The most common sayings in Germany

Published on 13/03/2023

Sayings are short, popular phrases that have been used for centuries to convey wisdom and advice about life. In addition to many other subjects. Every country has its own traditions and sayings, and Germany has a long history and culture that is reflected in its sayings and many other elements of cultural transmission. In this case, German proverbs are known for their practical wisdom and their ability to summarise important concepts in a concise and memorable way.

In this article, AbroadLink will present the ten most typical German sayings and explain their meaning. From "Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm" (The early bird catches the worm), which encourages people to be punctual and make the most of their time, to "Viele Köche verderben den Brei" (Too many cooks spoil the broth), which refers to the idea that too many people trying to do something can result in a poor or confused outcome, these sayings are part of German culture and give access to the country's beliefs and values. Here's all you need to know. Remember that if you don't know the language, you can always rely on a translation company to help you in English, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish, among others.

1. Germany's ten sayings you need to know

1. "Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm." (The early bird catches the worm): This saying encourages people to be punctual and to make the most of their time. The idea is that those who get up early have a better chance of succeeding.

2. "Ein Bild sagt mehr als tausend Worte” (A picture is worth a thousand words): This saying suggests that a picture can convey much more than a thousand words. It is a way of saying that sometimes images can be more powerful and expressive than words.

3. "Der Zweck heiligt die Mittel.” (The end justifies the means): This saying means that, if the ultimate purpose is good, whatever means are used to achieve it are acceptable.

4. "Nach dem Essen ist vor dem Essen” (After the meal is before the meal): In this case, it refers to the idea that after a meal, we are already thinking about the next one. It can also be interpreted as a way of saying that life always goes on and we cannot stop to rest for too long.

5. "Kleinvieh macht auch Mist." (Every little helps. Literally: Even small animals make manure.): It is used to say that everyone, regardless of size or status, can do good or bad things.

6. "Lieber ein Ende mit Schrecken, als Schrecken ohne Ende" (An end in terror is preferable to terror without end): This saying suggests that it is better to face and solve a problem once and for all, even if it is difficult or painful, rather than prolong the suffering.

7. "Wer nicht hören will, muss fühlen." (He that will not hear must feel): This phrase refers to the idea that those who do not want to listen to others’ advice or warnings will eventually have to learn from their own painful experiences.

8. "Wer anderen eine Grube gräbt, fällt selbst hinein." (Whoever digs a pit will fall into it): This sentence refers to the idea that those who treat others poorly will get backlash.

9. "Wer zuletzt lacht, lacht am besten." (He who laughs last, laughs best): This saying suggests that those who wait and keep calm often succeed in the end.

10. "Viele Köche verderben den Brei." (Too many cooks spoil the broth): This saying refers to the idea that too many people trying to do something can result in a poor or confused outcome. It can also be interpreted as a way of saying that too many opinions or ideas can hinder progress.

In this article, we have presented and explained the ten most typical German sayings. However, there are many more. Our professional translation agency will provide you with all the knowledge of our specialised translators to ensure you get a high quality translation.

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Virginia Pacheco

Blog writer and Community Manager interested in multiculturality and linguistic diversity. From her native Venuzuela, she has travelled and lived for many years in France, Germany, Cameroon and Spain, passing on her passion for writing and her intercultural experiences.

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