Better a sparrow in the hand than a pigeon on the roof

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by jana.bo99, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. jana.bo99

    jana.bo99 Senior Member

    Cro, Slo
    We use it a lot in every day's life. I have seen than original comes from Czech Republic.


    Bolje vrabac u ruci nego golub na krovu


    Bolje vrabec v roki kot golob na strehi


    Besser ein Spatz in der Hand als die Taube auf dem Dach

    Here is going about our wish to get something good for us, but we get something worse (even by getting some man)

    Do you have it in your language and how do you say it?

    p.s. I was looking here, but didn't find.
  2. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)

    Mais vale um pássaro na mão que dois a voar.
    A bird in your hand is worth more than two flying.
  3. origumi Senior Member

    Aramaic: טבא חדא ציפרא כפותא מן מאה פרחיין = tava khada tzifra kfuta min mea parkhein = better one tied bird than hundred flying.

    Yiddish: בעסער אַ האָן אין האַנט איידער אַן אָדלער אין הימל = besser a han in hant aider an adler in himmel = better a hen in hand than an eagle in the sky.

    Hebrew: טוב ציפור ביד משתיים על העץ = tov tzipor bayad mishtaim `al ha`etz = better a bird in hand than two on the tree.
  4. origumi Senior Member

    Ladino: מָאס וָאלֵי אוּן פָּאשָרוֹ אֵין לָה מָאנוֹ קֵי סְיֵין בּוֹלָאנְדוֹ = mas vale un pasharo en la mano que cien bolando = better a bird in hand than hundred flying.
  5. catlady60

    catlady60 Senior Member

    Nazareth, PA
    English-US (New York City)
    English: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
  6. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    we have had a similar topic here
  7. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    I don't know if it's the same. In Italian there is: meglio un uovo oggi che una gallina domani. (Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow)
  8. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    We have a very similar one in Turkish:
    Bugünkü tavuk yarınki kazdan iyidir.
    — (Today's chicken is better than tomorrow's goose)
  9. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Bättre en fågel i handen än tio i skogen
    - better a bird in the hand than ten in the forest.
  10. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    You mean, it is better that you hold in your hand something real than watch them far from you! I can say this in Tagalog; Maigi na ang may tangan tangan (hawak hawak)sa kamay kaysa masdan silang marami na malayo naman sa iyo.
  11. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Thank you, Mataripis, but please tells us also what would be the literal translation of the Tagalog saying...

    I had totally forgotten about the other thread. Thank you, Encolpius.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  12. jana.bo99

    jana.bo99 Senior Member

    Cro, Slo
    Sorry, but is totally different. There is going about any bird. Here are sparrow and pigeon. Sparrow is just a common bird and pigeon is something like a bird prince. If some woman is married (from any reason) and she is love with other man, whom she can't get, in that case people say: hold it what you have (sparrow) and don't dream about somebody you can't get (pigeon). Why nobody says: "better sparrow in the hand than crow on the roof".
    It is different value between sparrow and pigeon.
  13. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    The only saying in Swedish I can think of meaning being unsatisfied with what you have and wishing for something else is "Grannens gräs är alltid grönare", the neighbour's grass is always greener, we don't have anything mentioning birds.
  14. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod (AL mod)

    French (lower Normandy)
    In French, the usual proverb is:
    "Un tiens vaut mieux que deux tu l'auras", popularised by Jean de la Fontaine.
    Literally: a "here you are" is worth more than two "you'll get it"

    But I'm not sure it would work for everything though. Wouldn't work for a man I would say, where we could use:
    "Il faut se contenter de ce que l'on a" (literally: one must be content with what one has)
  15. inorez New Member

    English - World
    In Spanish it's:

    Más vale pájaro en mano que cien(to) volando

    Literally: Better a bird in hand than a hundred flying.
  16. L'irlandais

    L'irlandais Senior Member

    Dreyeckland/Alsace region
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    The point is that a pigeon is edible ; one would need at least 10 sparrows to get a mouthful.
    Crow meat is mostly (90%) inedible, which is why nobody mentions crows in this context.
  17. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    i wrote first the english .So the first part is the exact meaning of the Tagalog sentence i wrote.
  18. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Лучше синица в руках, чем журавль в небе.

    Better a tit in the hands than a crane in the sky.

    No sexist pun intended.:D It's about two birds.
  19. jana.bo99

    jana.bo99 Senior Member

    Cro, Slo
    As a child (when my father was alive), I used to eat pigeon meat. It is not much meat, but enough for a child.
    Where he got them, I am not sure.
    I would never eat crow meat, from the simple reason, I don't like crows.
  20. Treaty Senior Member

    In Persian:
    سیلی نقد به از حلوای نسیه
    sili e naqd beh az halva ie nesieh
    A cash slap in face is better than an on-credit sweet.
  21. Selyd Senior Member

    In Ukrainian:
    Краща синиця в жмені, як журавель у небі /Better a tit in the handful than a crane in the sky/
    Кращий нині горобець, як завтра голубець /The best presently sparrow, as tomorrow pigeon/
    Близька соломка краща від далекого сінця /A near straw is better from a distant hay/

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