English Proverbs
in Spanish

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Sometimes due to common origins, sometimes due to parallel human experience, similar proverbs appear in different languages. You'll be glad to meet with these old acquaintances on foreign soil: good old English proverbs... in Spanish.


Alcazar de Segovia
Enrique López Suárez

None so deaf as those who will not hear
No hay peor sordo que el que no quiere oír
Reasons and explanations are pitifully wasted on someone who obstinatly refuses to listen to the other side of the story.

No man is born wise or learned
Nadie nace enseñado
This proverb exhorts diligence in learning, reminding us that – generally speaking - the wisdom we admire in others is something aquired through study rather than something some people are born with.

All that glitters is not gold
No todo lo que reluce es oro
This Spanish proverb and its English counterpart advocate distrust of appearances, rightly reminding us that many things – and people - look much better than they really are.

Penny wise and pound foolish 
Lo barato sale caro
In the long run, one's money is best spent on quality goods that both do their job well and last.

Extremes meet
Los extremos se tocan
Paradoxically, extreme attitudes are often not that dissimilar to one another.

San Marcos

San Marcos
Enrique López Suárez

One man's meat is another man's poison
Nunca llueve a gusto de todos
What's pleasing to some will be odious to others.

Example is better than precept
No hay predicador como Fray Ejemplo
Words by themselves are mightless when it comes to educating others. Whoever really wants to get somewhere must show the way with his own deeds.

Let not thy tongue run away with thy brains
Al buen callar llaman Sancho
This proverb commends prudence in talk.

Every peddler speaks well of his pack
Cada buhonero alaba sus agujas
This proverb can be read either literally or metaphorically: A merchant often praises his wares well above their real worth.

Truth will out
Al final todo se sabe
There's no burying the truth for long...

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