Talk:Russian proverbs

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Is there cyrillic support? My computer died and I am currently running Windows 95, which I do not feel like setting up to type in Russian (if it is even possible). Should I do the quotes in cyrillic (if supported, and when my computer is back up) and/or english lettering?

Yes, thats what transliteration is for, example:

  • "Союз Советских Социалистических Республик"
    • Transliteration: "Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik"
    • Translation: "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics"
    • Notes: This is not a quote just an example.


My rudimentary knowledge of Russian tells me even the transliteration of the Russian proverb is wrong.
--Kpjas 18:27, 19 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Eslee :: If
hocheetsa :: need, want
rabotate :: work

lash :: lie down,
pa spee :: sleep, or take a nap
e fso praydot. :: everthing, (the need to work) will pass

I welcome the criticism, but I am Russian by birth and American by immigration. I've spoken both languages for most of my life (since 4, when I move to America, and i'm 17 now). What would you recommend as a translation?


Если хочется работать - ляг, поспи, и всё пройдёт.

This is the right version.
--Kpjas 08:10, 20 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I'm confused. Did you have a problem with my not typing in Russian? I mentioned earlier that I am running Windows 95 and am not sure how to type in Russian, or if it is at all possible. I will get my Windows XP machine running within seven days (i hope), then i can type in russian. Perhaps I should not have started the Russian Proverbs section if I did not have the ability to type in Russian, and if that caused a problem, I'm sorry. But I thought you had a problem with the translation, not the original quote.


Don't be. If my remark was a bit harsh I am sorry. I just wanted to point out that even the transliteration seems to me rather poorly reflect Russian pronounciation.
Esli hočetsya rabotat' - lyag, pospi, i vsio projdiot. This is the Lynx version of transliteration and it seems to me quite OK. I don't want to imply that my knowledge of Russian is better. In fact I am sure it is much worse. Several years of compulsory training is not enough. It's only that Polish shares quite a lot with Russian (both Slavic languages).
--Kpjas 22:19, 20 Aug 2003 (UTC)


Please see this diff [1]. I think the revision second latest would be better than the current one. So I would like to revert it. Is there anyone who has a ifferent opinion? --Aphaia 09:21, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Editing was going without any explanation of intention, so I placed 24hours blocking on that editor. Also I asked opinions on WQ:VP. Your comment will be appreciated. --Aphaia 09:44, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

I've been tought a russian saying which says STO U TRIESVOVO NA UMIE TO U PIANOVA NA YASIKIE which means WHAT THE SOBER MAN HAS IN HIS THOUGHT, THE DRUNK ONE HAS IN HIS TONGUE. It seems not to be in the list.

Proverb translation and transliteration[edit]

Is it okay to add an the English version of a Russian proverb that you don't know the translation for? Is it likely someone else will translate it back to Russian later?--TWaye 11:47, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I think so. It's the nature of a wiki project that you improve an article according to what you know, and others can then see what you did and improve it further. Even if the answer to your specific question was "no", it's not a big deal if you modified the article anyway, and later someone else might revert what you did (hopefully explaining his reason). In general, be bold. Of course, if you wish, you can try more complex options too, such as going to and asking the people there. Sams 15:37, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Семеро одного не ждут

This literally means that a group of people (literally 7 people) will not be waiting or postponing their business just for 1 person. This can also be interpreted that the priority should be given to the interests of a group/society as a whole rather than to one particular individual. This is also called in Russian collectivism or team spirit. More information can be obtained here from Russian Services

Hitch-hikers guide quote[edit]

the hitch-hikers guide quote does not seem to fit to me, if someone else agrees and has a better english version for the proverb, I think it would be a very good replacement
--Wiki.capwn 07:08, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

The idea of this proverb is as follows: Whether you're on the collision course with a superior power, expect that *you* will be crushed no matter what you do, not the other way around. I'm not aware of a comaprable English proverb. Wesha 21:20, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Not in the list (but imo should be there)[edit]

Сидеть на двух стульях сразу. Ложить яйца в обе корзины. И рыбку съесть, и на хуй сесть (obscene).

На "нет" и суда нет.

Лёгок на помине. 19:41, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Actually I was wrong, the strokenout phrases are idioms (not proverbs). 19:45, 10 June 2010 (UTC)


For the transliterations, the unstressed "о"s are not transliterated properly. They should be "а"s for the most part. For example:

Близо́к локото́к, да не уку́сишь.

It should be "Blizok lakatok, da nie ukusish" instead of whatever's up there.

"ничего" should come out as "nichevo" not "nichego."

The point of a transliteration is to "translate" the pronunciation, not the equivalent letter in the alphabet.

You are soooo wrong and what say is so moronely stupid that not even your (possibly) being Russian does notz excuse you. What you you think the word transLITERate come from? Yes, big boy, it has the same source as the word LETTER. And that's what it is: A conversion of (in our case) every Cyrillic LETTER into a Latin LETTER - preferably in such a way that the spelling is exactly preserved. What you are talking about is "phonetic script", and since our great-grandfather's times, nobody in their right mind would use Latin letters (or Cyrillic BTW) for that purpose. Ever heard of the I.P.A. (International Phonetic Alphabet). But be warned, you need an IQ slightly above that of a potato to learn that.....


As the template says, please to not edit the page itself while I'm working. I'm currently attempting to source these phrases to restore them. This is NOT an endorsement of the current policies, but I feel I owe it to the Wiki community to restore as many of these as possible as quickly as possible.

I will place the unsourceable quotes on this talk page in the hopes that a native speaker could find a source for them. In the meantime, I will be sourcing these alphabetically as quickly as possible. 21:14, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Also, I'm going to stop for the day after "Г," but if anyone can spare the time to put these in alphabetical order, I'd appreciate it. 21:49, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I got through the "М" section, lot of casualties in that section. I've finally finished for the day. Feel free to clean up if anyone sees anything before I get back to work. 02:43, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
That was a tremendous amount of work. I need to make another pass in order to figure out what I missed due to word order or the like, then I'll post the still unsourced ones here for others to document.
I hope you all enjoy it. Since I have a massive source of proverbs now I don't much need this, but I think it's important people have access to the ability to learn and I'd hope somewhere else is someone doing this for something I'll need in the future.
По полю танки грохотали, друг. 07:19, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

A tip concerning English[edit]

Correct English would be "confirmed by the following book" - "through" is the version Germans would use ("durch folgendes Buch bestätigt"); can't really see how you get to "through" from a Russian instrumental, mind! Also "English" and "Russian", not "english" / " russian". Maelli (talk) 11:03, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

The lower case words are accurate for APA citation format, and as a native English speaker, "through" seems as good or better than "by." Bearing in mind the Midwest has a heavy Germanic influence, and my background in engineering and labwork makes it likely it's shorthand for "Was verified through the use of." 23:05, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Accurate translation[edit]

Right now the article says: Ба́ба с во́зу — кобы́ле ле́гче. Moral: Also: Don't let a woman do a man's job. Actually, this proverb does not have gender connotation. Woman is mentioned, but not the gender work division. (Also кобыла/horse is female as well:). I'll erase this, if no one minds. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ‎Cosainsé (talkcontribs) 23:14, 17 feb 2013 (UTC)

meaning wrongly taken[edit]

Hi, everyone! i'm talking about:

   Бережёного Бог бережёт.
       Transliteration: Berezhonogo bog berezhot.
       Translation: God keeps those safe who keep themselves safe.
       English equivalent: Heaven helps those who help themselves.


       Meaning: When in trouble first of all every one himself should do his best to improve his condition.
       Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. p. 150. ISBN 1-875943-44-7.
       Visson (1991). From Russian into English: an introduction to simultaneous interpretation. Ardis. p. 151. ISBN 0875010954.

i hate to say this, but source might be awfully wrong. i'm a native speaker myself, and i've never heard this saying in quoted meaning. the causality here should be reversed (vs what is quoted) - first you (or someone) watch for yourself, and then (if you happen to get into trouble), God watches over you (helps you out). actual gramatic form also does not imply that one should watch for himself, you might keep and eye on someone else, then that person gets extra divine defence. this essentially means, that watching over something is never in excess, the more you pay attention to smth/someone, the higher chances that everything will be OK. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ‎ (talkcontribs) 06:56, 30 mei 2013 (UTC)}

That's my understanding of the English equivalent as well. Similar to "Fortune favors the bold," it's an idiomatic statement that implies if you want protection, you have to look it yourself. It's not literally saying that there's divine protection in looking after yourself, but rather you must look out for yourself. 22:25, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

'Don't kick against the pricks, meaning don't try to remove a thorn by pushing it in deeper'

Unless I'm mistaken, it means nothing of the sort. The pricks referred to were metal spikes on ploughing gear, a frustrated animal might lash out kicking them, but only hurts itself by doing so. So the meaning is: Don't do actions out of frustration that will only hurt you.

Doesn't make sense[edit]

Хлеб-соль ешь, а правду-матку режь. Allow me just to barge in and say that this HAS a meaning, and translation provided is far too literal. Correct one, in my opinion, would be Eat your breand and salt, and speak your truth. This is also connected to old Russian custom of presenting two of the rarest things at the time to your most honorable guest - the bread, which was indeed not common, but not so as other element, and salt, which was precious to anybody at the time. So what this means is, with bread and salt being important, that you telling the truth should be valued more than eating or presenting one with bread and salt. To 'cut' the truth - to speak it. 01:55, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

This proverb seems to be reported wrongly[edit]

I think better translation for Была не была is "Come what may". [T]. And for Бог дал, Бог взял - "The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away" [T]

I think the supposed proverb Муж в Тверь - жена в дверь is not right. The real proverb is the other way around: Муж в дверь - жена в Тверь , that is: "the husband [goes] outdoors, the wife [runs off] to Tver". The meaning is: "a woman will be unfaithful unless she is constantly watched". This proverb is known also outside Russia, because it appears in a novella by Dostoyevsky called Uncle's Dream, and I'm pretty sure Dostoyevsky quotes it like I said.

По одёжке встреча́ют, по уму́ провожа́ют[edit]

One meets/greets [people] by their clothes, and says farewell by their mind.

I think a better translation of this might be:

One meets/greets [people] by their clothes, but says farewell to their mind.

Just my 2 cents. Rystheguy (talk) 08:06, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

yes please submit more because one of them translates to "A God does not create a horny cow" .... so I'm sure wikipedia is just ignorant

Quote on proverb about evil man in Russian proverbs page[edit]

  • How is this not relevant? 09:03, 23 September 2020 (UTC)

Possible vandalism by Spannerjam[edit]

I notice a lot of the page's edits come from this one user, but a lot of them are completely incorrect.

For example, this edit replaces the phrase "Leave well enough alone" which has a source with "That which cometh from the heart will go to the heart" (??) and an irrelevant quote from a pulp fantasy novel.

Another example, this edit adds the saying "вот где собака зарыта" (literally meaning "that's where the dog is buried") but incorrectly translates it as "To smell a rat".

It's hard to tell if this is intentional vandalism or just well-intentioned mistakes, but it seems like the net effect on the page is negative. What's the best way to address this? 07:13, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

Hi! I do a lot of experimination, sometimes it turns out good, and sometimes it turns out poorly, but I eventually correct my mistakes. I added the quote "Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you. Give me a pig. He just looks you in the eye and treats you as an equal.". At the time I added it was on Winston Churchills english wikiquote page. Though the part about looking in the eye is only part in some iterations of the quote. I thought Winstons Churchills quote about dogs, pigs and cats is fitting to the proverb "Beware of the goat from its front side, of the horse - from its back side, and the evil man - from any side" seeing as heartless humans tend to look you in the eye just as pigs are known to be mean and ostracizing. Spannerjam (talk) 11:35, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
Do you think the quotation is relevant to the proverb? I do! Spannerjam (talk) 11:40, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
Hi, it sounds like you are trying to be helpful but I think it's best to stick to reliable sources rather than trying to creatively interpret the proverbs oneself. 22:56, 24 September 2020 (UTC)