Fine words will butter no parsnips.

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by yaralud, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. yaralud Junior Member

    Guatemala
    Guatemalan Spanish
    I know there are other threads but I still couldn't find Spanish adaptation. I know it means that sometimes not even sweet words are able to undo a damage done or a sour event. Help will be appreciated!
    My attempt: "De refranes y cantares tiene el pueblo mil millares".
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2014
  2. Txiri

    Txiri Senior Member

    USA English
    How about the opposite:

    El agraviado, con palabras dulces ha de ser calmado.
     
  3. yaralud Junior Member

    Guatemala
    Guatemalan Spanish
    Thanks, Txiri. I don't know because the source idiom says that it will not butter up the taste of parsnips...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2014
  4. Txiri

    Txiri Senior Member

    USA English
    Then what if we negate the verb ...?

    ... no ha de ser calmado ...
     
  5. duvija

    duvija Senior Member

    Chicago
    Spanish - Uruguay
    Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda.
    Al que nace barrigón, es al ñudo que lo fajen.

    ¿Sirve alguna?
     
  6. ejpov08 Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spanish
    Although not always do we use it in this sense, because you might refer to how feeble words can be if you don't write down a compromise or a promise, it can also be applied to the sense you are referring though, I think: Las palabras se las lleva el viento.

    Hope this can help.
     
  7. galesa Senior Member

    mallorca
    english wales
    What about: Con buenas palabras nadie come.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2014
  8. yaralud Junior Member

    Guatemala
    Guatemalan Spanish
    Gracias por los aportes a la discusión. Creo que EJPOV08 le llegó al meollo del asunto, sin embargo pienso que hay necesidad de hacerle una adaptación para que suene como "las palabras dulces no suavizan el trago amargo". (<--que yo sepa ese refrán no existe en español). El viento se lleva también promesas de políticos, compromisos que hace la gente, etc., ¡no solo palabras dulces que no sirven en el momento!
    ¿Qué les parece: Las palabras dulces se las lleva el viento?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2014
  9. Txiri

    Txiri Senior Member

    USA English
    Why don't you provide the context then? We don't know exactly how the proverb is supposed to comment on the context...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2014
  10. yaralud Junior Member

    Guatemala
    Guatemalan Spanish
    I'm sorry, I can't provide the context. It was a random thing that came up during an intepretation but the sense of what the speaker was saying was that sometimes when something awful happens to you, sweet words can't really heal you. I followed the sense but I was left puzzled in finding any matching idiom. Once again, thanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2014
  11. JorgeHoracio Senior Member

    Spanish - Argentina
    Yaralud, do you mean meollo? Or is meoño a word used in Guatemala?
     
  12. yaralud Junior Member

    Guatemala
    Guatemalan Spanish
    I apologize, we have a lot of local words but that one is a TYPO. I meant meollo. sorry.
     
  13. translator.cat Senior Member

    Catalonia
    Catalan
    Hola.

    El refrán aparece en el Oxford English Dictionary (acepción 1.b de la entrada parsnip), y en una de las citas se hace corresponder a la expresión latina verba non alunt familiam ("las palabras no dan de comer", com ya decía galesa). Por el sentido, yo diría que uno de los refranes que en castellano más se le acercan es "Obras son amores y no buenas razones", que dejo aquí para quien le pueda servir.

    Saludos
     
  14. yaralud Junior Member

    Guatemala
    Guatemalan Spanish
    Translator.cat: gracias por la investigación, estoy de acuerdo con la interpretación al castellano y agrego una frase que lo complementa (aunque esta no es una opción), en palabras de nuestro cantante Arjona "Jesús es verbo, no sustantivo".
     
  15. Fat Fred New Member

    English - Queen's
    The phrase means that it's very nice to receive words of praise, but they will not be of any practical use or help. The other side of this coin is shown by another phrase, namely 'Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.'
     
  16. Lis48

    Lis48 Senior Member

    York, England
    English - British
    I've always understood the idiom as meaning something different.
    Just because a person says they are going to do something, it does not mean he actually will e.g. my husband says he will paint the ceiling and I reply "Fine words won't butter parsnips!" I would mean, "It´s all very well you promising but will you ever get round to it?" It's used in the sense of words on their own not meaning anything, it's the action that counts.
    Pueden más los hechos que las palabras.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2014
  17. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    My interpretation of this idiom is the same as Lis48's.
     

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