Tag Archives: Russian Proverb

#RussianSaying: Feel at Home, but Don’t Forget You Are a Guest

Nicholas Roerich - Guests from Overseas, 1901.
Nicholas Roerich – Guests from Overseas, 1901. Oil on canvas, State Tretyakov Gallery.

Будьте как дома, но не забывайте, что в гостях

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#RussianProverb: Do Not Saw Off the Branch You Are Sitting On

Alkonost (lubok), the end of the 18th c - beginning of the 19th c.
Alkonost (lubok), the end of the 18th c – beginning of the 19th c.

Не пили сук, на котором сидишь

(ne pilí suk, na kotórom sidísh).

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#RussianSaying: Morning Is Wiser than Evening

Ivan Bilibin – Fairy Forest at Sunset, 1906.
Ivan Bilibin – Fairy Forest at Sunset, 1906.

Утро вечера мудренее

(útro véchera mudrenéye).

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#RussianProverb: Don’t Wake Likho (Bad Luck) Up while It’s Quiet

Melyuzina (Mermaid).
Melyuzina (Mermaid). [I didn’t find an old depiction of Likho, so I uploaded this one instead.]

Не буди лихо, пока оно тихо

(ne budí líkho, poká onó tíkho).

Literally:

don’t wake Likho* up while it’s quiet.

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#RussianProverb: Patience & Labor Will Grind Everything

Whaling in the White Sea (lubok), 1750s.
Whaling in the White Sea (lubok), 1750s.

Терпенье и труд все перетрут (terpén’ye i trud vsyo peretrút).

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#RussianProverb: The Job is Afraid of a Good Worker

Street art in Saint Petersburg (from Pushkin's poem "Ruslan & Lyudmila")
Street art in Saint Petersburg (from Pushkin’s poem “Ruslan & Lyudmila”)

Дело мастера боится (délo mástera boítsya).

Literally: the job is afraid of a good worker.

English equivalent: he works best who knows his trade; as the workman so is the work; master has it.

#RussianProverb: It’s Better to See Once than to Hear a Hundred Times

The painting by Ivan Bilibin called "Buyan Island" (1905) made as an illustration for Alexander Pushkin's tale "The Tale of Tsar Saltan" (1831).
The painting by Ivan Bilibin called “Buyan Island” (1905) made as an illustration for Alexander Pushkin’s tale “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” (1831).

Лучше один раз увидеть, чем сто раз услышать (luchshe odin raz uvidet’, chem sto raz uslyshat’), i.e. it’s better to see [something] once than to hear [about it] a hundred times.

English equivalents:

  • seeing is believing;
  • a picture is worth a thousand words.