A burro muerto, cebada al rabo

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Magmod, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. Magmod

    Magmod Senior Member

    England
    England English
    This proverb "a burro muerto, cebada al rabo"is literally "Barley on the tail of the dead donkey"
    Please translate and do you where did this proverb originate?
    Many thanks
    Magmod:confused:
     
  2. Eugens

    Eugens Senior Member

    Argentina Spanish
    Hi!! I have searched the net and I found that it is a saying that "suggests we enjoy this life, here and now, because after leaving this world, riches and honour are useless. (...) It advises us not to expect anything of posterity, after our death. Praises, fame, glory are like the barley we place next to a dead donkey's tail. They are useless."

    "En fin, muy acorde con la filosofía española del placer por el presente y de lo pasajero de las cosas terrenas, heredada de los árabes, pero que también hallamos en Séneca, está la expresión a burro muerto, la cebada al rabo, que nos sugiere que disfrutemos de esta vida, aquí y ahora, porque después de haber abandonado este mundo de nada sirven las riquezas ni los honores. En contra de lo que pudiese parecer a primera vista, la expresión es menos epicúrea que estoica, más fatalista que optimista. Nos aconseja que no esperemos nada de la posteridad ("Nachwelt") después de muertos. Los elogios, la fama, la gloria son como la cebada que colocamos junto al rabo de un burro muerto."
    From http://www.hispanorama.de/hplus/mmoral98.htm
    Now I leave the job of thinking its English equivalent to other foreros! ;)
     
  3. Terry Mount Senior Member

    U S A
    Encontré esto en la red. No sé si quiere decir lo mismo que el refrán español, pero hay cierta semejanza:

    Old Irish saying "Feeding a dead donkey is a waste of oats."
     
  4. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    Crug Hywel
    UK English
    How about "make hay while the sun shines"? Es el topico carpe diem. Tambien "Sing, dance and be merry.. for tomorrow we die". Muchas veces solo dicen la primera parte del dicho porque se entiende la segunda parte.
     
  5. Terry Mount Senior Member

    U S A
    No se me ocurrió eso de "Make hay while the sun shines!" pero claro que lleva la idea del "carpe diem."

    Por aquí (EEUU), se dice más "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you may die!" [Los estadunidenses somos brutos para bailar (<---broma).]
     
  6. Magmod

    Magmod Senior Member

    England
    England English
    Thanks to all of you for your replies.
    I've seen this proverb in Penguin's Spanish Short Stories 1 ( Camilo Jose Cela'a: La Romería) page 118. The Translator explains that "once an animal has died no amount of food will revive it." He translates it as " no good being wise after the event".

    In this respect I find Eugens reply excellent because it does convey the fatalist and pessimistic scene of the story. Also it provides the origin of the proverb and that what I wanted explained. Now I understand why hindsight was used by the translator to translate this proverb.

    Regards
    Magmod
     

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