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12 German Proverbs


    1. A child's mouth tells the truth

    Kindermund tut Wahrheit kund.

    Meaning: A child's judgment is less clouded by convention. Children are more likely to say what they mean.

    2. No planing without chips

    Wo gehobelt wird, da fallen Späne.

    Meaning: All great and worthwhile projects also come with pain and disadvantages.

    3. The fish stinks from the head

    Der Fisch stinkt vom Kopf her.

    Meaning: Vice, corruption and other human weaknesses first appear at the top of a society or organization.

    4. Clothes make the man

    Kleider machen Leute.

    Meaning: A person's reputation depends to a large extent on his or her external appearance.

    5. Every beginning is hard

    Aller Anfang ist schwer.

    6. If you don't dare, you don't win

    Wer nicht wagt, der nicht gewinnt.

    7. Lies have short legs

    Lügen haben kurze Beine.

    Meaning: Lies only create short-term benefits. They are often associated with disadvantages. The truth will come out eventually.

    8. Who laughs last, laughs best

    Wer zuletzt lacht, lacht am besten.

    Meaning: Until a conflict has completely ended, it cannot be said who the winner is. You shouldn't assume too quickly that you have won.

    9. The tone makes the music

    Der Ton macht die Musik.

    Meaning: Even legitimate requests and concerns must be presented in a polite tone so as not to be rejected.

    10. Too many cooks spoil the broth

    Viele Köche verderben den Brei.

    Meaning: If too many people have a say in a project, the result will never be good.

    11. No gain without effort

    Ohne Fleiß kein Preis.

    12. Even a blind chicken sometimes finds a grain

    Auch ein blindes Huhn findet manchmal ein Korn.

    Meaning: Even completely incompetent people sometimes get lucky.

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