A picture is worth a thousand words

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Perseas, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Perseas Senior Member

    According to Wikipedia: "...refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. It also aptly characterizes one of the main goals of visualization, namely making it possible to absorb large amounts of data quickly...."

    In Greek we say:
    Μία εικόνα ισοδυναμεί με χίλιες λέξεις or Μία εικόνα αξίζει όσο χίλιες λέξεις.

    (Also, almost everybody says that it is Chinese.)

    /mia/ μία (fem. indef. article)
    /i'kona/ εικόνα (fem. noun sing.) = picture
    /isoðina'mi/ ισοδυναμεί = is equivalent to
    /a'ksizi/ αξίζει = is worth
    /çiʎes/ χίλιες (fem. pl. ) = a thousand
    /'leksis/ λέξεις (fem. noun pl.) = words

    In German: Ein Bild sagt mehr als tausend Worte (Source)

    How do you say this saying in your language?
  2. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    Hebrew: תמונה שווה אלף מילים /tmuná shavá élef milím/
  3. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    The phrase is unknown in Hungarian. The translation might be: Egy kép száz szónál is többet mond.
  4. ahmedcowon Senior Member


    صورة تغني عن ألف كلمة /Sooratun tughni 3an alfi kalimatin/
  5. Rallino Moderatoúrkos


    Bir resim bin sözcüğe bedeldir.
  6. arielipi Senior Member

    On top of that:
    טוב מראה עיניים ממשמע אוזניים
    tov mar'e einayim mimishma oznayim - better (the) look[= capturing with your own eyes] (of) eyes than hearing (by/with) ​ears.
  7. bibax Senior Member


    Jeden obraz vydá za tisíc slov. (a Chinese proverb)

    a modified, commonly used, version :

    Jedna fotografie vydá za tisíc slov. = A photograph is equivalent to a thousand words.
  8. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    лучше оди нраз увидеть, чем сто раз услышать /lutche odin raz uvidet' tchem sto raz uslyshat'/ - better see once than hear 100 times.
  9. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    What is the literal meaning?
  10. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    In Tagalog "picture'" is Larawan so it is acceptable to say it in Tagalog as " Ang malinaw na pagsasalarawan ay katumbas ng laksang mga salita".
  11. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    In Spanish:

    Una imagen vale más que mil palabras (Lit: A picture is worth more than 1000 words)

    In Japanese:

    百聞は一見に如かず hyakubun wa ikken ni shikazu (lit: Hearing a 100 times is inferior to/not match for a glimpse)
  12. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    Chinese is already in that Wikipedia article:
    一圖勝萬言 (lit. an image beats 10 thousands speeches)

    Un'immagine vale più di mille parole.

    [Off topic]
    This reminded me of a love sentence my brother wrote to the girl he had a crush:

    Le tue labbra sulle mie valgono più di mille parole (Your lips on mine are worth more than 1000 words). :p
  13. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    Извинитe, I hadn't seen this. :eek:

    It has roughly the same meaning, that's probably why I didn't include the literal translation. But here we go:
    Bir resim bin sözcüğe bedeldir. - One picture thousand word-to worth-is.

    bedel is an adjective meaning 'worth', and in a construction: X is worth Y, the 'Y' is in dative.
    Our 'Y', in this sentence, is sözcük (word), which in dative is sözcüğe.
  14. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    I guess he got the girl:D
  15. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    Nope. He only wrote it in his diary but was never brave enough to give it to the girl. :(
  16. AutumnOwl

    AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Swedish - Sweden, Finnish
    En bild säger mer än tusen ord
    - a picture tells more than thousand words
  17. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Dutch has a perfect equivalnt of Swedish: een beeld zegt meer dan duizend woorden.
  18. noychoh New Member

    In Polish it usually goes like that : "Jeden obraz jest wart tysiąc słów" but it would be more appropriate (from the grammatical point of view) to say "Jeden obraz jest wart tysiąca słów". We also commonly say: "Jeden obraz jest wart więcej niż tysiąc słów" (One image is worth more than 1000 words).

    One Chinese version: 一圖勝萬言 (pinyin: Yi1 tu2 sheng4 wan4 yan2) is given above, but an article on this fake-Chinese 'proverb', A picture is worth a thousand words - meaning and origin, shows another Chinese version that appeared in March 1927 (you can see an image there, worth however barely about 16 words):
    畫意能達萬言。 (pinyin: Hua4 yi4 neng2 da2 wan4 yan2).
    Two interesting articles comment on the original idea of a thousand (or even ten thousand) word worth of a picture as an equivalent value. One more theoretical, in in Big Think, by Dominic Basulto: Is a Picture Still Worth a Thousand Words?, the other based on experimental data, by Alan F. Blackwell: Correction: A Picture is Worth 84.1 Words.

    Have a nice time reading and imagining how many words are your imag[ination/e]s worth.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
  19. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    I don't know how those Chinese sayings were used in the history, but at least today, 一圖勝萬言 or 畫意能達萬言 suggested above are NOT COMMON IDIOMS. They are just grammatical, literary sentences.

    The most relevant real idiom I can think of is:
    百聞不如一見。 Literately: hundreds of "hearings" is not better than one "seeing".

    An Internet slang:
    有圖有真相。 Literately: have picture, have truth.
    無圖無真相。 Literately: no picture, no truth.
    A: The girl in my class are all pretty.
    B: 有圖有真相 / 無圖無真相。 (Meaning: show me the picture.)
  20. Armas Senior Member

    Finnish: Yksi kuva kertoo enemmän kuin tuhat sanaa "One picture tells more than thousand words".
  21. Diamant7

    Diamant7 Senior Member

    Catalan (Eastern)

    una imatge val més que mil paraules
    "an image is worth more than a thousand words"

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