Srpske/hrvatske poslovice i njihovi engleski ekvivalenti

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A

  • Ako ne počneš nećeš ni završiti
    • Translation: If you don’t start, you won’t finish

B

  • Bez muke nema nauke.
    • Translation: Without suffering, there is no learning.
    • English equivalent: No pain, no gain.
  • Bog je prvo sebi bradu stvorio.
    • Translation: God first created a beard for himself. (Meaning that everybody looks after themselves first)
  • Bog visoko, a Rusija daleko.
    • Translation: God is high above, and Russia is far away. (Meaning that help is far and unlikely)
  • Bolje ikad nego nikad.
    • Translation: Better ever than never.
    • English equivalent: Better late than never.
  • Bolje sprečiti nego lečiti
    • Translation: Better to prevent than to have to cure.
    • English equivalent: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
    • Slično: A stitch in time (saves nine)
  • Bolje vrabac u ruci, nego golub na grani.
    • Translation: A sparrow in the hand is better than a pigeon on the branch.
    • English equivalent: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

C

  • Čovek je čoveku vuk.
    • English equivalent: Man is man’s wolf.
    • Latin equivalent: Homo homini lupus est.
  • Čovek sanja, Bog određuje.
    • Translation: Men wishes(dreams), but god decides.
    • English equivalent: Man proposes, but God disposes.

D

  • Da padne na leđa,razbio bi nos.
    • Translation: If he fell onto his back, he’d broke his nose.
    • English equivalent: ? when the person is very unlucky
  • Dala baba dinar da se uhvati u kolo, a dva da se pusti.
    • Translation: Grandma gave a dinar to dance, and two to stop.
    • English equivalent: Be careful what you wish for.
  • Daleko od očiju, daleko od srca
    • Translation: Far from the eyes, far from the heart
    • English equivalent: Out of sight, out of mind

G

  • Gde ima dima ima i vatre.
    • Translation: Where there is smoke, there is fire too.
    • English equivalent: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
  • Gde ti mnogo obećavaju, malu torbu ponesi
    • Translation: Where people are promising much to you, bring a small bag.
    • English equivalent: ? Similar to There is no free lunch.
  • Glava u oblacima.
    • Translation: (To have the) head in clouds.
    • English equivalent: To have one’s head in the clouds
  • Gvožđe se kuje dok je vruće.
    • Translation: Iron is worked when it’s still hot.
    • English equivalent: Strike while the iron is hot.

I

  • Il’ kuj, il ne mrči gaćâ!
    • English equivalent: Shit or get off the pot.
  • Imati veće oči od želuca. (Samo su mi oči gladne – only my eyes are hungry)
    • Translation: To have bigger eyes than the stomach.
    • English equivalent: Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.
  • Ispalo vragu iz torbe.
    • Translation: (Something that has) fallen out of a devil’s pouch.
    • English equivalent: untamed.
  • Ispeci pa reci.
    • Translation: Bake it and then say it.
    • English equivalent: Think before you speak.
  • Iver ne pada daleko od klade.
    • Translation: A splinter doesn’t land far from the trunk.
    • English equivalent: An apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

J

  • Jabuka ne pada daleko od stabla.
    • Translation: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
  • Jedna lasta ne čini proleće.
    • Translation: One swallow does not make a spring.
    • English equivalent: One swallow does not make a spring.
    • Source of original proverb: Aristotle
  • Jutro je pametnije od večeri.
    • Translation: Morning is smarter than evening.

K

  • Kad mačke nema, miševi kolo vode.
    • Translation: When cat is absent, mice dance.
    • English equivalent: When the cat’s away the mice will play.
  • Kad na vrbi rodi grožđe.
    • Translation: When willows bear grapes.
    • English equivalent: When pigs fly.
  • Kako došlo, tako prošlo.
    • Translation: The way it came is the way it will go.
    • English equivalent: Easy come, easy go.
  • Kao mačka oko vruće kaše.
    • Translation: Like the cat around the hot meal.
    • English equivalent: Beating around bush.
  • Ko drugome jamu kopa sam u nju pada.
    • Translation: Who digs a trap for others ends up in it himself.
    • English equivalent: What goes around, comes around.
  • Ko nema u glavi, ima u nogama.
    • Translation: Who doesn’t have in his head has in his feet.
    • English equivalent: Absent-minded do the work twice.
  • Ko rano rani, dve sreće grabi. (Ptica ranoranilica prva crva nađe)
    • Translation: One who gets up early is doubly lucky.
    • English equivalent: The early bird gets (catches) the worm.
  • Ko s vragom tikve sadi, o glavu mu se obiju.
    • Translation: If one sows pumpkins with the devil, they will bash onto one’s head.
    • English equivalent: ? Similar to As you sow, so you shall reap.
  • Ko seje vetar, žanje oluju.
    • Translation: Who sows wind will harvest storm.
    • English equivalent: ? Similar to As you sow, so you shall reap.
  • Ko uči znaće, ko štedi imaće
    • Translation: Those who study will know, those who save will have.
    • English equivalent: ?
  • Ko ume, njemu dve
    • Translation: The one who’s able gets two.
    • English equivalent: Skilled worker is paid double.
  • Ko vino večera, vodu doručkuje.
    • Translation: Who has wine for dinner, he has water for breakfast.
    • English equivalent: ? You can’t avoid paying consequences for your deeds.
  • Kruh bez motike. (SR: Nema hleba bez motike)
    • Translation: Bread without shovel.
  • Krv nije voda.
    • Translation: Blood is not water.
    • English equivalent: Blood is thicker than water.

L

  • Lepa reč i gvozdena vrata otvara.
    • Translation: A kind word opens even the iron doors.
    • English equivalent:You can succeed in anything by being polite.

M

  • Mi o vuku, a vuk na vrata.
    • Translation: (speaking) of the wolf as the wolf (comes) to the door.
    • English equivalent: Speak of the devil.
    • Latin equivalent: Lupus in fabula.

N

  • Na mladima svet ostaje.
    • Translation: The world is left to the young.
  • Na muci se poznaju junaci.
    • Translation: In trouble you know a hero.
  • Na nevidišu nema krivice.
    • Translation: If it isn’t seen, there’s no guilt.
    • If you do something without being caught it isn’t done.
  • Najtamnije je ispod sveće
    • Translation:Its the darkest underneath the candle.
    • Its the darkest underneath the candle.
  • Naći iglu u plastu sena.
    • English equivalent: Finding a needle in a haystack.
  • Navika je dobar sluga, ali loš gospodar.
    • Translation: Habit is a good servant, but a poor master.
  • Ne gledaj poklonjenom konju u zube. (Poklonjenom konju se ne gleda u zube)
    • Translation: Don’t look a gift horse in the teeth.
    • English equivalent: Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
  • Ne laje pas zbog sela, nego radi sebe.
    • Translation: The dog doesn’t bark because of the village. (everybody cares about themselves the most)
  • Ne maljaj vraga na zid. (SR: Ne crtaj vraga)
    • Translation: Don’t paint the devil on the wall. Don’t invite misfortune; don’t talk about bad things that might happen because that could invite them to happen
  • Ne može kruška da rodi jabuku.
    • Translation: A pear tree cannot bear an apple.
    • English Equivalent: ? Similar to An apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
  • Ne možeš imati i ovce i novce.
    • Translation: You can’t have both money and sheep.
    • English equivalent: You can’t eat your cake and have it too
  • Ne kupuj mačka u vreći. (Ne kupuj mačku u džaku)
    • Translation: Don’t buy a cat in a bag.
    • English equivalent: Don’t buy a pig in a poke.
  • Ne vidi šumu od drveća.
    • English equivalent: Can’t see the forest for the trees
  • Ne stavljaj sva jaja u jednu košaru.
    • Translation: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  • Ne sej tikve gde jos nisu nikle!
    • Translation: Don’t plant pumpkins where they never sprouted!
    • English equivalent: ? Don’t waste your time trying things which are proven not to work.
  • Ne trči pred rudo. (SR: Ne trči pred rudu)
    • Translation: Don’t run in front of a carriage.
    • English equivalent: Don’t jump the gun.
  • Nema hleba bez motike
    • Translation: There’s no bread without a hoe
    • English equivalent: You cannot make omelets without eggs.
    • Similar to Only hard work pays off.
  • Nema vatre bez dima.
    • Translation: There is no fire without smoke.
    • English equivalent: Where there is smoke there is fire.
  • Nema mirnog deteta ni mlade babe.
    • Translation: There’s no quiet child nor young grandmother.
  • Nesreća nikad ne dolazi sama.
    • Translation: Misfortune never comes alone.
    • English equivalent: When it rains, it pours.
    • English equivalent: Bad luck comes in threes.
    • German equivalent: Bad luck rarely comes alone. (Ein Unglück kommt selten allein.)
  • Nije zlato sve što sija.
    • English equivalent: All that glitters is not gold.
    • Fool’s gold (lažno zlato; zlato lažnog sjaja; zamka za budale)
  • Novac se na novac lepi.
    • Translation: Money sticks to money.
    • English equivalent: Money hangs around money.
  • O mrtvima sve najbolje.
    • Translation: Speak only the best of the dead.
    • English equivalent: Don’t speak ill of the dead.
    • Latin equivalent: De mortuis nil nisi bonum.

O

  • Od Kulina bana i dobrijeh dana.
    • Translation: Since Koohleen the prince and the good times; in remembrance of the good old days of Lord Kulin
    • English Equivalent: Back in the good old days.
  • Obećanje ludom radovanje
    • Translation: Promise makes a fool happy.
    • English equivalent: Do not be fooled by empty promises.
  • Odelo ne čini čoveka.
    • Translation: A suit doesn’t make a man.
    • English equivalent: You can’t tell a book by its cover.
    • French equivalent: L’habit ne fait pas le moine.
  • Odneti gaće na štapu. (Na kraju ostanu samo gaće na štapu)
    • Translation: To end up with underpants on a stick. (i.e. be really poor)
  • Ovca bleji, zalogaj gubi!
    • Translation: The sheep that bleats – loses it’s share in food.

P

  • Pametniji popušta.
    • Translation: The smarter one yields
    • English equivalent: Every fool is quick to quarrel /By yielding you conquer
  • Papir trpi sve.
    • Translation: Paper can withstand anything (doesn’t mean it’s true (a fact))
  • Pas koji laje, ne grize. (SR: Pas koji laje ne ujeda)
    • Translation: A dog that barks does not bite.
    • English equivalent: All bark, no bite. Barking dogs seldom bite; His bark is worse than his bite.
  • Po jutru se dan poznaje.
    • Translation: The morning shows how the day will be.
  • Počisti prvo pred svojim vratima.
    • Translation: First sweep the ground in front of your own door.
    • English equivalent: And why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye, and not notice the beam which is in your own eye?
    • People who live in glass houses should not throw stones (don’t criticize other people when you yourself have faults and weaknesses …)
  • Pomozi si sam pa će ti i Bog pomoći. (SR: Pomozi sam sebi pa će ti i Bog pomoći)
    • Translation: First help yourself and then God will help you.
    • English equivalent: God helps those who help themselves.
  • Pomozi sirotu na svoju sramotu.
    • Translation: Help the poor one for your own shame.
  • Pored takvih prijatelja što će mi neprijatelji.
    • Translation: With such friends, one doesn’t need enemies anymore.
    • English equivalent: With friends like those, who needs enemies?
  • Posle kiše dolazi sunce. (Posle kiše uvek dođe sunce)
    • Translation: After rain comes sun.
  • Praviti od komarca magarca. (od muve slona).
    • Translation: To make a donkey out of a mosquito.
    • English equivalent: To make a mountain out of a molehill.
  • Prodati rog pod svijeću.
    • Translation: To sell a horn as if it was a candle.
  • Prodati mačka u vreći.
    • Translation: To sell a cat in a bag.
      • To succeed in selling something useless or of a very poor quality.
  • Prosto ko pasulj.
    • Translation: As simple as beans
    • English equivalent: As easy as pie.
  • Prošla baba s kolačima.
    • Translation: The old lady with cakes has already passed by.
    • Now it is too late to act (you have missed the opportunity to do something).
    • English: To miss the boat; American Sign Language: train go sorry
  • Prvo skoči pa reci hop.
    • Translation: First leap, and then say “hop”!
    • English equivalent: Look before you leap.
    • Do something before you brag about it.
  • Puno baba, kilavo dijete. (SR: Mnogo babica kilava dečica)
    • Translation: Many midwives, child will be feeble.
    • English equivalent: Too many cooks spoil the broth.

R

  • Raditi račun bez krčmara. (SR: Praviti račun bez krčmara= raditi nepromišljeno)
    • Translation: To make the bill without the bartender (to do something hasty)
  • Rugala se sova senici. (SR: Rugala se šerpa loncu, široka mu usta; Rugala se ruga; )
    • Translation: The owl mocked the tit. / A pan was mocking a pot because his mouth is big.
    • English equivalent: The pot calls the kettle black.
  • Ruka ruku mije.
    • Translation: One hand washes the other.
    • English equivalent: You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.
    • Latin equivalent: Manus manum lavat.
  • Ružnoj devojci ogledalo krivo.
    • Translation: An ugly girl blames the mirror.
    • English equivalent: ? A bad craftsman blames his tools.

S

  • Samo Sloga Srbina Spasava
    • Translation: Only unity saves the Serbs.
  • Sit gladnom ne veruje.
    • Translation: The well fed one does not believe the hungry one.
  • Svakog gosta tri dana dosta.
    • Translation: Three days of any guest is plenty.
    • English equivalent: Fish and visitors stink after three days.
  • Sve je dobro što se dobro svrši.
    • English equivalent and translation: All’s well that ends well.
    • Sve se vraća sve se plaća
      • Translation: Everything has to be returned, everything has to be paid for.
      • English equivalent: What goes around, comes around.
  • Sve što je brzo je i kuso.
    • Translation: Quickly doing things results in a poor ending.
    • English equivalent: Haste makes waste.
  • Sve što je dobro kratko traje.
    • Translation: All that’s well lasts short.
    • English equivalent: All good things come to an end.
  • Svuda pođi, kući dođi.
    • Translation: Go everywhere, but come back home.
    • English Equivalent: There’s no place like home.
  • Svi putevi vode u Rim.
    • English equivalent and translation: All roads lead to Rome.
  • Strpljen – spašen.
    • Translation: Patient – saved.
    • English equivalent: All things come to he who waits.
  • Što bi gore sad je dolje, a što bi dolje sad je gore.
    • Translation: What once was up now is down and what once was down now is up
    • English equivalent: What goes around comes around.
  • Što je previše, ni s kruhom nije dobro.
    • Translation: What is too much is not good even with bread.
    • English equivalent: Too much of anything is bad for you
  • Što možeš danas, ne ostavljaj za sutra.
    • Translation: Do not leave for tomorrow, things you can do today.
    • English equivalent: Don’t put off until tomorrow what can be done today (Better now than later).

T

  • Teško žabu u vodu natjerati.
    • Translation: It is difficult to chase a frog into the water. (sarcasticaly)
  • Tiha voda brege dere. (SR: Tiha voda breg roni)
    • Translation: Still water wears down mountains./Anything is possible with time.
    • English equivalent: Still waters run deep.
  • Tko kupuje što mu ne treba, prodavat će što mu treba.
    • Translation: He who buys what he does not need will (eventually have to) sell what he needs.
  • Tko pita, ne skita. (SR: Ko pita ne skita)
    • Translation: He who asks, need not wander.
  • Tko pod drugim jamu kopa, sam u nju pada. (SR: Ko drugom jamu kopa, sam u nju upada)
    • Translation: He who digs a hole under someone else will fall into it himself.
  • Tko rano rani, dvije sreće grabi. (SR: Ko rano rani, dve sreće grabi)
    • Translation: He who wakes up early, catches two fortunes.
    • English equivalent: The early bird catches the worm.
  • Tko s malom djecom liježe, popišan se budi. (SR: Ko sa decom spava, popišan se budi)
    • Translation: If one goes to bed with small kids, wakes up wet.
  • Tko se zadnji smije, najslađe se smije. (SR: Ko se poslednji smeje, najslađe se smeje)
    • Translation: He who laughs last has the sweetest laugh.
    • English equivalent: He who laughs last laughs best.
  • Tko umije, njemu dvije.
    • Translation: He who can, gets two.
  • Tko želi rata, bio mu u kući.
    • Translation: Who wishes war, may war be in his house.
  • Tri loša ubiše Miloša.
    • Translation: Three bad ones killed Milosh.
  • Triput meri, jednom seci.
    • Translation: Measure thrice, cut once; think first, act later.
    • English Equivalent: Think twice before you cut; Think first, act later.
    • Similar to: Think before you speak

U

  • U laži su kratke noge.
    • Translation: In lies one has short legs.
    • English equivalent: A lie has no legs.
  • U tom grmu leži/čuči zec!
    • Translation: That’s the bush where the hare squats.
    • English equivalent: ? to find a solution to a problem
  • Umiljato jagnje dve ovce sisa.
    • Translation: Cuddly lamb sucks two ewes.
    • English equivalent: Similar to Flattery will get you anywhere.
  • Uzdaj se u se i u svoje kljuse.
    • Translation: Trust yourself and your horse.
    • English Equivalent: If you want to get things done, do it yourself.

V

  • Vreme je novac.
    • English equivalent and translation: Time is money.
  • Vrana vrani oči ne vadi
    • Translation: A crow doesn’t pick out another crow’s eyes.
    • English equivalent: A thief does not steal from another thief.
  • Vuk dlaku menja, ali ćud nikada.
    • Translation: A wolf changes his hair, but never his character.
    • English equivalent: A leopard can’t change its spots
    • Latin equivalent: Vulpes pilum mutat, non mores. A fox may change its skin, but never its character.

Z

  • Željezo se kuje dok je vruće. (SR: Gvožđe se kuje dok je vruće)
    • English equivalent and translation: Forge while the iron is hot.
  • Žuri polako.
    • Translation: Hasten slowly.
    • English equivalent: Slowly but carefully.
    • Latin equivalent: Festina lente.

COMMENTS

  • nebojsa pajic

    mislim da je jedan od prevoda za “bolje sprečiti nego lečiti” na engleski jezik – a stitch in time is worth nine

    • Hvala Nebojsa! :)
      A stitch in time saves nine! znači da je bolje pozabaviti se nekim problemom odmah, nego čekati da postane još gori ili dok ne bude prekasno.
      (bolje jedan šav čim pukne, nego 9 kad se rupa već raširi, kao na slici :D)

      “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” znači bolje sprečiti neki problem nego ga rešavati kad već nastupi (kao što kaže i naša poslovica).

  • sarah

    sretnim te cini ono sto nosis u srcu

  • Krešimir

    “U laži su kratke noge.” – “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”

  • vladislav

    Imaju dve engleske poslovice koje ja volim ali ne bih se usudio da prevedem na engleski.Prva je : Osmotri prvo dzunglu pre nego sto udjes i povuces tigra za rep.Druga je:Pocesi mi ledja ako mislis da i ja tebi nekad pocesem.

  • Da dodam par poslovca:)

    Slogom rastu male stvari, neslogom se i najveće raspadaju.
    Svako ima prava koliko ima moći.
    Bogatstvo mijenja ćud, rjetko nabolje.
    Veliku sreću prati zavist.
    Dobar čovjek uijvek ostaje početnik.
    Ravnodušnost je najbolji način u brigama.
    Što ljudi imaju više, to više žele.
    Prijatelju i neprijatelju daj uijvek dobar savjet, jer prijatelj ga prihvata, a neprijatelj otklanja.

  • Hvala Stefane! :)

    Samo .. ne bih se slozila da je “Head over heals” ekvivalent za “Glava u oblacima”
    Head over heals je recimo “zaljubljen do usiju”

  • Zanimljiva tema :)))
    Evo nekih poslovica koje su meni pale na pamet, i neke za koje već postoje, još po neki preddlog.

    ‘Vuk dlaku menja ali ćud nikada’.
    Equivalent: ‘A Leopard Can’t Change His Spots’
    Meaning: You cannot change who you are.

    ‘Pas koji laje ne ujeda’.
    Equivalent: ‘All bark no bite’

    ‘Sve što je brzo to je i kuso’
    Equivalent: ‘Haste makes waste’.
    Meaning: Quickly doing things results in a poor ending.

    ‘Glava u oblacima.’
    Equivalent: ‘Head over heels.’
    Meaning: Very excited and/or joyful, especially when in love.

    :)

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