Bosnian proverbs

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Oh, love is real enough; you will find it someday, but it has one archenemy—and that is life.
Jean Anouilh Ardele
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B

  • Latin: Bolje vrabac u ruci, nego golub na grani. - Cyrillic: Боље врабац у руци, него голуб на грани.
    • Translation: A sparrow in the hand is better than a pigeon on the branch. (A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.)
  • Latin: Buni se ko grk u hapsu. - Cyrillic: Буни ce ko грk у хaпcу.
    • Translation: He complains like an imprisoned Greek (He complains too much.)

D

  • Latin: Da padne na leđa,razbio bi nos. - Cyrillic: Да падне на леђа,разбио би нос.
    • Translation: If he fell onto his back,he'd break his nose. (when the person is very clumsy)
  • Latin: Dala baba dinar da se uhvati u kolo, a dva da se pusti. - Cyrillic: Дала баба динар да се ухвати у коло, а два да се пусти.
    • Translation: Grandma gave a dinar to dance, and two to stop. (Be careful what you wish for.)

G

  • Latin: Gvožđe se kuje dok je vruće. - Cyrillic: Гвожђе се кује док је вруће.
    • Translation: Iron is worked when it's still hot. (Strike the iron while its hot)
  • Latin: Gdje je mnogo babica, kilava su deca. - Cyrillic: Гдjе je много бабица, килава cу деца.
    • Translation: Where there are many midwives, children will be feeble. (Too many cooks spoil the broth.)
  • Latin: Gdje ti mnogo obećavaju, malu torbu ponesi. - Cyrillic: Гдjе ти много обећавају, малу торбу понеси.
    • Translation: Where people are promising much to you, bring a small bag. (Similar to There is no free lunch.)

I

  • Latin: Iver ne pada daleko od klade. - Cyrillic: Ивер не пада далеко од кладе.
    • Translation: A splinter doesn't land far from the trunk. (An apple doesn't fall far from the tree.)

K

  • Latin: Kad mačke nema, miševi kolo vode. - Cyrillic: Кад мачке нема, мишеви коло воде.
    • Translation: When cat is absent, mice circle dance. (When the cat's away, the mice will play.)

L

  • Latin: Lijepa riječ i gvozdena vrata otvara. - Cyrilic: Лиjепа риjеч и гвоздена врата отвара.
    • Translation: A kind word opens even the iron doors. (you can succeed in anything by being polite)

N

  • Latin: Na mlađima svijet ostaje. - Cyrillic: На млађима свиjет остаје.
    • Translation: The world is left to the young.
  • Latin: Na nevidišu nema krivice. Cyrillic: На невидишу нема кривице.
    • Translation: If it isn't seen, there's no guilt. (If you do something without being caught it isn't done.)
  • Latin: Ne može kruška da rodi jabuku. - Cyrillic: Не можe крушка да роди јабуку.
    • Translation: A pear tree cannot bear an apple.
  • Latin: Ne sej tikve gdje još nisu nikle! - Cyrillic: Не сeј тикве гдjе још нису никле!
    • Translation: Don't plant pumpkins where they never sprouted! (Don't waste your time trying things which are proven won't work)
  • Latin: Nema vatre bez dima. - Cyrillic: Нема ватре без дима.
    • Translation: There is no fire without smoke. (Where there is smoke there is fire.)
  • Latin: Nema mirnog dijeteta ni mlade babe. - Cyrillic: Нема мирног дijетета ни младе бабе.
    • Translation: There's no quiet child nor young grandmother.
  • Latin: Nema hlijeba bez motike! - Cyrillic: Нема хлиjеба без мотике!
    • Translation: There's no bread without a hoe! (Similar to Only hard work pays off.)
  • Latin: Nije zlato sve što sija. - Cyrillic: Није злато све што сија.
    • Translation: Not all shiny things are golden. (All is not gold that glitters.)

P

  • Latin: Pas koji laje ne ujeda. - Cyrillic: Пас који лаје не уједа.
    • Translation: The dog that barks doesn't bite. (Someone who threatens too much does this to frighten his enemies but in fact doesn't have enough courage to do anything about it.)
  • Latin: Praviti od komarca magarca. - Cyrillic: Правити од комарца магарца.
    • Translation: To make a donkey out of a mosquito. (To exaggerate.)
  • Latin: Prvo skoči pa reci hop. - Cyrillic: Прво скочи па реци хоп.
    • Translation: First leap, and then say "hop"! (Look before you leap.)
  • Latin: Ptica ranoranilica prva crva nađe. - Cyrillic: Птица раноранилицa прва црва нађе.
    • Translation: The early bird catches the worm first.

R

  • Latin: Rugala se šerpa loncu, široka mu usta. - Cyrillic: Ругала се шерпа лонцу, широка му уста.
    • Translation: A pan was mocking a pot because his mouth is big. (The pot calls the kettle black.)
  • Latin: Ružnoj djevojci ogledalo krivo. - Cyrillic: Ружној дjевојци огледало криво.
    • Translation: An ugly girl blames the mirror. (A bad craftsman blames his tools.)

S

  • Latin: Svuda pođi, svome domu dođi. - Cyrillic: Свуда пођи, својој кући дођи.
    • Translation: Go everywhere, come back to your home.

Š

  • Latin: Što možeš danas, ne ostavljaj za sutra. - Cyrillic: Што можеш данас, не остављај за сутра.
    • Translation: Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

T

  • Latin: Tko vino večera, vodu doručkuje. - Cyrillic: Tко вино вечера, воду доручкује.
    • Translation: Who has wine for dinner, he has water for breakfast. (You can't avoid paying consequences for your deeds)
  • Latin: Tko drugome jamu kopa sam u nju pada. - Cyrillic: Tко другоме јаму копа сам у њу пада.
    • Translation: Who digs a trap for others ends up in it himself.
  • Latin: Tko rano rani, dvije sreće grabi. - Cyrilic: Tко рано рани, двиjе среће граби.
    • Translation: One who gets up early is doubly lucky. (The early bird gets the worm.)
  • Latin: Tko s vragom tikve sadi, o glavu mu se obiju. - Cyrillic: Tко с ђаволом тикве сади, о главу му се обију.
    • Translation: If one sows pumpkins with the devil, they will bash onto one's head. (Similar to As you sow, so you shall reap.)
  • Latin: Tko seje vjetar, žanje oluju. - Cyrillic: Tко сeје вjетар, жање олују.
    • Translation: Who sows wind will harvest storm. (Similar to As you sow, so you shall reap.)
  • Latin: Tko uči znaće, ko štedi imaće. - * Cyrillic: Tко учи знаће, ко штеди имаће.
    • Translation: Those who study will know, those who save will have.
  • Latin: Tiha voda breg roni. - Cyrillic: Тиха вода брег рони.
    • Translation: Quiet water wears down a mountain.
  • Latin: Triput mjeri, jednom sijeci. - Cyrillic: Трипут мjери, једном сиjеци. -
    • Translation: Measure thrice, cut once.

U

  • Latin: U tom grmu čuči zec! - Cyrillic: У том грму чучи зец!
    • Translation: That's the bush where the rabbit squats! (That's where the solution lies!)
  • Latin: Uzdaj se u se i u svoje kljuse! - Cyrillic: Уздај се усе и у своје кљусе!
    • Translation: Trust yourself and your horse! (If you want to get things done, do it yourself)
  • Latin: Umiljato jagnje dvije ovce sisa. - Cyrillic: Умиљато јагње двиjе овце сиса.
    • Translation: Cuddly lamb suckles from two ewes. (Similar to Flattery will get you everywhere.)

V

  • Latin: Vrana vrani oči ne vadi. - Cyrillic: Врана врани очи не вади.
    • Translation: A crow doesn't pick out another crow's eyes. (A thief does not steal from another thief)