Monday, May 27, 2013

Japanese proverbs

I am currently translating a Japanese short story and in it one character apparently enjoys quoting proverbs (kotowaza / 諺). Fortunately for me, my Canon Wordtank 670 electronic dictionary includes the translations of what are, I suspect, as common in Japanese as "A stitch in time saves nine" or "A penny saved is a penny earned" are in English. In any case, here are two proverbs I've come across:


"A frog in the well knows nothing of the great ocean." And:


"It's better to be the mouth of a chicken than the rear end of a cow." Or, as we say in English, "It's better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond."

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