Romanian proverbs

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  • Apa trece, pietrele rămân.
    • Translation: "Water flows, but rocks remain."
  • Apără-mă de găini, că de câini nu mă tem.
    • 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
  • 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: "Use your ears to listen, use your eyes to see, but use your mouth to shut up."
  • Dacă tăceai filosof rămâneai.
    • Translation: "Had he kept silent he would have passed for a wise man."
  • Banu-i ochiu' dracului
    • Translation: "Money is the devil's eye."
  • Treaba lăsată de azi pe mâine, baltă rămâne.
    • Translation: "Don't leave for tomorrow what you can do today."
  • Cine are carte, are parte!
    • Translation: "Knowledge is power."
  • Cine ştie carte, are patru ochi
    • Translation: "The one who has knowledge, has four eyes."
  • Azi fură un ou, mâine un bou!
    • Translation: "He who steals an egg today, will steal an ox tomorrow!"
  • Cine-i harnic şi munceşte are tot ce îşi doreşte. Cine fură şi nu-l prinde, are tot aşa!
    • Translation: "The one who works hard has everything he wants. The one who steals and is not caught, has the same."
    • Meaning: Life is not fair.
  • La anul când o făta cârlanul! - sau - Când o fi bunica fată mare!
    • Translation: "Next year when the lamb 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."
  • Câinele moare de drum lung şi prostul de grija altuia.
    • Translation: "A dog dies from too much walking, a fool from worrying about other's business."
  • Câinii latră, ursu' trece...
    • Translation: "The dogs bark, the bear passes by..." (undisturbed)
  • Până ce căţeaua nu ridică coada, câinele nu o miroase
    • Translation: "Until the bitch raises her tail, the dogs don't smell her"
  • Cine se scoală de dimineaţă, departe ajunge.
    • Translation: "Early risers travel far away."
  • Copii cuminţi şi babă frumoasă, cine-a mai vǎzut?!...
    • Translation: "Quiet/obedient children and beautiful old woman, who did ever saw?!"
  • 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.
  • Dacă doi spun că eşti beat, du-te şi te culcă.
    • Translation: "If two people say you're drunk, go to bed."
  • Dai un ban dar stai în faţă!
    • Translation: "You pay top dollar, but you get a front seat!"
  • Dragostea e oarbă, dar căsătoria îi găseşte leacul.
    • Translation: "Love is blind, but marriage finds its cure."
  • Drumul spre iad e pavat cu intenţii bune.
    • Translation: "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."
  • 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."
  • Leneşu' mai mult aleargă -- Scumpu' mai mult păgubeşte
    • Translation: "The lazy one runs more -- the stingy one loses more."
  • Mâţa blândă zgârie rău.
    • Translation: "The gentle cat scratches the worst."
  • Nu da vrabia din mână pe cioara de pe gard.
    • Translation: "Don't give the sparrow in the hand for the crow on the fence."
  • Nu iese fum fără foc.
    • Translation: "There's no smoke without fire."
  • Nu măsura pe alţii cu palma ta.
    • Translation: "Don't measure others with your own hand."
    • Meaning: Some people may have reasons unknown to you for doing certain things.
  • 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."
  • Nu vinde pielea ursului din pădure.
    • Translation: "Don't sell the skin of the bear from the forest."
  • Obişnuinţa... a doua natură !
    • Translation: "The habit... the second nature."
  • Ochii care nu se văd se uită...
    • Translation: "The eyes which don't see each other, forget each other."
    • Translation: "Out of sight, out of mind."
  • Omul sfinţeşte locul.
    • Translation: "The man blesses the place."
  • Ori te poartă cum ţi-e vorba, ori vorbeşte cum ţi-e portul.
    • Translation: "Either act as you speak, or speak as you act."
  • 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 conceited, is not fool enough!"
  • Râde ciob de oală spartă.
    • Translation: "The splinter laughs at the broken pot."
  • S-a dus baba cu colacii!
    • Translation: The granny handing pretzels, is gone.
    • Meaning: "There goes your chance!"
    • Origin: It's a refrence to a traditional holiday similar to Halloween. Children gather outside in the night and they go around from house to house asking for "colaci"(a romanian form of pretzel)
  • "S-a dus bou... şi s-a-ntors vacă !" (tatǎl lui Nică, în Ion Creangă-Amintiri din copilărie)
    • 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 to send their spoiled kids to Paris to study, but most of them came back unchanged or worse.
  • Sângele, apă nu se face.
    • Translation: "Blood doesn't turn into water."
    • Meaning: Someone may have an advantage because of being someone else's relative.
  • 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."
    • Meaning: (referring to an assignment) you pass the most tasks, but you get stuck on an easy one near the end.
  • Totu-i bine cand se termină cu bine.
    • Translation: "All is well that ends well."
  • Satu' 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."
  • Necazul nu vine singur niciodată!.
    • Translation: "The trouble never comes alone."
  • Unde nu intră soarele pe geam, intră doctorul pe uşă.
    • Translation: "If 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!" (G.Cosbuc-Poezii, Decebal către popor)
    • 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 (trouble never comes alone)!"
  • Din coada de caine sata de matasa nu faci!
    • Translation: "Can't turn dogs tail into a silk scarf!"
  • Vorba multă, sărăcia omului
    • Translation: "Too many words are the poverty of mankind"
  • Nu lăsa pe mâine ce poţi face azi.
    • Translation: "Don't leave for tomorrow, what you can do today."