Now, the VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR
A proverb is a short, well known saying that expresses a
common truth or belief. Many proverbs
give advice about the best way to live.
Recently, we presented a program about proverbs. We asked our listeners to send us their
favorite proverbs. A short time later, we
received suggestions from around the world.
We heard from listeners in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.
The top proverb among these
listeners is this one: "Where there is a
will, there is a way." This means that
you can rise above your problems if you have a goal and work very hard.
listeners liked another proverb: "Strike
while the iron is hot." This means
it is best to take action quickly and at the right time. Another favorite proverb was, "God helps those who help themselves."
Da-ju from China wrote that his country has thousands of proverbs. Several of them are also used in the United
States. One example is "Birds of a feather flock together." This means that people who are alike often
become friends or spend time together.
proverb is "Blood is thicker than water."
This means family ties are stronger than
other relationships. A similar proverb
states "Charity begins at home." A person should help his family or close
friends before helping others.
from China sent us this proverb: "He who
would climb a ladder must begin at the bottom."
That is good advice when working around your home or looking for a
Antonio Jose from Brazil says his favorite proverb is "Tell me who walks with you, and I'll tell
you who you are." Didier Vermeulen
of France sent us this one: "It does not
matter the speed you go. The most
important thing is to never stop."
Wafaa from Egypt says her
favorite proverb is, "Think twice, act
wise." She also says she is making an
effort to use this saying in her life.
Another favorite proverb
among our listeners is "Practice makes
perfect." This means you will become
good at something if you keep doing it. Another
popular proverb is: "If you want
something done right, do it yourself."
from Afghanistan sent us this proverb: "If
you risk nothing, then you risk everything."
And, here is the favorite proverb of Marius Meledje in Ivory
Coast: "Your defeat now is your victory in the future." He says it means you can learn from your
mistakes. This will help you do better
when facing similar situations in the future.
VOA Special English program was written by Shelley Gollust. I'm Faith Lapidus. We will present more programs about proverbs
in the future. And you can find more
WORDS AND THEIR STORIES at our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com.
Correction: An earlier version of this page incorrectly used masculine pronouns for a listener in Egypt named Wafaa; Wafaa is a female name.