Why it is so difficult to translate proverbs – Warum es so schwierig ist, Sprichwörter zu übersetzen

Once I watched the German version of  Shaun the sheep with my children on our German satellite programme. During this occasion the proverb

The grass is greener on the other side.

was mentioned.

The German did not in any way reflect the true meaning of this idiom.

Das Gras ist grüner auf der anderen Seite.

The translation was done literally. But it was not conveyed, that we always compare ourselves with others and think, that they are better off.

However, it is really difficult to find an equivalent translation in German.

Here is another example. I designed another cross stitch picture with the proverb

Like father like son



How would you translate this proverb into German, so it does not lose its meaning?


Wie der Vater so der Sohn.

implying that father and son are alike.

A similar German proverb comes to mind.

Der Apfel fällt nicht weit vom Stamm.

Translating and interpreting is a really tricky job.ù

Published by Maria

Ich wohne mit meiner Familie in England. - I am living with my family in England.

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