Talk:Romanian proverbs

I want to make some corrections/remarks regarding the transliteration and translation of the romanian proverbs : 1. "Ai carte, ai parte."

  Translation: "Knowledge is power." 

Initially it had another meaning - "carte" was used in the sense of "document (of property)". So the translation would have been "You have documents, you have rights". This in no longer the case.

2. "Apără-mă de găini, că de câini nu mă tem."

  Transliteration: "Defend me from chicken, I'm not afraid of dogs." 
  Notes: this refers to people: the chicken are the mean people, the treacherous friends, the
  dogs are the known enemies 

Acctually I think this is a satire to the people who use to brag.

3. "Câinii latră, caravana trece."

  Transliteration: "The dogs bark, the caravan goes by." 
  Translation: "Don't listen to every word you hear." 

Sometimes is also used in the sense of "We are talking for nothing, as nobody listen us" 11:58, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)


  • Apa trece, pietrele rămân.
    • Translation: "Water flows, rocks remain."
  • Apără-mă de găini, că de câini nu mă tem. (also: "Apără-mă, Doamne, de prieteni, căci de dușmani mă feresc eu singur.")
    • Translation: "Defend me from chickens, for dogs I'm not afraid of."
      • Note: it refers to people: the chicken are the mean people, the treacherous friends, the dogs are the known enemies.
    • (also: "Defend me Lord from my friends, my enemies I do avoid myself.")
  • Aruncă binele în stânga şi în dreapta, şi la nevoie o să-l găseşti.
    • Translation: "Throw the good to your left and right, and you'll find it when you'll need it."
  • Ascultă cu urechile, vezi cu ochii, dar taci cu gura.
    • Translation: "Listen with your ears, see with your eyes, but shut up with your mouth."
  • Dacă tăceai filosof rămâneai.
    • Translation: "Had you kept silent you would have remained a wise man."
  • Banu-i ochiu' dracului
    • Translation: "Money is the devil's eye."
  • Treaba lăsată de azi pe mâine, baltă rămâne.
    • Translation: "Work from today left until tomorrow, remains undone."
  • Cine are carte, are parte!
    • Translation: "He who has a book, has power."("Knowledge is power.")
  • Cine ştie carte, are patru ochi
    • Translation: "He who knows books, has four eyes." (or "He who has knowledge")
  • Azi fură un ou, mâine un bou!
    • Translation: "Today he steals an egg, tomorrow an ox!"
  • La anul când o făta cârlanul! - sau - Când o fi bunica fată mare! - sau - Când o face plopul pere.
    • Translation: "Next year when the (male)lamb/calf delivers - and - When my grandma will be a virgin again!"
    • Meaning: Used to suggest something that will never happen.
  • Câinele bătrân nu latră degeaba.
    • Translation: "The old dog doesn't bark without reason."
  • Mulți văd, puțini pricep.
    • Translation: "Many see, few understand."
  • Cu gându' la Maica Domnului şi cu mâna în straiţa omului...
    • Translation: "With the thought at the Holy Virgin, with the hand in someone's pocket..."
    • Meaning: Thinking holy things while doing sinful deeds. (Hypocrisy)
  • Dacă doi spun că eşti beat, du-te şi te culcă.
    • Translation: "If two people say you're drunk, go to bed."
  • Dragostea e oarbă, dar căsătoria îi găseşte leacul.
    • Translation: "Love is blind, but marriage finds its cure."
  • Fereşte-mǎ, Doamne, de prieteni, cǎ de duşmani mǎ apǎr singur.
    • Translation: "Defend me, Lord, from my friends, because from enemies I can defend myself."
  • Fiecare pasăre, pe limba ei piere.
    • Translation: "Every bird dies by its own tongue."
  • Mâţa blândă zgârie rău.
    • Translation: "The gentle cat scratches the worst."
  • Nu măsura pe alţii cu palma ta.
    • Translation: "Don't measure others with your own hand."
    • English equivalent: Don't measure others by your own yardstick.
    • According as the man is, so must you humor him.
    • Terrence, The Brothers Act III, scene 3, line 77 (431).
  • Nu poţi îndrepta lumea cu umărul.
    • Translation: "You can't straighten the world with your shoulder."
  • Nu te pune cu prostul că are mintea odihnită.
    • Translation: "Don't argue with a fool, he has a rested mind."

  • Omul sfinţeşte locul.
    • Translation: "The man blesses the place."

  • Prietenul, la nevoie se cunoaşte!
    • Translation: "A friend in need is a friend indeed."
  • Prostul care nu-i fudul, parcă n-ar fi prost destul!
    • Translation: "The fool who's not proud, is not foolish enough!"
  • Râde ciob de oală spartă. - sau - Râde ruptul de cârpit. (George Topârceanu: "Un bețiv din lumea toată/Care se numește Nae/Ce fusese RUPT odată/De nevastă-sa-n bătaie/Auzind cum că nevasta/unui prieten i-a CÂRPIT/și aceluia o palmă, foarte mult s-a veselit./Morala: Râde RUPTUL de CÂRPIT.")
    • Translation: "The splinter laughs at the broken pot."
  • S-a dus baba cu colacii!
    • Translation: The granny handing out pretzels is gone.
    • Meaning: "There goes your chance!"
  • "S-a dus bou... şi s-a-ntors vacă !"
    • Translation: "He went as an ox and came back as a cow."
    • Meaning: Used for a person that spends a lot of time and money to study and gains nothing. (in Romanian, ox/cow is used for a person who lacks judgement, a fool)
    • Origin: Wealthy Romanians used (in the 19th century) to send their spoiled kids to Paris to study, but some of them came back unchanged or worse.
  • Sângele, apă nu se face.
    • Translation: "Blood doesn't turn into water."
  • Stăpânul învaţă sluga hoţ.
    • Translation: "The master turns the servant into a thief."
  • Te îneci ca ţiganu' la mal.
    • Translation: "You drown at the shore like the gypsy."
  • Satul/Țara arde şi baba se piaptănă.
    • Translation: "The village is burning and the granny is combing her hair."
  • Un prost încurcă, şi zece înţelepţi nu pot descurca"
    • Translation: "One fool tangles and ten wise men cannot untangle."
  • Unde nu intră soarele pe geam, intră doctorul pe uşă.
    • Translation: "Whrerever the sun doesn't come through the window, the doctor will come through the door."
  • Viaţa asta-i bun pierdut, de n-o trăieşti cum ai fi vrut!"
    • Translation: "Life is a waste if you didn't live as you would have wanted to!"
  • Vino necazule, dar vino singur!
    • Translation: "Come trouble, but come alone." (See above: Trouble never comes alone.)
  • Din coada de câine sata de matase nu faci!
    • Translation: "You can't turn a dog's tail into a silk scarf!"
  • S-a dat în stambă. - or - Și-a dat arama pe față
    • Translation: "He showed his true colors"
  • Vorba multă, sărăcia omului
    • Translation: "Too many words, the poverty of mankind."
  • a sta cu ochii pe ceva ca pe butelie
    • literal translation: "To keep eyes on something as if it were a gas tank"
    • meaning: During the late years of communism, there was a shortage of almost everything that civilized countries take for granted, including propane tank refills and even empty tanks. One would have to sit hours or days in line to get a refill when the state would provide it and one would have to fiercely guard their canister lest it be stolen. The comparison is still used widely today, since many people still remember what it's like to have to keep eyes on a propane canister. Chiefly used about either something expensive or, even more, about a little kid prone to doing damage to himself or the environment if left to its own devices.
  • Sluga bună nu duce lipsă de stăpân
    • Translation: "A good servant never lacks a master."
  • Soare cu dinți
    • Translation: "Sun with teeth"
    • Meaning: (referring to weather) when outside it's very cold but sunny.
  • Când pisica nu-i acasă , şoarecii joacă pe masă
    • Translation: "When the cat is not at home the mice dance on the table."
  • Bine faci , bine găseşti.
    • Translation: "When you do good, you get good."
  • Norocul este din sticlă , când incepe să stralucească , se sparge ..
    • Translation: "Luck is made of glass: when it starts to shine, it breaks."
Return to "Romanian proverbs" page.