Hindi Proverbs in English

Hindi Proverbs in English – Proverbs are popularly defined as “short expressions of popular wisdom”. Efforts to improve on the popular definition have not led to a more precise definition.

  • सौ सुनार की, एक लुहार की
    • Transliteration: हाथ कंगन को आरसी क्या
    • Translation: The obvious needs no evidence.
  • जान है तो जहान है
    • Translation: (If) there’s life, then there’s the world.
    • Meaning: Only if you are alive, things matter.
  • जंगल में मोर नाचा किस ने देखा ?
    • Translation: Who saw a peacock dance in the woods?
    • Meaning: Even a very good thing will have to be made public, to be acclaimed by people.
  • जिस की लाठी उस की भैंस
    • Translation: Whoever owns the lathi (a huge cane/stick) owns the buffalo.
    • English equivalent: Might is right.
  • घर का भेदी लंका ढाये
    • Translation: The insider who knows all the secrets can bring down Lanka (a very prosperous city in Hindu mythology)
    • Meaning: It is the insider who is dangerous and leaks secretive information to help out your enemies.
  • बंदर क्या जाने अदरक का स्वाद
    • Translation: What does a monkey knows about the taste of ginger?
    • English equivalent: Laying pearls before swine.
    • Meaning: Someone who can’t understand can’t appreciate (or) Someone without refined tastes cannot appreciate a fine thing.
  • अब पछताए होत क्या जब चिड़िया चुग गई खेत
    • Translation: What is the use of crying when the birds ate the whole farm?
    • English equivalent: It’s no use crying over spilled milk.
    • Meaning: There is no use crying over something that has already finished/happened.
  • नाच न जाने, आँगन ठेढ़ा
    • Literal: Knows no dance, claims the stage is tilted.
    • English equivalent: A bad workman blames his tools.
    • “Said of a person without skill who blames his failure on other things.”
  • दूर के ढोल सुहावने लगते हैं
    • Translation: The drums sound better at a distance.
    • English equivalent: The grass is always greener on the other side.
    • “We tend to like the things we don’t have.”
  • घर की मुर्गी दाल बराबर
    • Translation: Hen at home is equivalent to the pulses.
    • “Self possessions are always undermined and other’s possessions seem better.”
  • जल में रहकर मगर से बैर ठीक नहीं
    • Translation: You should not have enmity with the crocodile if you are living in the water.
    • English equivalent: It is hard to live in Rome and strive against the Pope.
    • “You should not be hostile with people you need to stay/work with.”
  • जाती ना पूछो साधु की; पूछ लीजिए ज्ञान
    • Translation: Ask not a saint of his cast; ask of his knowledge.
    • English equivalent: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
    • “A person’s merit should be determined by his inherent qualities and contributions as an individual, not by superficial traits which fail to capture the essence of a person.”

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