Japanese Phrases - Proverbs


Empty vessels make the most noise Asase ni adanami
- Lit: Rippling waves in shallow water
When in Rome do as the Romans do. G˘ ni itte wa g˘ ni shitagae
- Lit: When in a village, follow the villagers
Like father like son Kaeru no ko wa kaeru
- Lit: The frog's child is a frog
We learn by our mistakes Shippai wa seik˘ no moto
- Lit: Failure is the source of success
Ignorance is bliss Shiranu ga hotoke
- Lit: The uninformed are like Buddha
Once away from home, one may do anything Tabi no haji wa kakisute
- Lit: Shame is discarded on a journey
A Jack of all trades is master of none Tagei wa mugei
- Lit: Many talents means no talent
No man is a hero to his valet Chikaku no b˘zu wa erakunai
- Lit: A bonze up close is not so great
A jewel in a dunghill Hakidame ni tsuru
- Lit: Like a crane on a garbage dump
To teach one's grandma how to suck eggs Shaka ni sepp˘
- Lit: Preaching Buddhism to Buddha
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread Mekura hebi ni ojizu
- Lit: The blind have no fear of snakes
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