Английские пословицы о поведении человека

Пословицы на английском языке с переводом и комментарием, посвященные поведению человека.

The biter is sometimes bit.
На всякого мудреца довольно простоты.
Не копай другому ямы: сам в неё ввалишься.

(‘Biter’ means a cheat or swindler. When a cheat or swindler is cheated by his prospective victim, ‘the biter is bit’. In a general way, this refers to any form of retribution.)

A bully is always а соward.
Молодец на овец, а на молодца и сам овца.

(A bully finds his victims among those who are weaker and smaller than he is, because he has not the courage to attack anyone his own size.)

Christmas comes but once a year.
У празднества не живёт без дуровства.
У праздника не без дурости (не без глупости).

(We ought to be tolerant and overlook people’s riotous behavior (too much eating, drinking, spending) because the Christmas festival comes only once a year.)

Comparisons are odious.
Человек человека стоит.
He смейся, горох: не лучше бобов.
Не смейся, хрен, не слаще редьки.

(We should not make comparisons between two people, because it is very likely unjust to one or other of them — or to both.)

Courtesy (civility, politeness) costs nothing.
There is nothing that costs less than civility.
Поклониться — голова не отвалится.
От доброго слова язык не усохнет.
Пожалуйста не кланяется, а спасибо спины не гнёт.

(There is nothing to be lost by behaving in a courteous way.)

Diamond cut diamond.
When Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of war.
Алмаз алмазом решится (гранится), а плут плутом губится.

(This refers to opponents who are an equal match in wit, cunning, or strong-mindedness. Any conclusion reached is not without mutual injury.)

Do as you would be done by.
Люби ближнего, как себя.
Чего сам не любишь, того и другому не чини.

(Treat others as you would like them to treat you.)

Don’t cry before you are hurt.
Вот горе, что горевать не по чем.
Не бит, а плачет.

(You should not give way to misfortune till it actually happens. This motherly advice is often given to quarrelling children.)

Do not kick against the pricks.
С казною судиться — своим поступиться.
Лошадь с волком тягалась — хвост да грива осталась.
С судьёю не спорь, с тюрьмой не вздорь!

(It is futile to fight a losing battle by resisting authority. A prick is an ox-goad, a spiked stick for urging cattle. Should an animal dislike this treatment and kick out with his hoofs, it will not escape another jab.)

Don’t make yourself а mouse, or the cat will eat you.
Смирная овца волку по зубам (волку корысть).
Сделайся овцой, а волки готовы.

(If you belittle yourself, people will take advantage of you. Stand up for yourself.)

Give knaves an inch and they will take a yard.
Дай с ноготок, запросит с локоток.
Наглому дай волю, он захочет и боле.

(If you grant some people a small favour, it only encourages them to take much more than they are offered.)

A good name is sooner lost than won.
Один раз украл, а на век вором стал.
На час ума не станет, а на век дураком прослывёшь.

(It takes a long time to build up a good reputation, but this reputation is quickly lost by just one crime or piece of bad behaviour.)

Honesty is the best policy.
Делай не ложью — всё выйдет по-божью.
Кто правдой живёт, тот добро наживёт.

(If we have to decide on a course of action, honesty is the best one to follow. It is not a question of morals alone, but also of wise choice. Although dishonesty may prove profitable for a while, honesty pays in the long run.)

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.
Усопшему мир, а лекарю пир.
Кому мертвец, а нам товаровец (говорят попы да гробовщики).

(Every calamity, loss or misfortune is of advantage to somebody. When all ocean-going ships depended upon the wind to blow them along, a wind favourable to a vessel traveling east was unfavourable to one traveling west; but as ships were voyaging all over the globe — one eastward, one westward, another to north or south — there was seldom a wind that did not benefit anyone at all. By extension, if Mr Harrison’s house is struck by lightning, Mr Johnson makes money out of repairing it.)

Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
He суди других, не осудишься от них.
Не осуждай, и осуждён не будешь.

(People whose conduct is open to criticism should not criticize the conduct of others, who may retaliate by accusing their accusers.)

Let the buyer beware.
Гляди, торгуй, а потом не мудруй!
Твои деньги, твои и глаза: гляди сам, что покупаешь.

(Before a purchaser parts with his cash he should make sure that whatever he is buying is in good condition and worth the money he is paying for it. It is too late to complain after the transaction has been completed.)

Like master, like man.
Like mistress, like maid.
У хорошего барина и дворня хороша.

(Here ‘man’ means ‘servant’ or ‘workman’. If the master is a good employer, the man is a good employee — and vice versa.)

Make yourself all honey and the flies will devour you.
Смирную собаку и кочет бьет.

(If you are too obsequious, too servile, others will treat you with contempt.)

One good turn deserves another.
Рука руку моет, и обе белы живут.
Чужой обед похваляй, да и сам ворота отворяй.

(If someone has done you a kindness, you should do him a kindness in return.)

Opportunity makes the thief.
Что бросают, то и подбирают.
На дороге не клади, вора в грех не вводи.
От поблажки и воры плодятся.
Легко (хорошо) воровать, кому норовят.

(If you leave articles of value lying about, you are asking for them to be stolen. The temptation may be too great for a person who would not otherwise have thought to steal, so your carelessness has brought another thief into the world.)

The receiver is as bad as the thief.
He тот вор, кто крадёт, а тот вор, кто краденое принимает.
Что самому воровать, что вору стремянки держать — всё одно.

(If a man buys or otherwise acquires anything that he knows has been stolen, he is guilty as the person who stole it. In the same way, if one man slanders another, he cannot excuse himself by saying that he has merely repeated what other people have said.)

Self-praise is no recommendation.
Сам не выхвалишься, коли люди не похвалят.

(You may be proud of your achievements; you may have a very high opinion of yourself; you may think that others should be made to realize what a fine fellow you are. But nobody will have a high opinion of you if you have too high opinion of yourself, because a person who praises himself is never believed.)

A still tongue makes а wise head.
Много знай, да мало бай!
Бог дал два уха, а один язык.

(You will learn more by listening to other people than by talking yourself.)

Set a thief to catch a thief.
Плут плугом губится.

(A thief knows all the tricks of the game, so he is best fitted to catch others engaged in it.)

An old poacher makes the best keeper.
Лихое лихим избывают.

(He knows all the tricks of poaching, so he is best fitted to deal with other poachers.)

There is honour among thieves.
Волк волком не травится, поп попом не судится.

(A thief will not hesitate to steal from an honest man, but he is reluctant to steal from another thief.)

The voice of the people is the voice of God.
Глас народа — глас божий.
Что мир порядил, то бог рассудил.
Что миром положено, тому и быть так.
С миром не поспоришь.

(This does not mean that the voice of the many is wise and good, but only that it is irresistible. You might as well try to stop the tide of the Atlantic as to resist the vox populi.)