Every cloud has a silver lining

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by AquisM, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. AquisM Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    How do you say this in your language? It is used when you want to say that even if a situation looks to be really bad, it might turn into something good.

    In Chinese, we have a little phrase called 塞翁失马,焉知非福/塞翁失馬,焉知非福 (Mandarin: saiwengshima yanzhifeifu/Cantonese: tsoi yung sat maa yin zi fei fuk). Literally, it means a man who lives near the border lost his horse, how would you have known that it was not going to turn out alright? (I know, it seems pretty long for eight characters :D) It comes from a story in Ancient China, where a man who lived near the border lost a horse since it crossed the border to Hun territory, and everybody consoled him. He, however, asked, "How come you all assume that it's a bad thing?" A month later, the horse not only returned, but also brought back another stallion.

    (As a side note, the old man asked, "How come you all assume that it's a good thing?" when everyone congratulated, and sure enough, his son broke a limb when riding that horse, leading to the expression 塞翁得馬,焉知非禍 (i.e. an old receives a horse, how would you have known that it turned out badly?))
  2. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod

    French (lower Normandy)
  3. snoopymanatee

    snoopymanatee Senior Member

    In Turkish;

    "Her işte bir hayır vardır." --> lit. "There is something good in everything."
  4. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:

    «Ουδέν κακόν αμιγές καλού»
    or in polytonic spelling (since it's a Stoic belief, I think Epicurean):
    «Οὐδὲν κακὸν ἀμιγὲς καλοῦ»
    in Modern Greek pronunciation:
    /u'ðen ka'kon ami'ʝes ka'lu/
    lit. "There's no evil without some good"
  5. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Russian: нет худа без добра /net khuda bez dobra/ - [there is] no bad without good.
  6. Anja.Ann

    Anja.Ann Senior Member

    Hi :)

    In Italian:

    "Dietro ogni nuvola c'è un raggio di sole" (The sun shines behind the clouds).
    "Finita la pioggia torna il sereno" (As soon as it stops raining, the sun starts shining).
  7. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Dutch: I looked it up and found: achter de wolken schijnt de zon -- however, I wonder whether it is really the correct translation...
  8. AutumnOwl

    AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Swedish - Sweden, Finnish
    We have a direct translation - Varje moln har en silverkant but it's not a very common expression, but we usually say "Varje moln har en guldkant" - Every cloud have a gold lining.

    We also have "Inget ont som inte har något gott med sig" - Nothing evil that doesn't have something good with it.
  9. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I have been thinking about my Dutch phrase, which was suggested by some dictionary as a synonym... There is a temporal aspect (after) that is not in the cloud expression, and therefore I'd consider it different. I mean: the good is in the bad, be it on the side, in the cloud expression, whereas we simply suggest there is hope, even after some bad luck or worse.
  10. sparkfirefly New Member

    English & korean
    In korean: 불행 중 다행-something good that comes out of something bad
  11. bibax Senior Member


    Vše zlé je k něčemu dobré. = lit. All bad [things] are good to something. (Every bad [thing] is good for something.)
  12. learnerr Senior Member

    The original sense is probably different, it is "you never know what is good and what is bad"; so, I think, the rhymed Russian saying "никогда не знаешь, где найдёшь, где потеряешь" ("you never know where you find and where you lose") is closer to the original proverbs.
    By the way, we don't have a similar parable in our ancient tradition, but in the beginning of the XX century N. Teffi wrote a beautiful short story, actually a collection of, as far as I remember, three parables, prefaced by the common to them all reasoning that one never can believe the direct approximative logic in life. The last of these parables was about a Petersburgian lady, who got cold and fell ill because she took an umbrella with her as she went to the shops. She forgot her umbrella somewhere in the trip, and while she tried to find it, it began to rain very seriously, and she got very drenched and desperate in her endevour. Somewhat resembling to this Chinese story, isn't it. ;)
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  13. arielipi Senior Member

    In hebrew the initial thing i think of is:
    הכל לטובה hakol letova - everything is for the best
  14. bazq Senior Member

    Also "מעז יצא מתוק" - [me'az yatsa matok] = "out of the strong came forth sweetness".
  15. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I don't think we have an equivalent to this wise expression in Portuguese. The closest one I can think of is não há fome que não dê em fartura, "there's no hunger that won't turn into plentifulness", but this rather means that every hardship will eventually go away, more fatalistic than the pragmatic idea of "every cloud has a silver lining", as I understand it.
  16. Euganeo New Member

    In italian we say: "Non tutto il male viene per nuocere" - "Not all the bad things come to hurt"
  17. Grefsen

    Grefsen Senior Member

    Southern California
    English - United States
    That's interesting to know that Swedish clouds have a gold lining instead of silver. :)

    I don't think there is a Norwegian equivalent, but here are two similar Norwegian proverbs:

    Over skyene er himmelen alltid blå (Above the clouds the sky is always blue)

    Etter regn kommer alltid solskinn (After the rain always comes sunshine)
  18. 810senior

    810senior Senior Member

    In Japanese, we say it like 苦あれば楽あり(if there is pain, there is another gain) and 災い転じて福となす(misfortune will be transformed into fortune).
    We as well have the very same saying(塞翁が馬, the horse which belongs to the man dwelling near the border) but it means the future is unpredictable because we have no idea what misfortune or happiness will come over us, also originating from the same anecdote as in the Chinese.
  19. Messquito

    Messquito Senior Member

    台灣台北 Taipei, Taiwan
    Chinese - Taiwan 中文 Taiwanese Hokkien 臺語
    I think there's yet another similar expression in Chinese I'd like to add:
    天無絕人之路(Lit. The sky(meaning god) provides no roads that end a human)
  20. Diamant7

    Diamant7 Senior Member

    In Catalan and Spanish we have an expression which could be translated more or less as 'there isn't a bad thing that doesn't come for good':

    Catalan: no hi ha mal que per bé no vingui
    Spanish: no hay mal que por bien no venga
  21. 810senior

    810senior Senior Member

    ^It reminds me of this Japanese phrase like akenai yoru wa nai(there's no night that doesn't come to an end) or yamanai ame wa nai(there's no rain that doesn't come to a stop)
  22. Holger2014 Senior Member

    Estonian: source
    Vihmaga saab vilja, põuaga põhku.
    ~ With rain comes grain, with drought (comes) hay.
    Õnn ja õnnetus käivad käsikäes.
    ~ Happiness and unhappiness walk hand in hand.
    Õnnest tuleb õnnetus ja õnnetusest õnn.
    ~ Out of happiness comes unhappiness and out of unhappiness (comes) happiness.
    Ka kõige mustem mure kaob valge liiva all.
    ~ Even the darkest sorrow disappears underneath the white sand.

    (native speakers might find a better way to translate these proverbs)

    Wo Schatten ist, ist auch Licht.
    ~ Where there is shadow there is also light.

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