Tag Archives: proverbs

The Proverbial Difficulty of Translation

Proverbs are windows into a country’s culture, illustrating its history and its mores. But although the sentiments expressed in proverbs are often universal, context and imagery can be culturally-specific, and require careful translating. Otherwise, a proverb-heavy Japanese conversation might end up like this in English: A: I’m thinking of buying my husband an expensive painting.