うそはどろぼうの始り

Uso wa dorobou no hajimari, a Japanese proverb.

This is rather a warning phrase, which Japanese used to learn in the childhood.

The collector of this phrase put the passage into Japanese: Falsehood is the beginning of theft.

This can be understood that from at one moment when you start to tell a lie, one lie will lead to another.

English equivalent phrases: He that will lie will steal. Show me a liar and I’ll show you a thief.

A way of saying in Gerrman: Besser arm, denn ein Lügner that means Better poor, than a liar.

嘘つきより貧しい方が良い。

Usotsuki yori mazushii hou ga yoi.

逃がした魚は大きい

Nigashita sakana wa ookii, a Japanese proverb.

Literally, fish which escaped from you seems to be big.

When someone loses the chance which was about to be realizable but not, feels regrettable.

Image from this proverb is that if you could not realize the target, it is a chance to review what should be done and what should not be done.

A proverb in German was found from net-surfing. Setze nie ein Fragezeichen hinter Dinge, hinter die das Schicksal schon lange einen Punkt gemacht hat. This can be translated as; never put a question mark behind the things of which fates finished long ago.

Somebody said in French; C’est plus difficile de recevoir le succès que l’échec. This might be translated into English as; it’s harder to get success than failure.

犬も歩けば棒に当たる

Inu mo arukeba bou ni ataru, a Japanese proverb.

Literally it could be, when a dog walks simply for a stroll along, somebody would hit him by a rod.

There can be some connotations.

One is it is better to refrain from doing anything carelessly, but another meaning can be, without doing anything, you will not encounter both happiness and misfortune.

English equivalent is, Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

論語読みの論語知らず

Rongo yomi no rongo shirazu, a Japanese proverb.

Rongo is Japanese pronunciation for ancient Chinese word, Lunyu 論語, an philosophical Analects before Christ.

In Edo time in Japan, this was one of the important texts which people had to learn for the common sense building.

But people often pretended that they said they have read it, but understanding level was shallow.

This is a kind of irony to wiseacre.

遠道は近道

Toumichi wa chikamichi, a Japanese proverb.

When you take long detour, it is faster to go by shortcut.

Connotation is, when you know the safe road, you will not encounter with the danger.

When you take shortcut which is dangerous, it will take longer time to reach at the same destination.

But it may be paradoxical either.

急がば回れ

Isogaba maware, a Japanese proverb.

Haste makes waste.

More haste less speed.

Slow and steady wins the race.

花より団子

Hana yori dango, a Japanese proverb.

Literally, (sweet and tasty) dumpling is better than (beautiful) flower.

In Japan, it is a sarcastic expression towards the person who does not understand the beauty of nature than practicality.

In English, Bread is better than songs of birds.

In German, Lieber Knödel als Blumen!

In French, La belle cage ne nourrit pas l’oiseau.

金の鳥かごは鳥の腹を満たしません。

ベンガル語では、PURNIMA CHAND JENO JHALSANO RUTI.

English – The full moon is like a burnt chapati.

と言うそうで、意味する所は、貧乏でお腹の空いた人には、月もチャパティに見える、と言う事らしいです。

盗人の昼寝

Nusutto no hirune, a Japanese proverb.

Literally, it means a nap of thief.

Because thief works in the night, he takes nap in the daytime to save the energy.

It is a simile that everybody uses time for the preparation of his or her skill.

Nusutto and nusubito are a bit old-fashioned Japanese.

We call them 泥棒, dorobou nowadays.

楽は苦の種、苦は楽の種

Ku wa raku no tane, raku wa ku no tane, a Japanese proverb.

Literally, it means that “current temporal pleasure can be a seed for future pain, current temporal pain can be a seed for future pleasure”.

This can contain the meaning that if you bear the difficult time now, you will be happy, or indulging only in easy pleasure, nobody will reach happiness.

It can be understood as warning phrase for self-conceitedness, I guess.

悪銭身に付かず

Akusen mini tsukazu, a Japanese proverb.

Literally, it can mean that bad money will not stay with you.

When you obtain money by the unfair manner such as bribery, you will spend the money easily and such money will not construct your true wealth.

English equivalent proverb: Soon gotten, soon spent. Ill got, ill spent.

意、言外にあるを尊ぶ

I, gengai ni aru wo toutobu, a Japanese proverb.

Literally, the first word, 意, i, means meaning and 言, gen, means words and 尊ぶ, toutobu, is the verb expressing the act of paying the respect to somebody and or something.

Maybe, it can be: paying respect to the deep meaning, which does not appear verbally.

Or in other words: reading between lines is another phrase often used in English.

Interestingly, in German the expression of zwischen Zeilen zu lesen, and also in French: pour comprendre le vrai sens, l’homme a besoin de lire entre les lignes.

It may imply the ambiguity of Japanese language and it may be difficult to understand the real intention of speaker.

To understand different culture, often, we need to imagine the real meaning behind the words.

I heard that in Chinese, they also say 意在外言.

良い花は後から

Yoi hana wa ato kara, a Japanese proverb.

Literally, good flowers come late.

Superficial beauty just in front of you is not quite something. Real good thing will come late after maturation.

Equivalent English phrases which I found are: The best is behind and Great talents mature late.

蟻の思いも天に届く

Ari no omoi mo ten ni todoku, a Japanese proverb.

Even a wish of an ant reaches the heaven.

Connotation: Even a dream of a small and weak living creature like ant will be realized through wholehearted efforts.

Even in the feudalistic Edo era (1600-1867) in Japan, common people encouraged each other to realize their good will for building better commune, I presume.

Auch der Wunsch einer Ameise erreicht den Himmel.

Konnotation: Auch ein Traum von einem kleinen und schwachen Lebewesen wie Ameisen ist durch die rückhaltlosen Anstrengungen realisierbar.

English equivalent proverb: Even the prayers of the lowly are heard in Heaven.

Wenn auch in der feudalistischen Edo-Zeit (1600-1867) in Japan ermutigten die gemeine Volk sich einander, um die inhaltsreiche Gemeinde aufzubauen, nehme ich an.

善は急げ

Zen wa isoge, a Japanese proverb.

Japanese proverb, but originally from Ancient Buddhism, Dhammapada in India.

Literally, start doing something good just in front of you.

Don’t intentionally select something easy to start from the beginning. Man has a habit of indulging laziness, when you don’t start.

Equivalent English expressions: Weeds grow apace. Strike while the iron is hot. Make hay while the sun shines.

French equivalent: Mauvaise herbe croît toujours.

Not same but something similar in German: Erst die Arbeit, dann das Vergnügen.

柔能く剛を制す

Jyu yoku gou wo seisu, a Japanese proverb.

Japanese proverb which means: The soft outcomes the hard.

Jyu means “something soft”, gou means “physical strength or physically strong person”, yoku means “well over”, seisu means “control”.

Originated from the ancient China’s war tactics, however, it was adjusted to the spirit or mind readiness of Japanese martial art, Judo.

Flexible use of the body of smaller person can control over the power of the stronger person.

The innermost philosophy of Judo does not mean physical win but the controlling of the competitor’s power without hurting each other.

その他の日本のことわざ

→ 一長一短

→ ならぬ堪忍するが堪忍

→ 大恩は報せず(1)

→ 大恩は報ぜず(2)

→ 借りてきた猫

→ 鰯の頭も信心から

→ 桃栗三年柿八年

→ 下手の考え休むに似たり

→ 毒を以って毒を制す

→ 一言既に出ずれば駟馬も追い難し

→ 幽霊の正体見たり枯れ尾花


四文字熟語・三文字熟語

我田引水

Gaden-insui

Moving water into one’s own rice field.

It seems that this is Japanese made words of using the Chinese characters.

You lead mater into your own rice field and you don’t care about the water needed for the rice fields of others

This is an aphorism or self-warning word for your self-conceitedness.

我 is ga; my or our, 田 is den; rice field, 引is in ;to draw, 水 is sui; water.

大義名分

Taigi-meibun

Taigi-meibun, is one of the words of which definition is not easy.

Originally in the era of Confucius, it was understood as the principle of justifying the fidelity between master and man.

But later in Japan, especially, during Edo era, the attitude of convincing oneself to pursue the justification to realize the moral ideals.

But in modern Japan, often it is misunderstood as the tool for egoistic justification of one’s behavior, I feel.

正確無比

Seikaku muhi

Unmatched accuracy.

Emphasizing expression of accuracy.

No other comparable thing exists as it is so accurate.

Seikaku(正確) here means accuracy and mu(無) here means nothing and hi(比) means comparison.

一心不乱

Isshin furan

The status of extremely concentrated attitude to tackle the mission without being disturbed by anyone, anything.

一 means one, 心 means heart, 不 means negation of the following word, 乱 is something which disturbs someone.

Auf Deutsch sagt man wie mit Leib und Seele, mit gespannter Aufmerksamkeit, glaube ich.

公平無私

Kouhei mushi

kouhei mushi, is the state of being neutral and fair or disinterested in something disturbs you. It can be described as impartiality, fair-mindedness.

Impartiality might be Objektivität, Unbefangenheit, Vorurteilslosigkeit in German and Impartialité in French.

  • 公 means something which is not related to yourself or your ego, which should be commonly shared with other people.
  • 平 means the act of making something flat and smooth.
  • 無 means nothing or negation of the following word.
  • 私 individual existence.

花鳥風月

Kachou fuugetsu

Literally, 花, ka, means flower, 鳥, chou, means bird(s), 風, fuu, means wind and 月, getsu, means moon.

Those are symbolic objects in nature and as one phase of words, kachou fuugetsu.

Through this expression, the medieval Japanese artists wanted to depict the scenic beauties in nature (beautés scéniques dans la nature, Landschaftliche Schönheiten in der Natur).

This is refined vocabulary among the Japanese who are enjoying the literature.

和気香風

Waki koufuu

Depicting the calm atmosphere surrounded by the good fragrance around you.

和, wa, means mild, calm, quiet, moderate: 気, ki, means atmosphere:
香, kou, means fragrance, scent, aroma: 風, fuu, means wind, breeze.

You may be able to imagine that you are in the early morning and you feel something fresh in your mind for the beginning of the day.

以心伝心

Ishin denshin

The contents that can be only conveyed through man-to-man teaching as the Buddhist’s use of the words is not easy.

In Japanese way of reading it is “kokoro wo motte, kokoro ni tsuta(f)u”
“Fu” is an old orthography and nowadays, we pronounce it as “u”.

It is originated from the Buddhist scripture of Táng (唐) era in China (618 – 907).

Later in Japan, the phrase is interpreted in the sense that not based on the verbal communication, people can understand each other.

But in the modern days of Japan, the ambiguity of the communication gap increases, and as this is not understood as telepathy, the original strict Chinese meaning was diluted in Japan and we must conduct properly correct verbal communication, otherwise, people misunderstand each other.

This ambiguity seems to be one of the typical Japanese characters.

Some Japanese tried to explain the phrase “se comprendre sans rien dire” in French and “wortlose Kommunikation von Herz zu Herz” in German.

天罰覿面

Tenbatsu tekimen

Literally, it can mean:Heavenly punishment appears instantly (on your face).

It can be interpreted: Even if your attempt of committing wrongdoings is carried out stealthily, the Heaven will bring you down the vengeance precisely and effectively.

The kanji word 覿 is difficult one to interpret but the concept is that something will reach to the lower place from higher.

Interesting English equivalent proverb: Winter never rots in the sky.

外柔内剛

Gaijuu naigou

外; gai=outside, 柔; jyuu=soft, 内; nai = inside, 剛; gou = strong

The surface seems to be soft but the (mental) interior is strong.

Japanese phrase depicting the character of human being.

内柔外剛:Naijuu gaigou has an opposite meaning of the above phrase.

Other expressions in foreign languages:

(A man who is) gentle in appearance but tough in spirit.

Freundlichkeit nach außen und innere Bestimmtheit. (外部へ示す親しみやすさと、内に秘めたる決意、Friendliness to the outside and inner determination, Convivialité à l’extérieur et détermination intérieure)

Main de fer sous un gant de velours. (ベルベットの手袋の下の鉄の手, iron hand under a velvet glove)

積小為大

Sekishou idai

A phrase by Sontoku NINOMIYA (1787 –1856), a Japanese agricultural politician cum moralist)

Through the accumulation of small things, you will achieve big success.
An English simple phrase of same meaning: Small scale, big change.

その他の四文字熟語

→ 心機一転

→ 一口両舌

→ 詭弁家

BlogMuraFC2BlogRanking

VISITORS HERE:3,782, HOLI GREEN TOTAL VIEWS : 3,048,605

Previous(down)/ Next(up)
投機的なレバレッジをかける事は許されていません。
メーカーが全てのディーラーを救えるかは不明、と言う匿名意見もあり。