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11 German Proverbs That Make No Sense In English

11 German Proverbs That Make No Sense In English

Picture of Emily D'Silva
Updated: 10 April 2017
Translating between languages is always interesting and often quite amusing, especially when it becomes more philosophical and abstract as with proverbs. While many German proverbs and sayings are the same in English, there are also many that when directly translated, sound simply ludicrous! Here are 11 of our favorites:

 

Sink or swim

Closest English approximation: Everything comes to an end

 

2

Closest English approximation: Don’t run before you can walk.

 

3

Closest English approximation: He’s sharp tongued

 

4

Closest English approximation: Keep your head up

 

5

Closest English approximation: I’ll believe that when pigs fly

 

6

Closest English approximation: Goes together like chalk and cheese

 

7

Closest English approximation: The ol’ball and chain

 

8

Closest English approximation: Life is no picnic

 

10

Closest English approximation: Beggars can’t be choosers

 

11

Closest English approximation: To blow hot and cold

 

12

Closest English approximation: Sink or swim