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18 Multicultural Proverbs To Guide You Through Daily Life

Proverbs are succinct traditional sayings that express wisdom, truth, or practical advice and are usually rooted in the experiences and observations of a particular community or culture. Passed down from one generation to the next, these expressions serve as a way to share valuable life lessons, such as “honesty is the best policy” or “the early bird catches the worm."

These sayings are usually based on common sense, cultural norms, and observations of human behavior and the natural world. They provide guidance for a wide range of life experiences and typically encourage good behavior and strong morals.

Although proverbs originate from different cultures and languages, their primary purpose remains consistent: to impart and preserve wisdom for future generations. Over time, these expressions have become an integral part of various cultures’ oral traditions, woven into conversations and stories.

Here are 18 proverbs from around the world that are useful to recall in our everyday lives.

L'occhio è lo specchio dell'anima.

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The eye is the mirror of the soul.
Italian proverb

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千里之行,始於足下

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A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Chinese proverb

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Celui qui a tout se contente de rien.

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He who has everything is content with nothing.
French proverb

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دو دل که با هم متحد شوند کوهی را خواهند شکست

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Two hearts united will break down a mountain.
Persian proverb

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Bí sásta leis an méid atá agat agus beidh neart agat le bheith sásta faoi.

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Be happy with what you have and you will have plenty to be happy about.
Irish proverb

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Anayefanya anachosema si mwoga.

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One who does what he says is not a coward.
African proverb

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Η γρήγορη ευγνωμοσύνη είναι η πιο γλυκιά

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Swift gratitude is the sweetest.
Greek proverb

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不要嘲笑年龄,祈祷能达到它

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Don’t laugh at age; pray to reach it.
Chinese proverb

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No hay atajo sin trabajo.

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There is no short path without some trouble.
Spanish proverb

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Хийж буй сайн зүйлээсээ муу зүйл хайх хэрэггүй

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Don’t look for bad things in the good that you do.
Mongolian proverb

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چاره روزگار بد این است که در برابر آنها صبور باشید

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The remedy against bad times is to be patient with them.
Arabian proverb

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Nunca prometa a um pobre e nunca deva a um rico.

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Never promise a poor person, and never owe a rich one.
Brazilian proverb

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お風呂は体をリフレッシュします。お茶は心をリフレッシュします

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A bath refreshes the body; tea refreshes the mind.
Japanese proverb

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A wise man wavers; a fool is fixed.
Scottish proverb

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यदि एक व्यक्ति इसे जानता है, तो यह एक रहस्य है। यदि दो को पता है तो यह सार्वजनिक है।

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If only one knows it, it is a secret; if two know it, it is public.
Indian proverb

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Freundschaft ist eine Pflanze, die wir oft gießen müssen.

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Friendship is a plant we must often water.
German proverb

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الحقيقة قد تسير في العالم أعزل

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Truth may walk through the world unarmed.
Bedouin proverb

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Featured image credit: Rainbow-Pic/ Shutterstock

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About the Author
Kristina Wright
Kristina is a coffee-fueled writer living happily ever after with her family in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia.
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