When I was a teenager, the book of Proverbs was my favorite book of the Bible. I probably liked it for the same reason that I liked math and science at that time: The book of Proverbs offers precise cause and effect relationships. Although I prefer other books of the Bible now, I still enjoy reading and writing pithy sayings. Below, I have collected nineteen Spanish proverbs (Spanish is one of my hobbies), and I have translated the proverbs into English. I have also included analogous English proverbs (where they exist) and my own related rhyming proverbs.
Spanish Proverb: Dicho sin hecho no trae provecho.
Literal Translation: Saying without doing brings no benefit.
English Proverb: Actions speak louder than words.
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: Words without deeds fulfill no needs.
Spanish Proverb: Agua pasada no mueve molino.
Literal Translation: Water that has gone by does not turn the mill.
English Proverb: It’s no good crying over spilt milk.
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: Worrying about the past only makes sorrow last.
Spanish Proverb: La mejor almohada es una conciencia tranquila.
Literal Translation: The best pillow is a calm conscience.
English Proverb: —
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: Rest is not dear (i.e., scarce) when your conscience is clear.
Spanish Proverb: El pensamiento no tiene barreras.
Literal Translation: Thought has no barriers.
English Proverb: —
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: Freedom of thought is what we’ve got.
Spanish Proverb: Haz el bien y no mires a quien.
Literal Translation: Do good and don’t look at whom.
English Proverb: He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:45 NASB)
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: Let your good be done to everyone.
Spanish Proverb: No hay bien ni mal que cien años dure.
Literal Translation: There is nothing good or bad that lasts one hundred years.
English Proverb: All things must pass.
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: All things at last enter the past.
Spanish Proverb: Quien tiene boca, se equivoca.
Literal Translation: He who has a mouth makes mistakes.
English Proverb: —
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: When using lips, one often slips.
Spanish Proverb: En boca cerrada, no entran moscas.
Literal Translation: Flies don’t enter a closed mouth.
English Proverb: The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. (Proverbs 13:3 NASB)
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: With an open mouth, things often go south.
Spanish Proverb: Lo bueno, si breve, dos veces bueno.
Literal Translation: A good thing, if brief, is twice as good.
English Proverb: Short but sweet.
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: A brief pleasure is a treasure.
Spanish Proverb: Quien nace burro muere rebuznando.
Literal Translation: He who is born a donkey dies braying.
English Proverb: A leopard cannot change its spots.
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: He who is born a fool learns nothing at school.
Spanish Proverb: Poderoso caballero es don Dinero.
Literal Translation: A powerful knight is Mr. Money.
English Proverb: Money talks.
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: To Mr. Money, every day’s sunny.
Spanish Proverb: Al que madruga, Dios le ayuda.
Literal Translation: God helps the one who gets up early.
English Proverb: God helps the one who helps himself.
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: God gives the prize to the early to rise.
Spanish Proverb: Antes que tú cases, mira lo que haces.
Literal Translation: Before you get married, think about what you are doing.
English Proverb: Look before you leap.
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: Think of what you’ve got before you tie the knot.
Spanish Proverb: Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda.
Literal Translation: Although the monkey may dress in silk, she remains a monkey.
English Proverb: You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: Though an ape may dress in silk, she cannot change her ilk.
Spanish Proverb: Desgraciado en el juego, afortunado en amores.
Literal Translation: Unlucky at cards, lucky in love affairs.
English Proverb: Unlucky in cards, lucky in love.
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: Unlucky in games of chance, but lucky in romance.
Spanish Proverb: El sapo a la sapa tiénela por muy guapa.
Literal Translation: The male toad thinks the female toad is very pretty.
English Proverb: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: Though the female toad’s a brute, to the male toad she’s cute.
Spanish Proverb: Las paredes oyen.
Literal Translation: The walls hear.
English Proverb: The walls have ears.
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: Everything you say goes on its way.
Spanish Proverb: Más vale pájaro en mano que ciento volando.
Literal Translation: A bird in the hand is worth more than one hundred flying.
English Proverb: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: The good that you hold is better than absent gold.
Spanish Proverb: Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente.
Literal Translation: Eyes that don’t see, heart that does not feel.
English Proverb: Out of sight, out of mind.
Alan’s Rhyming Proverb: When eyes don’t see, the heart is free.