can't see the forest for the trees

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Encolpius, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Hello, do you use the same idiom in your language?
    We Hungarians use the literal translation.

    Nem látja a fától az erdőt.
  2. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek, we have a similar saying:
    Βλέπουμε το δένδρο (δέντρο) και χάνουμε το δάσος
    vlepume to ðenðro (or ðendro) ke xanume to ðasos
    We see the tree and miss the forest.
  3. amikama

    amikama sordomodo

    In Hebrew too:
    מרוב עצים לא רואים את היער
  4. Sowka

    Sowka Senior Member

    German, Northern Germany
    Hello :)

    In German, it's the same:

    "Ich seh den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht!" :cool:
  5. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    It's the same in Finnish, too:

    Ei näe metsää puilta.
  6. Frank06

    Frank06 Senior Member

    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)

    In Dutch: Ik zie door het bos (forest) de bomen (trees) niet meer.


  7. phosphore Senior Member


    od drveta ne videti šumu

    (not to see the forest for the tree)
  8. pvraes

    pvraes Senior Member

    En español de España decimos:
    "Los árboles no te dejan ver el bosque"
    "The trees prevent you from seeing the forest"
  9. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    In British English: "Can't see the wood for the trees."
  10. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Russian: зa дерeвьями лeca нe видeть [ze dereviami lesa ne videt] - same saying
  11. Akis

    Akis Senior Member

    I looked on the internet and I found :
    Czech - Nevidí dřevo pro/přes stromy
    French - Impossible de voir le bois pour les arbres
  12. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    I'd prefer: Pro stromy nevidí les in Czech.
  13. Mauricet Senior Member

    near Grenoble
    French - France
    In French we say: Les arbres cachent la forêt. (The trees hide the forest).
  14. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    On the Internet I've found As árvores não deixam ver a floresta (The trees don't let one see the forest) in Portuguese, but I don't know how widespread it is.
  15. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

    Romanian: Nu vezi pădurea de copaci (you can't see the forest because of the trees)
  16. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    You can also say "Não vê a floresta por causa das árvores", and it would be easily understood, but this isn't really a set saying in Portuguese.
  17. Maykel Fonts New Member

    Anyone knows how it's said in Italian ?
  18. altairlegend

    altairlegend New Member

    Ho Chi Minh City
    We Vietnamese say: "Thấy cây chứ không thấy rừng"
  19. jana.bo99

    jana.bo99 Senior Member

    Cro, Slo
    Ne vidim gozda od dreves

    Ne mogu vidjeti šumu od drveća

    Ich kann den Wald von lauten Bäumen nicht sehen
  20. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Inte se skogen för alla träd
    - not see the forest for all the trees
  21. er targyn Senior Member

    Rusita, do you mean Can't see the forest behind the trees? Why there is "for"?
  22. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Exactly! The Russian saying says literally "behind the trees". Why "for"? I guess because in English one of the meanings of "for" is "because".
  23. er targyn Senior Member

    Thank you!
  24. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    見樹不見林/见树不见林 jiàn shù bú jiàn lín (See tree no see forest)
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  25. vianie Senior Member

    Does any language use the idiom can't see for the eyes? (Hopefully I've translated it correctly.) Slovak and Czech do - nevidieť pre oči / nevidět pro oči.

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