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Italian proverbs, part 5

Hi my lovely dears!

This blog post is the fifth in my series of articles on Italian proverbs. As in the previous ones, I will go through some Italian proverbs in alphabetical order, one proverb per letter. For each proverb, I’ll give the English translation, including the English equivalent of the proverb (when available), and its meaning.

Letter A: Al cuor non si comanda.
The literal translation is, “You can’t give orders to the heart”. It means that if your heart loves or desires something or somebody, it can’t be helped and you can’t do much to change the situation, no matter how much your heart is being hurt by this love or desire.

Letter C: Chi ben comincia è meta dell’opera.
Its translation is, “Who begins well, is halfway through his work”. It means that if you do the proper preparations in the right time before starting a task it will save you time and make your task easier.

Letter D: Dimmi con chi vai e ti dirò chi sei.
Translated literally it is, “Tell me with whom you go and I’ll tell who you are”. It means that the people with whom you hang around (your friends, your social circle) reflect your own personality. So, if you want to know who a person really is, you should also look at his friends.

Letter F: Fidarsi è bene non fidarsi è meglio.
It literally reads, “To trust is good, but not to trust is better”. It means that, even if it is a sign of a good personality to give trust to the people around you, it is better not to give too much trust if you don’t want to get hurt. You can also use it when you fell that there’s no danger, but you prefer not to give your trust anyway, to be on the safe side.

Letter I: Il lupo perde il pelo ma non il vizio.
It literally is, “The wolf loses the hair but not the vice”. It means that if somebody has a bad habit, he/she will not give it up easily, despite eventually going through changes.

Letter L: L’appetito vien mangiando.
The literal translation is, “The appetite comes eating”. It means that, even if you are not hungry, if you start eating you will find your appetite. It also means that if you don’t have any will to start doing something, if you actually start doing it you won’t mind it so much, i.e. you need to get over the initial hump.

Letter N: Non è bello ciò che è bello ma è bello ciò che piace.
Its literal translation is, “It’s not beautiful what is beautiful; it’s beautiful what is liked”. It means that something, or somebody, is not beautiful because or only if it is objectively so, but because it exercises a charm that makes it liked.

Letter S: Sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata.
Translated literally it is, “Wet bride, lucky bride”. It means that if it rains on your wedding day, you shouldn’t be upset because it is a sign of good luck.

Letter T: Tutti i nodi vengono al pettine.
It literally means, “All the tangles come to the comb”. It means that if somebody hides something or have done something wrong, it will come to light anyway to be reckoned with, no matter how much effort is put in hiding it. In other words, truth will come out.

Letter U: Una mela al giorno leva il medico di torno.
It has its almost literal equivalent in the English saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. It means that is very healthy to eat apples, so that is you eat them you won’t get sick easily, so you won’t need the doctor.

Letter V: Voce di popolo, voce di Dio.
The literal translation is, “People’s voice, God’s voice”. It means that if many persons ask for the same thing and request it, this should be taken into consideration by whoever is in charge and eventually the request should be granted.

Do you have any favourite Italian proverb? If so, let me know! I hope to see you soon on this blog. Ciao ciao!

PS: if you are interested in the previous posts in this series, here you can find the first one, the second one, the third one, and the fourth one.

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