Home Languages Articles Links Downloads About Contact

Languages

bulletEnglish
bulletSpanish
bulletFrench
bulletGerman
bulletLatin
bulletChinese
bulletJapanese

Other Topics

bulletTranslation prices
bulletMachine translation
bulletHarry Potter
bulletTranslation quotes


Free website Translation Service

Search


Advertisement

Japanese Proverbs





The Japanese language is filled with proverbs of all sorts, many from classical references from ancient Chinese to modern versions of English proverbs, all used in every aspect of the language. Whether you are traveling to Japan for fun or on business, or are living there, you'll find proverbs indispensible to understanding and using the daily language. Browse below to find the ones you want or simply explore the many possible ways to express yourself in Japanese.



上には上がある
[うえにはうえがある, ue niwa ue ga aru] superiors have others above them

上を見れば限りなし
[うえをみればかぎりなし, ue ni mireba kagiri nashi)] if you look up, there are no limits

上を見れば切がない
[うえをみればきりがない, ue o mireba kiri ga nai] there is no end if you look up (can also mean: there are no limits to what talent and determination can bring)

兎の昼寝
[うさぎのひるね, usagi no hirune] inattention is fatal (lit.: the hare’s midday nap)

雲散霧消
[うさんむしょう, usanmushou] disappear without a trace, to; vanish completely, to (lit.: clouds scattered, mist vanishing)

牛の角を蜂が刺したよう
[うしのつのをはちがさしたよう, ushi no tsuno o hachi ga sashita you] an elephant does not feel a fleabite (lit.: as though an ox’s horn were stung by a wasp)

牛を馬に乗り換える
[うしをうまにのりかえる, ushi o uma ni norikaeru] make a change for the better, to (lit.: switch from an ox to a horse)

氏より育ち
[うじよりそだち, uji yori sodachi] better than birth is upbringing

嘘から出た誠
[うそからでたまこと, uso kara deta makoto] truth that comes out of a life; crooked logs make straight fires

嘘つきは泥棒の始まり
[うそつきはどろぼうのはじまり, usotsuki wa dorobou no harjimari] a liar is the groundwork for a thief

嘘のような誠(本当)
[うそのようなまこと(ほんとう), uso n you na makoto] truth is stranger than fiction (lit.: a truth that seems to be a lie)

嘘は盗人の始まり
[うそはぬすびとのはじまり, uso wa nusubito no hajimari] lies are the beginnings of thieves; show me a liar and I’ll show you a thief

嘘も方便
[うそもほうべん, uso mo houben] lies have their uses; lies have their place

嘘を言えば口が曲がる
[うそをいえばくちがまがる, uso o ieba kuchi ga magaru] if you tell lies, your mouth will become crooked

歌は天地を動かす
[うたはてんちをうごかす, uta wa tenchi o ugokasu] poetry moves heaven and earth

家の前のやせ犬
[うちのまえのやせいぬ, uchi no mae no yaseinu] the scrawny dog in front of his master’s home; every dog is a lion at home

家ほどいい所ない
[うちほどいいところない, uchi hodo ii tokoro nai] there is no place like home (lit.: there is no place as good as home is)

鵜のまねをする烏水におぼる
[うのまねをするからすみずにおぼる, u no mane o suru karasu mizu ni oboru] keep within your limitations

馬の耳に念仏
[うまのみみにねんぶつ, uma no mimi ni nenbutsu] something completely useless (lit.: Buddhist prayers in a horse's ears)

海のことは漁夫に問え
[うみのことはぎょふにとえ, umi no koto wa gyofu ni toe] ask a person about what he best knows (lit.: ask a fisherman about the sea)

裏には裏がある
[うらにはうらがある, ura niwa ura ga aru] the reverse side has its reverse side (lit.: there is a reverse side to the reverse side; ie.: there is always more to the story or situation than you are aware of)

売り言葉に買い言葉
[うりことばにかいことば, uri-kotoba ni kai-kotoba] tit for tat; an exchange of compliments (in an angry fashion) (lit.: buying words for selling words)

瓜のつるに茄子はならぬ
[うりのつるになすびはならぬ, uri no tsuru ni nasubi wa naranu] eggplants do not grow on melon vines; an onion will not produce a rose

売り物に花を飾れ
[うりものにはなをかざれ, uri mono ni hana o kazare] make appealing what you want to sell (lit.: decorate with flowers what is for sale)

運否天賦
[うんぷてんぷ, unbu-tenbu] lucky or unlucky (lit.: fate no, or heaven's distribution)


Back to Japanese.top