23.3.11

Proverbs: Character


القرد بعيون إمّه غزال
El-2erd bi-3yún emmo ghazél
In his mother's eyes, the ape is a gazelle.
(Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.)


أمّ القاتل بتنسى، أمّ المقطول ما بتنسى
Emm el-2étel btensa, umm el-ma2túl ma btensa
The mother of the killer forgets, the mother of the killed does not forget.


 وراه كلّ رجل عظيم إمرأة
Wara kell rajol 3azîm emra2a
Behind every great man is a woman.

قاضي الولعد شنق حاله
Qádi l-wléd shana2 7álo
The children's judge hanged himself.
(The minds of children can't be rationalized.)

الولد ولد ولو حكم بلد
El-walad walad walaw 7akam balad
The child is a child even if he rules a country.

الطيور ع أشكالها توقع
At-tuyúr 3a ashkéla tú2a3
Birds fall together according to their kind.
(Birds of a feather flock together.)

الأخ جنح
El-akh jan7
The brother is a wing (a refuge.)
 
أسعد إيّامك تنفيذ كلامك
As3ad iyyémak tanfîz kalémak
The happiest of your days is the keeping of your word.

ألّي بشوفني بعين بشوفه بالتنتين
Alle bishúfne b3én bshúfo bet-tentén
The one who sees me with one eye, I see him with both.
(Kindness is returned twofold)

ظلّ الكريم فسيح
 Zoll el-karîm fasî7
The shadow of the generous is vast.
(A generous person can help a large number of people.)

الصبر مفتاح الفرح
As-sabr mefté7 el-fara7
Patience is the key to happiness.

الحركة فيها بركة والرزقة بدّه نطّة
El-7arake fiya barake, war-rez2a badda natta
Movement has good fortune in it and good luck need a jump.
(Action brings good fortune, and inversely, if you want good luck you need to give it a jumpstart. Equivalent to English: Heaven helps those who help themselves; and French: Aide-toi et le ciel t'aidera.)

طولة البال بتشيل من الحامض حلو
Túlet el-bél betshîl men el-7ámod 7elo
Patience extracts sugar from a lemon.

العقل جوهرة
El-3a2l jawhara
The mind is a jewel.

الحبّ ستّار العيوب
El-7obb sittár al-3yúb
Love conceals the shames.
(Love is blind.)

ألّي بيحفر حفرة بيوقع فيا
Alle bye7for 7afra byú2a3 fya
One who digs a hole (=a trick) falls in it.
(French: Tel est pris qui croyait prendre.)

الساكت بالحقّ متل الناطق بالباتل
As-séket bel-7a22 metl el-néte2 bel-bétel
The one who is quiet about the truth is like the one who speaks during a vow of silence.
(Being quiet when you should speak up is as bad as speaking when you should be quiet.)

السكوت أخو الرادة
Es-sukút akhu l-ráda
Silence is the brother of agreement.
 
البشاشة خير من القرى
El-bashásha khér men el-qura
Joviality is better than hospitality.

الشغل مش عيب، عيب ع الّي بيعملو عيب
Esh-sheghl mesh 3éb, 3éb 3alle bya3mlo 3éb
Labor is not a shame, the shame is on those who make it a shame.

الطمع ضرّ ما نفع
 Et-tam3 darr ma nafa3
Greed harmed instead of benefiting.
(English: By wanting all we lose all. )

 عالم بلا عمل متل الغيم بلا مطر
3álem bala 3amal metl el-gheym bala matar
Knowledge without action is like a cloud without rain.

 ألّي ما بيوقع ما بيقوم
Alleh ma byú2a3 ma bi2úm
The one who doesn't fall, doesn't get up.

 الإنسان ما بيتعلّم إلا من كيسه
El-ensén ma byet3allam ella men kîso
The human being learns solely from his own bag.

كلّ شي مع العافية طيّب
Kell shi ma3 el-3áfie tayyeb
Everything is good when the health is good.

فقير ما عليه دين غني
Fa2îr ma 3ale deyn ghane
The poor who has no debts is rich.


الفقر بيعمي القلب
El-fo2r bye3me l-2alb
Poverty blinds the heart.

العنقود العالي حصرم
El-3on2od el-3ále 7osrom
The grape that is high is too green.
(7osrom is what we call grape when it is still very green and sour. The proverb implies a situation where someone wasn't able to reach the fruit to pick it, and so decided it is too green and he doesn't want it after all. This very idea is the subject of a fable by La Fontaine.)

كلّ الدروم بتودّي عالطاحون
Kell el-drúm betwaddi 3al-tá7un
All paths lead to the miller.

العادة خامس طبيعة
El-f3ade khémes tabi3a
Habit is a fifth nature (second nature in English.)

ألّي سبق شمّ الحبق
Alle saba2 shamm el-7aba2
The one who arrived first smelled the basil.
(First come, first served)

العصا بتخلّي الدبّ يرقص
El-3asa betkhalle l-debb yer2os
The stick can make the bear dance.
(Threats can achieve anything.)

ألّي ما بأثّر فيه الكلام ما بأثّر فيه العصا
Alle ma bi2asser fî l-kalem ma bi2asser fî l-3asa
One who is not moved by words is not moved by the stick (contradicts the previous one)

الفقر بيعمي القلب
El-fo2r bye3me l-2alb
Poverty blinds the heart.