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Old 24.05.2011, 08:35
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Swiss Proverb Help

Grüezi mitenand!

I was wondering about the authenticity of some "Swiss Proverbs" that I found on the internet. Here are the 2 that I am most curious about:
  1. Who cares about every little feather should not make the bed.
  2. You learn through mistakes - no one was born a master.
Is either or both of these authentic? If so, can anyone help with a Swiss translation?

For the curious, here are some sources for (alleged) Swiss proverbs:
http://www.inspirationfalls.com/swiss-proverbs/
http://thinkexist.com/quotes/swiss_proverb/
http://www.worldofquotes.com/proverb/Swiss/1/index.html

Thanks in advance!
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Old 24.05.2011, 09:12
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

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Grüezi mitenand!

I was wondering about the authenticity of some "Swiss Proverbs" that I found on the internet. Here are the 2 that I am most curious about:
  1. Who cares about every little feather should not make the bed.
  2. You learn through mistakes - no one was born a master.
Is either or both of these authentic? If so, can anyone help with a Swiss translation?

For the curious, here are some sources for (alleged) Swiss proverbs:
http://www.inspirationfalls.com/swiss-proverbs/
http://thinkexist.com/quotes/swiss_proverb/
http://www.worldofquotes.com/proverb/Swiss/1/index.html

Thanks in advance!
I only know the second one, but I'm not sure whether it's really a Swiss proverb. I think it's used in Germany as well.

2. Man lernt, indem man Fehler macht - Keiner wird als Meister geboren
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Old 24.05.2011, 16:32
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

Hm. I'm swiss and I don't know the first one...
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Old 24.05.2011, 16:37
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

I actually never heard of "Swiss Proverbs". They don't strike me as a people who would be very proverbial. However I'm sure a lot of people on the forum could make up quite a few interesting Swiss Proverbs
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Old 24.05.2011, 16:41
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

When stood outside a doorway, light a cigarette.
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Old 24.05.2011, 16:45
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

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When stood outside a doorway, light a cigarette.
Once cigarette is lit, open energy drink. Stare, frown, repeat.
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Old 24.05.2011, 16:50
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, of the Swiss.
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Old 24.05.2011, 16:52
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

Is the second one really a proverb at all ? It sounds more like something that you would hear at a career development seminar...
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Old 24.05.2011, 17:35
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

I'm not swiss but anyhow... I give it a try...

The first one - never heard before (but I'm a foreigner so it doesn't mean anything)

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Grüezi mitenand!
  1. a) You learn through mistakes - b) no one was born a master.
You 've got already the verbatim translation.

Proverbs with the same meaning, that are more familiar for me (german background)

2.
a) "Aus Schaden wird man klug"
- Horrible translation:You'll get wise because of damage...
(so difference would be damage = general/ mistakes=own fault)

b) "Es ist noch kein Meister vom Himmel gefallen"


These two proverbs express the same, but sound more common at least for me.

Can ask my swiss flatmate when I see her. Would be interested too if there's a difference.


nice combination of the two could be the proverb/Sprichwort:

"Übung macht den Meister"
translation from the internet : Practice makes perfect.

It's pretty common too...
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Old 24.05.2011, 18:16
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

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Is the second one really a proverb at all ? It sounds more like something that you would hear at a career development seminar...
I'm sure it was in Karate Kid II.
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Old 24.05.2011, 18:26
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

One of the most disturbing ones I've ever heard here is "The clothing makes the person."
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Old 25.05.2011, 11:55
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

Got few of swiss proverbs as below,, i personally like the 3rd one

"Jedum Lappi schis Chappi" (Jedem Narren seine Kappe)
Translation: "To every fool his hat"
Possible Interpretation: Everybody gets his extra wish

"Kein Rauch ohne Feuer"
Translation: "No smoke without fire"
Translation: "Where smoke rises, there must also be a fire"

"Wer den Rappen nicht ehrt ist des Frankens nicht wert
Translation: "Who doesn't honor the Rappen isn't worth the Franken" (swiss currency, 100Rappen = 1Franken)

"Le diable se cache dans les détails"
Translation: "The devil hides himself in details"
"Y a pas le feu au lac"
Translation: "The lake is not on fire"

Possible Interpretation: Relax, no need to hurry
"Sometimes you have to be silent to be heard"
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Old 25.05.2011, 22:27
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

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Got few of swiss proverbs as below,, i personally like the 3rd one

"Jedum Lappi schis Chappi" (Jedem Narren seine Kappe)
Translation: "To every fool his hat"
Possible Interpretation: Everybody gets his extra wish

"Kein Rauch ohne Feuer"
Translation: "No smoke without fire"
Translation: "Where smoke rises, there must also be a fire"

"Wer den Rappen nicht ehrt ist des Frankens nicht wert
Translation: "Who doesn't honor the Rappen isn't worth the Franken" (swiss currency, 100Rappen = 1Franken)

"Le diable se cache dans les détails"
Translation: "The devil hides himself in details"
"Y a pas le feu au lac"
Translation: "The lake is not on fire"

Possible Interpretation: Relax, no need to hurry
"Sometimes you have to be silent to be heard"
Question: are these translations or the equivalent "proverb" in English ( I'm one of the locals, EF is a good way to practice and brush up my english). Thanks for your answer.
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Old 25.05.2011, 22:38
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

Another very common sentence in Switzerland:

- "mä cha nid z'weggli u z'füfi ha"
Litt. translation: one can't have the bread (weggli=roll) and the (füfi=five) cents ( to pay for it).
Meaning: you can't have everything.

The same in french:
- "avoir le beurre et l'argent du beurre" (litt. "to have the butter and keep the money to pay for")

And in italian:
- "avere la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca".

I have asked for a german equivalent but got no answer.
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Old 25.05.2011, 22:46
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

my favourite is, "to show someone where the little bearded guy gets the juice"
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Old 25.05.2011, 23:14
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

I'm afraid I'll be no help for Swiss proverb but in English we have thousands.. in fact, we have an official dictionary of proverbs, as always entitled the Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs.

Some quoted above have direct or indirect English equivalents, or at least idiomatic translations:

"You learn by your mistakes" (more an idiom than a proverb)
"Manners maketh the man"
"Be careful what you wish for"
"Everything comes to he who waits"
"The devil is in the detail" (pay attention to small things)
"Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves"
"There's no smoke without fire" (rumour often reveals truth)
"You can't have your cake and eat it"

I like many others, too, such as:

"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree" (children grow up following their parents' behaviour)
"From acorns, grow mighty oaks" (start small and work your way up)
"A stitch in time, saves nine" (don't delay in fixing something, as it will only get worse)
"A rolling stone gathers no moss" (swift decisive action avoids trivial interruption)
"There's many a slip twixt cup and lip" (even simple things go wrong if you don't pay attention)

I suggest non-native speakers (or even the natives) check out the book by William George Smith, originating from about 1935, I think.
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Old 25.05.2011, 23:56
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

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my favourite is, "to show someone where the little bearded guy gets the juice"
What you mean is "Zeige, wo de Bartli de Moscht holt," but that is "to show where Bart (= Bartholomew) gets the cider." There are tons of Austrian and German versions too. Both "Bartli" and "Moscht" are heavily debated by etymologists, though.

By the way, I had a great-uncle called "Onggel Bartli." The fact he had a beard was a mere coincidence; his first name was Bartholomäus. See above.
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Old 26.05.2011, 01:04
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

"Ich bi nid uslaender" >>>>>>>>>>>>>>"Ich schnoere wie mir de schnabel gwachse isch "

Last edited by cannut; 26.05.2011 at 01:25.
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Old 26.05.2011, 07:45
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

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"There's no smoke without fire" (rumour often reveals truth)

"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree" (children grow up following their parents' behaviour)
.
I thought the first was "where there is smoke, there is fire" and the second "like father, like son".
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Old 26.05.2011, 08:23
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Re: Swiss Proverb Help

The only unofficial Swiss proverb, I pay heed to is:

Don't eat yellow snow.
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