Regular readers of Bored Panda will no doubt be familar with James Chapman, a designer based in Manchester, England who creates quirky illustrations based on the concept of language. Previously he showed us how kissing, snoring, and animals sound in different languages, and now he's brought us a collection of illustrated literal translations of funny and often peculiar sayings from around the world.

From Kenya and Sweden to Ethiopia and Russia, Chapman shows us how different countries interpret often well-known proverbs (sleeping on a problem/judging a book by its cover/nothing last forever) while also introducing us to sayings that we might have never heard before. Like his work? Then head on over to Etsy where you can find a whole bunch of merchandise for sale.

More info: Etsy

#1

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Niềng Răng Lăng Xăng 2 years ago

In my country it is when buffalos fight, fies die.

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#2

Words Of Wisdom

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Cheesybeansy 2 years ago

this makes sense and has helped me in quite a few situations

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#3

Words Of Wisdom

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Pi... 2 years ago

The meaning probably needs to be altered: that misfortune befalls all, whether it be prince or pauper.

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#4

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Chua Jing 2 years ago

This is actually a Chinese proverb. 井底之蛙。

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#5

Words Of Wisdom

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Idil Sönmez 2 years ago

As a Turkish woman, I had to google the line to see the Turkish version cause I've never heard of it before.

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#6

Words Of Wisdom

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Pi... 2 years ago

I agree!

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#7

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Cheesybeansy 2 years ago

gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette amirite?

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#8

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SK 2 years ago

proverb originally is more about adjusting to the society around you, doesn't mean only dangerous situations.

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#9

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Daria B 2 years ago

Wow! An American comics character became part of an Asian proverb!? How so? Does it mean Batmam is THAT old and THAT iconic? I mean, Superman and Wonder Woman have entered the language through idioms, but this is the first time I see a superhero in a proverb. Proverbs are considered as old words of wisdom. Interesting. This makes me curious. ♥

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#10

Words Of Wisdom

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Saurin Apriliawan 2 years ago

We also have a similar one in Indonesia. "Empty barrels make the loudest noise"

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#11

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Vanessa 2 years ago

Never heard this one, and I'm French

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#12

Words Of Wisdom

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Hans 2 years ago

Wow, this is quite piqturesque.

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#13

Words Of Wisdom

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Hans 2 years ago

This also exists in other European coutnries. Unfortunately, clever digers might get away still...

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#14

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Fatemeh 2 years ago

And There's also a smart a** potato with glasses in every sack

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#15

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PandasAreMyFav 2 years ago

The spider in the bottom left is my favorite! :b

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#16

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Cheesybeansy 2 years ago

its all about perception im afraid. the older you get the more you realise you are missing the bigger picture, then the even bigger picture after that..

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#17

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JEFF THE KILLER 2 years ago

my family is always like oh your supposed to be loud and I'm in my room listening to music....

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#18

Words Of Wisdom

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HɒnɒЯose 2 years ago

Well I am afraid you need to fall eight times first, in order for you to stand up the eighth time

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#19

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Isaac Joe (Joe) 2 years ago

The plumbers house is full of leaks

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#20

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Hans 2 years ago

Now this is the electoral debate that I would like to have witnessed!

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#21

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Łukasz Markuszewski 2 years ago

It's mean something different: some people just look for reasons to blame for their failures in the outside, never in the inside. The bad ballerina blames the hem of her skirt, not her poor dancing skills.

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#22

Words Of Wisdom

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heidi holmes 2 years ago

"Don't judge a book by it's cover" Is how the saying goes here in the USA

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#23

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Pi... 2 years ago

*hums 'I will catch a grenaaaade for youuu'*

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#24

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Jef Bateman 2 years ago

In English, a "feather in the cap" means accolades. Could this idiom actually mean, "Don't worry about receiving praise, just do the job and be happy with what you get"? That makes more sense to me.

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#25

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Daria B 2 years ago

In Croatia we also say "Who gets burnt once, blows even on cold", as when you blow on hot food prior to putting it in your mouth to cool it down first.

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#26

Words Of Wisdom

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Fandoms Rise 2 years ago

This one is my life.

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#27

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Evil Smiley 2 years ago

Just like when you fart...

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#28

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Harvey Tydeman 2 years ago

i kinda doubt that it can

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#29

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Hiruya 2 years ago

It's very true but hard to learn

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#30

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Pi... 2 years ago

Brilliant!!

#31

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Cheesybeansy 2 years ago

in the UK its "if you give an inch, they will take a mile".

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#32

Words Of Wisdom

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Alper 2 years ago

A donkey with a golden saddle is still a donkey (Turkish)

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#33

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Isaac Joe (Joe) 2 years ago

An apple a day keeps the doctors away - UK

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#34

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Lorraine 2 years ago

Lol the tiny cow.

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#35

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Intensive Panda 2 years ago

A similar russian proverb is:"you can't butter a bread with thank you"

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#36

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Evil Smiley 2 years ago

Shrimp that fall asleep get grilled and eaten.

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#37

Words Of Wisdom

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Mina Ilic 2 years ago

Aahahha in Serbia it's: "Don't mix frogs with grandmas" xD

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#38

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Evil Smiley 2 years ago

Because figs that worms don't want to eat are full of insecticides.

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#39

Words Of Wisdom

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kat lia 2 years ago

Poor cat.

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#40

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Pi... 2 years ago

I think the meaning is a little less positive than that.. along the lines of "for a mother her son is the most handsome n the best"

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#41

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Hans 2 years ago

Don't mess with the worms!

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#42

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Hans 2 years ago

"Wer rastet, der rostet" in the original, which shows why it is hard to literally translate. It plays with "rasten" with an "o" instead of the "a" having a completely different meaning. In English "He who rests, rusts" sounds a bit odd.

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#43

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Hans 2 years ago

Time to shave!

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#44

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Little Menace 2 years ago

I prefer: "IF my grandma had wheels she'd be an omnibus". This saying is quite well known in Germany and Italy and probably a lot of other places.

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#45

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Hans 2 years ago

"Do not use canons on sparrows" is the European version. :)

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#46

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Cassie 2 years ago

Don't burn your bridges.

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#47

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#48

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Hans 2 years ago

Another one to exist in several languges. I am wondering how such proverbs have spread, or if they have been "invented" independently.

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#49

Words Of Wisdom

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Lorraine 2 years ago

We've all been there. Hunger gets the best of us! lol

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#51

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PandasAreMyFav 2 years ago

"Well in my opinion....”

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Words Of Wisdom

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#53

Words Of Wisdom

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PandasAreMyFav 2 years ago

“Why can’t we be friends."

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#54

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Fandoms Rise 2 years ago

Yeah, don't bother helping them, just help yourself. Great life lesson.

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#55

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Sandra Bartsch 2 years ago

same proverb in German, saying that gras won't grow faster when you're pulling on it

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#56

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Dawn Frank 2 years ago

Read the newspaper on the table

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#57

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rai mei 2 years ago

this applies to Jerry

#58

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Cheesybeansy 2 years ago

My Korean friend explained it like this to me; of a Koi carp trying to swim up a waterfall, and if he reached the top he would become a dragon. its about facing great adversity and if you were to beat it you would become more powerful than you imagined.

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#59

Words Of Wisdom

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Hans 2 years ago

Even though I think a cat will appreciate food, food, and a belly rub more. In that order.

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#60

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rai mei 2 years ago

But in Japan, the rabbit is already on the moon!

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#61

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Lorraine 2 years ago

I love the frog with the war map lol.

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#62

Words Of Wisdom

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Доброцвета Илиева 2 years ago

Proverbs could be really funny! The one I know in my language with the same meaning is: "Scabby donkeys smell each other"

#63

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Rebekah Pruett 2 years ago

Just don't forget to learn from your past or you'll spend your whole life repeating it.

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#64

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H.I. 2 years ago

Kill my dirty mind😂😂

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#65

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Hans 2 years ago

I preferrably try that with treats.

#66

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Alper 2 years ago

Same in Turkish

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#67

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Little Menace 2 years ago

I disagree with the meaning. I think it means that despite being small, it is a valid living thing just like everyone else.

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#68

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Lindsay Ropiak 2 years ago

Don't throw rocks in glass houses?

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#69

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Pi... 2 years ago

"Balancing on the blade of a sword"

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#70

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PandasAreMyFav 2 years ago

Will will be willing to do well in Welsh race.

#71

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Nurul Bintoro 2 years ago

There's a similar saying in my country "Prepare an umbrella before it rains" the meaning is similar like that

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Preyankari Devyani 2 years ago

Good lawyers are shit parents

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#75

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#76

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Snow Cat 2 years ago

Don't bite off more than you can chew

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Dawn Frank 2 years ago

Who actually made it this far down?

#78

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