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Small words of wisdom

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Small words of wisdom
November 24, 2018 Wedding Anniversary Wishes 2 comments

everyone should fear becoming mentally clouded and obsessed with one small section of truth. Xunzi. (c.312 BC – c.230 BC, Chinese Confucian philosopher).

A wise man once said…

“Practice more German to get fluent!”

Okay, okay, you don’t need to be all that wise to know that.

But Germans do have plenty of wise little expressions that won’t just make you sound smarter, but will also give you some insights into German language and culture.

Every language has its own set of wisdom quotes and proverbs that pass on knowledge from generation to generation. They can be really beneficial for language learners, too, as they highlight linguistic quirks and both the similarities and differences between languages.

Just take the following German wisdom quotes for example. Try and drop them into the conversation whenever you can and you’ll sound wise beyond your years!


15 Wonderful Wisdom Quotes Straight from Germany

Übung macht den Meister (Practice makes perfect)

If you translate Übung macht den Meister literally, you’ll get “practice makes the master.” Of course, that makes no sense in English, and our nearest translation is “practice makes perfect.”

So, take some inspiration for your German studies. The more you practice your grammar and vocabulary, the sooner you’ll become fluent!

Bald reif hält nicht steif (Early ripe, early rotten)

Literally translated, bald reif hält nicht steif means “quickly ripened doesn’t hold stiff.”

The best English equivalent, though, is “early ripe, early rotten.”

This expression is often applied to children, as it’s thought that someone with many talents early on in their childhood doesn’t hold onto them for long as they grow up.

Nur die Harten kommen in den Garten (Only the strongest survive)

When you translate this phrase literally, you get “only the strong come into the garden.”

It basically means only the strongest survive—I’m not really sure what exactly is going on in the garden, but it seems you have to be tough to make it!

Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei (Everything has an end, only the sausage has two)

Did you know that German has a lot of proverbs and sayings that revolve around sausages? It’s true! The Germans love a good wurst (sausage) so much that they can’t help but write proverbs about them.

This one is easy to understand as it’s quite literal—everything has an end, no matter how long something takes. However, that’s not the case for the good old sausage!

Kleinvieh macht auch Mist (Small amounts add up to something bigger)

If you translate this quote literally, you get “small animals also produce dung.”

That might not paint such a pretty picture, but it does have a meaningful message behind it: small amounts always add up to something bigger.

So, don’t give up on your German studies, even if it feels like you’re inching along! As this piece of German wisdom indicates, it’s a good idea to keep working on something even if you only do it bit by bit.

Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof (You can’t always get what you want)

This is another animal-themed wisdom quote as it literally translates to “life isn’t a pony farm.”

It basically means that you can’t live like a pony at a pony farm and have your every whim taken care of.

In other words, you can’t always get what you want!

Kinder und Betrunkene sagen immer die Wahrheit (Children and fools tell the truth)

“Children and drunks always tell the truth.” Well, that’s according to the literal translation of this quote. In English we might say something similar: “children and fools tell the truth.”

This phrase can be used to describe certain groups of people who are much more likely to be open and honest about a situation, for better or for worse. Children are the worst at keeping secrets and drunks are often a little loose-tongued too… while the rest of us know how to lie when we want to.

Wenn man dem Teufel den kleinen Finger gibt, so nimmt er die ganze Hand. (Give an inch; they’ll take a mile)

In English, we have the proverb “if you give an inch, they’ll take a mile.” That’s what this German wisdom quote equates to, but if we were to literally translate it, we’d get “if you give the devil your little finger, he’ll take the whole hand.”

Simply put, it means that people can take advantage of you if you let them.

Klappe zu, Affe tot (Let’s end this)

This one doesn’t make much sense when we translate it directly, as it means “close the lid, the monkey is dead.” It raises a lot of questions about that poor monkey.

The English version doesn’t have such dark connotations, thankfully. We’d simply say, “let’s end this” or even “end of story.” And no monkey gets hurt in the process!

Was ich nicht weiß, macht mich nicht heiß (What I don’t know can’t hurt me)

We’ve all heard people say “what you don’t know can’t hurt you,” which is how we’d usually translate this expression.

But have you ever heard it in German? Was ich nicht weiss, macht mich nicht heiss literally translates to “what I don’t know doesn’t make me hot.”

You can think about that in terms of the English phrase “hot and bothered,” relating to frustration or being flustered.

Was Hänschen nicht lernt, lernt Hans nimmermehr (You can’t teach an old dog new tricks)

This is such a cute saying—if you translate it straight, you get “what little Hans doesn’t learn, adult Hans will never know.”

It’s basically our version of “you can’t teach an old dogs new tricks,” but with humans! You should take particular note of the word Hänschen (little Hans) in this sentence. It’s in the diminutive form, which is often used for children’s names.

Stochere nicht im Bienenstock (Let sleeping dogs lie)

This German expression warns you, “don’t poke around in the beehive.” But it equates to another one of our dog-themed proverbs in English. We’d say, “let sleeping dogs lie.”

You don’t want to bother the bees or the sleeping dogs. Who knows what they’ll do if you disturb them!

Wo sich die Füchse gute Nacht sagen (The back of beyond)

Do you know “where the foxes say good night?” Because that’s what wo sich die Füchse gute Nacht sagen translates to.

Well, we have the answer in U.K. English. The British idiom for a highly remote place, “the back of beyond,” would be an equivalent for this quote. Seen any foxes out there lately?

Besser ein Spatz in der Hand, als eine Taube auf dem Dach (A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush)

You’ll have certainly heard the English proverb, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Well, it’s pretty similar in German.

Besser ein Spatz in der Hand, als eine Taube auf dem Dach actually translates to “a sparrow in the hand is better than a pigeon on the roof.” The Germans just specify which birds they’re talking about in their quote.

Arbeit ist die beste Jacke (The best way to warm yourself up is by doing something useful)

The Germans will tell you that “work is the best jacket.” And we’d agree as our version of this wisdom quote is “the best way to warm yourself up is by doing something useful.”

Feeling cold? Maybe you should try to warm yourself up by learning some German vocabulary!

So, next time you’re chatting in German, you should try and throw in some of these wisdom quotes. You’ll sound wise as well as fluent!


And One More Tip for Learning German Phrases

What’s the key to learning German language and culture effectively?

It’s using the right content and tools.

You’re not going to pick it all up from your textbook.

You’re going to learn it from real-world videos like music videos, commercials, news and inspiring talks.

Well, that’s exactly what FluentU is for. FluentU takes great videos and turns them into language learning experiences so that you can learn real German as people really speak it:

Watching a fun video, but having trouble understanding it? FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts.

You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocabulary list.

And FluentU isn’t just for watching videos. It’s a complete platform for learning. It’s designed to effectively teach you all the vocabulary from any video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.

The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and it recommends you examples and videos based on the words you’ve already learned. This is a level of personalization that hasn’t been done before.

Start using FluentU on the website or practice anytime, anywhere with the iOS and Android apps.


Laura Harker is a freelance writer based in North Yorkshire, U.K. 

If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn German with real-world videos.

Experience German immersion online!

“I believe the recipe for happiness to be just enough money to pay the monthly bills you acquire, a little surplus to give you confidence, a little too much work.

15 Enlightening German Wisdom Quotes for Language Learners

small words of wisdom

75 Short Positive Quotes

Be encouraged by these short positive quotes. May they offer words of wisdom for your day. While they are short you will find quotes that will make an impact and that are uplifting.

  1. Your words can spark positive change. Lynn R. Davis, I Am Positive
    Change



  2. You'll never achieve real success unless you like what you're doing. Dale Carnegie
    Famous



  3. A positive word goes so much further than negativity. Emma Jones; Zach Raymond, Influence and Persuasion
    Negativity Quotes



  4. Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can. Richard Bach
    Winning



  5. Don't wish for it. Work for it. Author Unknown
    Wishes



  6. The power of smile has always led people to positive circumstances. Mia Conrad, Self-Compassion
    Smile



  7. One small positive thought can change your whole day. Zig Ziglar
    Good Day



  8. Expose yourself and your family to positive environments and people - it is contagious. Julia Vergara, Awaken Through Parenting
    Inspirational



  9. A problem is a chance for you to do your best. Duke Ellington
    Best




  10. Your life is a story and you are the narrator. How you choose to tell your story is up to you. Colleen Archer, The Power of the Positive
    Cute Life Quotes



  11. A positive mindset is one of the attributes of successful people. Sandra Leon, Success And Happiness
    Mindset



  12. A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds. Francis Bacon
    Wise



  13. I think being nice is more important than being clever. Ricky Gervais
    Clever



  14. To keep a positive outlook, you need to keep perspective. Seymour Schulich, Get Smarter Life and Business Lessons
    Positive Attitude



  15. To do more for the world than the world does for you - that is success. Henry Ford
    Success



  16. Choose to look at the positives within challenging situations. Larry Hagner, The Dad's Edge
    Choices



  17. Depression is disempowering, but positive emotions are empowering. Steve Pavlina, How to Overcome Depression
    Motivational



  18. The most important thing about getting somewhere is starting right where we are. Bruce Barton
    Moving Forward



  19. Speak the affirmative; emphasize your choice by utter ignoring of all that you reject. Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Quote of The Day



  20. There's a positive side to any situation, even if you don't see it right away. Nealey Stapleton, Life Lessons
    Open Minded



  21. God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. Augustine
    God's Love



  22. I know when I stay focused, good things will undoubtedly happen. Marc Trestman, Perseverance
    Stay Focused



  23. YOU are worthy! Even when you do not feel like it, you are! Be strong and courageous! Ashley Howard Nelson
    Self Worth



  24. Believe you can and you're halfway there. Theodore Roosevelt
    Believe



  25. Laughter is the fireworks of the soul. Josh Billings
    Laughter



  26. Quality is more than important than quantity. Steve Jobs
    Quality



  27. Every day may not be a good one but there is something good in every day. Author Unknown
    Short Quotes



  28. "The more positive and supportive you are with each other, the stronger your marriage will grow." Sarah McMillan, Rekindle your Marriage
    Marriage




  29. Choose to be optimistic, it feels better. Dalai Lama
    Optimistic



  30. Remember: Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up. Rocky Balboa
    Never Quit



  31. Life has no limitations, except the ones you make. Les Brown
    Life



  32. In order to persist, you have to ensure that you surround yourself with positivity. R.L. Adams, The Art of Persistence
    Persistence



  33. "Be a positive example, and never lose sight of your God-given purpose." Daree Allen, What's Wrong With Me?
    Example



  34. We must have the courage to let go of the past if we are going to grasp the future. David DeNotaris
    Letting Go



  35. If you surround yourself with positive people then the road you travel has no dead end. Sheldon Lewis
    Travel



  36. The men who have succeeded are men who have chosen one line and stuck to it. Andrew Carnegie
    Success



  37. ". . . talking is a huge part of any positive and healthy relationship, and needs to continue into the marriage. Cathy Pearson, How To Keep Your Man, And Be His 'One And Only'
    Relationship



  38. If you want to see positive change now, you'll find the quickest path to fulfillment with affirmation. Jason Thomas, Affirmation
    Daily Motivation



  39. All you need is passion. If you have a passion for something you'll create the talent. Yanni
    Passion



  40. Being kind in a genuine, positive and good way is truly an art. Stefan Einhorn, The Art of Being Kind
    Kindness



  41. Exercising in the morning can give you positive psychological effects that can affect your entire day. Rocco Cozza, Success Habits For The Morning
    Daily Inspiration



  42. If God is your partner, make your plans big! D.L. Moody
    God



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Wisdom Quotes

small words of wisdom

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I wanted to give my eldest a different birthday present this year and seeing that ' words' are what I do best, I chose to pass on some wisdom that.

Short, Wise Quotes About Life

small words of wisdom

Wisdom need not always be verbose. In fact, some of the wisest, most memorable quotes by famous people are pretty darn short, yet they pack a lot of meaning in their punch. Keeping it short works well probably because of K.I.S.S.: "Keep it simple, stupid."

George Bernard Shaw: "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

Mother Teresa: "If you judge people, you have no time to love them."

Lucille Ball: "Love yourself first, and everything else falls into place."

Stephen Colbert: "Dreams can change. If we’d all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses."

Oprah Winfrey: "Failure is another stepping-stone to greatness."

Stephen Hawking: "Be curious."

Mother Teresa: "If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."

Michelle Obama: "Success isn't about how much money you make. It's about the difference you make in people's lives."

Wayne Gretzky: "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take."

Gabrielle Giffords​: "Be bold, be courageous, be your best."

Madeleine Albright: "Real leadership...comes from realizing that the time has come to move beyond waiting to doing."

Babe Ruth: "Don't let the fear of striking out hold you back."

Seneca: "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

Anna Quindlen: "Don’t ever confuse the two: your life and your work. The second is only part of the first."

Thomas Jefferson: "He who knows best knows how little he knows."

Dolly Parton: "If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."

Francis David: "We need not think alike to love alike."​

John Quincy Adams: "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader."

Maya Angelou: "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." 

Malcolm X: "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

Hillary Clinton: "Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward."

Thomas A. Edison: "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

Katie Couric: "You can't please everyone, and you can't make everyone like you."

Jon Bon Jovi: "Miracles happen every day. Change your perception of what a miracle is and you'll see them all around you."​

Eleanor Roosevelt: "Do one thing every day that scares you." 

Tina Fey: "There are no mistakes, only opportunities."

Francis Bacon: "A prudent question is one half of wisdom."​

Sheryl Sandberg: "If you're offered a seat on a rocket ship, don't ask what seat! Just get on."

Eleanor Roosevelt: "Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Florence Nightingale: "I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse."

Edwin Land: "Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity."

Maya Angelou: "You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."

Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” 

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching: "When I let go of who I am, I become what I might be."

Rosa Parks​: "When one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear."

Henry Ford: "Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right."

Gloria Steinem: "Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.​​"​

Christopher Reeve: "Once you choose hope, anything's possible."

Kate Winslet: "Life is short, and it is here to be lived."

Mahatma Gandhi: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” 

Alice Walker: "The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any."

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching: "Great acts are made up of small deeds."

Amelia Earhart: "The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity."

Ellen DeGeneres: "Sometimes you can't see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others." 

Walt Disney: "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them."

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: 20 Bob Ross quotes from Joy of painting - "How to be happy by Bob Ross"

One liners, short thoughts of wisdom and captions for your bio, social status, self- talk, motto, mantra, signs, posters, wallpapers.

small words of wisdom
Written by Zulubei
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