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

From Kenya and Sweden to popular idioms in Ethiopia and Russia, Chapman shows us how different countries often interpret well-known proverbs (sleeping on a problem/judging a book by its cover/nothing last forever) while also introducing us to funny idioms 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

#2

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Cheesybeansy
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#3

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Pi...
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#4

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Chua Jing
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is actually a Chinese proverb. 井底之蛙。

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#5

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Idil Sönmez
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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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#7

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Cheesybeansy
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette amirite?

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#8

Words Of Wisdom

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SK
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#9

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Daria B
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

James Chapman Report

Saurin Apriliawan
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#12

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

#13

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Hans
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#14

Words Of Wisdom

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Fatemeh
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#16

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Cheesybeansy
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

JEFF THE KILLER
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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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#20

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Hans
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#21

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Łukasz Markuszewski
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

James Chapman Report

heidi holmes
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#23

Words Of Wisdom

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#24

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Jef Bateman
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Daria B
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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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#29

Words Of Wisdom

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#31

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Cheesybeansy
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#32

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Alper
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#35

Words Of Wisdom

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Intensive Panda
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#37

Words Of Wisdom

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Mina Ilic
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#38

Words Of Wisdom

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Evil Smiley
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#40

Words Of Wisdom

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Pi...
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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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#42

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Hans
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"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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#44

Words Of Wisdom

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Little Menace
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

Words Of Wisdom

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Hans
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#47

Words Of Wisdom

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#48

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Hans
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

James Chapman Report

Lorraine
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#50

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#52

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

#54

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Fandoms Rise
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#55

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Sandra Bartsch
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#57

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

#58

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Cheesybeansy
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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