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WORDS AND THEIR STORIES - Some of Our Listeners' Favorite Sayings

Written by Shelley Gollust -- Sunday, March 18, 2012 -- Views:

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Now, the VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.

A proverb is a short, well known saying that expresses a common truth or belief.  Many proverbs give advice about the best way to live.

Recently, we presented a program about proverbs.  We asked our listeners to send us their favorite proverbs.  A short time later, we received suggestions from around the world.  We heard from listeners in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.

The top proverb among these listeners is this one: "Where there is a will, there is a way." This means that you can rise above your problems if you have a goal and work very hard.

Some listeners liked another proverb: "Strike while the iron is hot." This means it is best to take action quickly and at the right time.  Another favorite proverb was, "God helps those who help themselves."

Xu Da-ju from China wrote that his country has thousands of proverbs.  Several of them are also used in the United States.  One example is "Birds of a feather flock together." This means that people who are alike often become friends or spend time together.

Another proverb is "Blood is thicker than water." This means family ties are stronger than other relationships.  A similar proverb states "Charity begins at home." A person should help his family or close friends before helping others.

Alina from China sent us this proverb: "He who would climb a ladder must begin at the bottom." That is good advice when working around your home or looking for a job.

Antonio Jose from Brazil says his favorite proverb is "Tell me who walks with you, and I'll tell you who you are." Didier Vermeulen of France sent us this one: "It does not matter the speed you go.  The most important thing is to never stop."

Wafaa from Egypt says her favorite proverb is, "Think twice, act wise." She also says she is making an effort to use this saying in her life.

Another favorite proverb among our listeners is "Practice makes perfect." This means you will become good at something if you keep doing it.  Another popular proverb is: "If you want something done right, do it yourself."

Najeeb from Afghanistan sent us this proverb: "If you risk nothing, then you risk everything."

And, here is the favorite proverb of Marius Meledje in Ivory Coast:  "Your defeat now is your victory in the future." He says it means you can learn from your mistakes.  This will help you do better when facing similar situations in the future.


This VOA Special English program was written by Shelley Gollust.  I'm Faith Lapidus.  We will present more programs about proverbs in the future.  And you can find more WORDS AND THEIR STORIES at our Web site, www.unsv.com.

Reader's Comments (9):
come on
Author: 博文009
That's true, "God helps those who help themselves". so we must work very hard. or we will not geting helps of God.
Author: monkey
Instructive, vivid.
Author: 博文009
谚语是一种简短、家喻户晓的表达普遍真理和信念的方式,许多谚语以富含最好的生活哲理给人们忠告。 最近,我提出了一项关于谚语的计划,我请听众给我们发送他们最喜欢的谚语。不久,我就收到了来自非洲、亚洲、欧洲、南美洲等世界各地的建议。 在那些听众的谚语中名列榜首的一个是:“那里有愿望,那里就有成功之路”。意思是如果你确定一个目标并为之努力奋斗,你就会克服所有的困难。 有些听众喜欢另一条谚语:“乘热打铁”。它的意思是最好在最合适的时机采取快速的行动。第三条谚语是:“上帝帮助自助的人”。 来自中国的徐大举说它的国家有上千条谚语,其中许多也在美国应用。一个例子是:“鸟的羽毛聚集在一起”。意思是人们喜欢交朋友并和朋友在一起。 第四条言语是:“血浓于水”。 意思是家庭成员之间的关系要比其他的关系紧密。相似的谚语说:“慈善从家庭开始”。意思是人们在帮助别人前,首先要帮助自己的家庭和朋友。
Author: 博文009
来自中国的安丽娜发给我们一条谚语:“梯子必须从第一级开始爬”。当你在家做家务或寻找工作时,这是最好的忠告。 来自巴拿马的琼.安提娜说他喜欢的谚语是“告诉我谁和你同行,我告诉你你是谁”。来自法国的迪德沃缪勒告诉 我们这样一条谚语“问题不在于你行走的速度,而在于永不停步”。 来自埃及的沃尔法说她喜欢的谚语是“三思而后行”,同时她说,她也在生活中努力应用之一谚语的忠告。 我们的听众喜欢的另一条谚语是“不断实践,不断完善”。意思是你不断重复做一件事,就会擅长做这件事。另一条众所周知的谚语是“事必躬亲,才能无失”。来自阿富汗的那洁比发给我们的谚语是“如果你不冒任何风险,就永远处在风险中”。 还有来自象牙海岸的马若思梅来耶喜欢的谚语“失败是成功之母”。他说,意思是从失败中吸取教训,他可以帮助你在遇到同样的事情时做的更好。
Author: luoxiaguwu
与楼上商榷。One example is "Birds of a feather flock together." This means that people who are alike often become friends or spend time together. 这句话,您译为“一个例子是:“鸟的羽毛聚集在一起”。意思是人们喜欢n交朋友并和朋友在一起。” 我似乎以为应当这样理解:一个例子是“物以类聚,人以群分”。意思是志同道合的人常成为朋友并喜欢聚在一起。
Author: andy
very good
Author: Co-Ever
If you risk nothing,you risk everything.
Author: Co-Ever
Your defeat now is your victory in the future.
Author: satinka
where there is a will,there is a way.it means 有志者,事竟成。
Author: Christine
Practice makes perfect 熟能生巧
Author: Christine
Author: caoshangfei
God helps those who help themselves上天垂青于有准备的人
Author: xiaolingya
Nothing is important!
Author: xiaolingya
Everything is possible
Author: Leeyuhui
Proverbs are very helpful in writing.We should collect and master a lot of them in ordinary time.
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