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

#1

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Niềng Răng Lăng Xăng
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View more comments
#2

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Cheesybeansy
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#3

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Pi...
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View more comments
#4

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Chua Jing
Community Member
3 years ago

This is actually a Chinese proverb. 井底之蛙。

View More Replies...
View more comments
#5

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Idil Sönmez
Community Member
3 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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#6

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Pi...
Community Member
3 years ago

I agree!

View more comments
#7

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Cheesybeansy
Community Member
3 years ago

gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette amirite?

View more comments
#8

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

SK
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#9

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 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. ♥

View More Replies...
View more comments
#10

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Saurin Apriliawan
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#11

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Vanessa
Community Member
3 years ago

Never heard this one, and I'm French

View More Replies...
View more comments
#12

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Hans
Community Member
3 years ago

Wow, this is quite piqturesque.

View more comments
#13

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Hans
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View more comments
#14

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Fatemeh
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#15

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

PandasAreMyFav
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#16

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Cheesybeansy
Community Member
3 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..

View More Replies...
View more comments
#17

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

JEFF THE KILLER
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#18

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

HɒnɒЯose
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#19

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Isaac Joe (Joe)
Community Member
3 years ago

The plumbers house is full of leaks

View more comments
#20

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Hans
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View more comments
#21

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Łukasz Markuszewski
Community Member
3 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.

View more comments
#22

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

heidi holmes
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View more comments
#23

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Pi...
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#24

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Jef Bateman
Community Member
3 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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#25

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#26

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Fandoms Rise
Community Member
3 years ago

This one is my life.

View more comments
#27

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Evil Smiley
Community Member
3 years ago

Just like when you fart...

View More Replies...
View more comments
#28

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Harvey Tydeman
Community Member
3 years ago

i kinda doubt that it can

View more comments
#29

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Hiruya
Community Member
3 years ago

It's very true but hard to learn

View more comments
#30

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Pi...
Community Member
3 years ago

Brilliant!!

#31

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Cheesybeansy
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#32

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Alper
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View more comments
#33

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Isaac Joe (Joe)
Community Member
3 years ago

An apple a day keeps the doctors away - UK

View more comments
#34

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Lorraine
Community Member
3 years ago

Lol the tiny cow.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#35

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Intensive Panda
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View more comments
#36

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Evil Smiley
Community Member
3 years ago

Shrimp that fall asleep get grilled and eaten.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#37

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Mina Ilic
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#38

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Evil Smiley
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#39

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

kat lia
Community Member
3 years ago

Poor cat.

View more comments
#40

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Pi...
Community Member
3 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"

View more comments
#41

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Hans
Community Member
3 years ago

Don't mess with the worms!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#42

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Hans
Community Member
3 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.

View more comments
#43

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Hans
Community Member
3 years ago

Time to shave!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#44

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Little Menace
Community Member
3 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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#45

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Hans
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View more comments
#46

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Cassie
Community Member
3 years ago

Don't burn your bridges.

View more comments
#47

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

#48

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Hans
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#49

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Lorraine
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View more comments
#50

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

#51

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

PandasAreMyFav
Community Member
3 years ago

"Well in my opinion....”

View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#52

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

#53

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

PandasAreMyFav
Community Member
3 years ago

“Why can’t we be friends."

View More Replies...
View more comments
#54

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Fandoms Rise
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#55

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Sandra Bartsch
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View more comments
#56

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Dawn Frank
Community Member
3 years ago

Read the newspaper on the table

View More Replies...
View more comments
#57

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

rai mei
Community Member
3 years ago

this applies to Jerry

#58

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Cheesybeansy
Community Member
3 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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#59

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Hans
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View more comments
#60

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

rai mei
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View more comments
#61

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Lorraine
Community Member
3 years ago

I love the frog with the war map lol.

View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#62

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Доброцвета Илиева
Community Member
3 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

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Rebekah Pruett
Community Member
3 years ago

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

View more comments
#64

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

H.I.
Community Member
3 years ago

Kill my dirty mind😂😂

View more comments
#65

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Hans
Community Member
3 years ago

I preferrably try that with treats.

#66

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Alper
Community Member
3 years ago

Same in Turkish

View more comments
#67

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Little Menace
Community Member
3 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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#68

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Lindsay Ropiak
Community Member
3 years ago

Don't throw rocks in glass houses?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#69

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Pi...
Community Member
3 years ago

"Balancing on the blade of a sword"

View more comments
#70

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

PandasAreMyFav
Community Member
3 years ago

Will will be willing to do well in Welsh race.

#71

Words Of Wisdom

James Chapman Report

Nurul Bintoro
Community Member
3 years ago

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

See Also on Bored Panda
#72

Words Of Wisdom