Spanish sayings with no English equivalents

As any other language, Spanish has its own particularities. It has certain features that make it unique and distinctive. The best evidence of this is the following list of Spanish sayings that turn out not to have an equivalent in English. However, I have added a literal translation to each of them for our non-Spanish speaking readers to have a better understanding of their meanings:

  • Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente: “blind eyes, senseless heart” or what you don’t know about will never hurt your feelings.
  • En boca cerrada no entran moscas: “flies can’t go into close mouths” or better shut up your mouth if you have no idea what to say. Pretty educational, uh?
  • A falta de pan buenas son tortas: “if there is not bread, cakes will do” or just resign yourself to what you have and don’t complain about what you don’t have. Although cakes are always better than just regular bread so actually I have never completely agreed with this saying…

EnSp_Spanish sayings with no English equivalents_intext1

  • Cría cuervos y te sacarán los ojos: “breed ravens and they’ll pull out your eyes”. Ravens eat up cadavers starting by the eyes. This is why this saying uses these ungrateful animals to warn us about some people who will pay back good with evil. Very explanatory this saying, uh?
  • No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano: “getting up very early won´t make the sun rise any sooner” or just don’t be such a pain in the ass and let me sleep in peace. This would do too.
  • La cabra tira al monte: “the goat seeks out the mountain heights”. This is just a more elegant and poetic way of putting “people never change”.
  • De noche, todos los gatos son pardos: “all cats are hazel at nightor be careful after sunset because darkness may turn people evil.

EnSp_Spanish sayings with no English equivalents_intext2



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