Every culture and language has a collection of wise sayings that gives advice about how to live your life. These are the so-called proverbs. In Greek: οι παροιμίες.
Of course, when you start learning Greek, it is useful to start learning the Everyday Greek Wishes and very common Greek expressions first, so you are welcome to click here and download our free eBooks + Audios.
However, apart from the basic and daily vocabulary, it’s good to know some common Greek proverbs because you will hear them frequently. Learning Greek proverbs can also help you to understand more about the Greek culture or the way people think in Greece!
Here below are some examples of proverbs in the Greek language:
(Greek proverbs are also included in the Greek learning book ‘Φύγαμε για ελληνικά!’ intended for Intermediate students and written by Omilo teachers.)
1.’Είπε ο γάιδαρος τον πετεινό κεφάλα.’
( = the donkey called the rooster big headed)
Meaning: Someone criticizes another person for a fault he has himself! Look who is talking!
2. ‘Αγάλι-αγάλι γίνεται η αγουρίδα μέλι.’
( = unripe grape gets sweet as honey, at a slow pace)
Meaning: It takes time to grow bigger or better (for people, ideas, projects, etc.) Patience!
3. ‘Όταν λείπει η γάτα, χορεύουν τα ποντίκια.’
( = when the cat’s away, the mice dance)
Meaning: When a person in authority is not present, the others enjoy their freedom!
4.’Μάτια που δε βλέπονται, γρήγορα λησμονιούνται.’
( = people who do not see each other frequently, they soon forget each other)
5. ‘Η καμήλα δε βλέπει την καμπούρα της.’
( = the camel doesn’t/can’t see her own hump)
Meaning: We easily criticize and point out other people’s faults and weaknesses but we fail to see ours.
6. Έξω απ’ το χορό λες πολλά τραγούδια.
(=From outside the dance-circle, you sing a lot of songs)
Meaning: It is easy to talk about something if you do not do it yourself! Easier said than done.
7. Η γλώσσα κόκαλα δεν έχει, αλλά κόκαλα τσακίζει.
(=The tongue/language has no bones, but bones it crushes.)
Meaning: The pen is mightier than the sword.
8. Oι πολλές γνώμες βουλιάζουν το καράβι.
(=Too many opinions sink the boat.)
Meaning: It is difficult to take any decisions with too many opinions. Equivalent to the English “Too many cooks spoil the broth”.
9. Σπίτι μου σπιτάκι μου και σπιτοκαλυβάκι μου.
(=My home, my little home, a little house of my own.)
Meaning: Greek equivalent of “Home, sweet home”.
10. Τα πολλά λόγια είναι φτώχια.
(= Many words is poverty.)
Meaning: This proverb is an advice against talking too much; You better act than just talk!