Every cloud has a silver lining

AquisM

Senior Member
English/Cantonese
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?))
 
  • 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"
     

    Anja.Ann

    Senior Member
    Italian
    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).
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    Swedish:
    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.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    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.
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    Czech:

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

    learnerr

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Russian: нет худа без добра /net khuda bez dobra/ - [there is] no bad without good.
    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. ;)
     
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    bazq

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

    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.
     

    Grefsen

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Swedish:
    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.
    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)
     

    810senior

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    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).
    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).
    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.
     

    Dymn

    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
     

    810senior

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    ^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)
     

    ger4

    Senior Member
    German
    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)

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

    Medune

    Senior Member
    Portuguese- Portugal/Brazil
    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

    Portuguese version is slightly different:
    Há males que vêm para o/por bem. ( lit. There are bad things that come for the sake o good)
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Arabic:

    رُبّ ضارة نافعة: "A harmful thing may be beneficial."
    مصائب قوم عند قوم فوائد: "Some people's adversities are beneficial to other people."
    كل تأخيرة فيها خيرة: "Every delay brings about something good."
     

    Włoskipolak 72

    Senior Member
    Polish
    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

    It's quite interesting this , because in Polish we have literally exactly the same expression : nie ma (tego) złego, co by na dobre nie wyszło , ( no hay mal que por bien no venga ) !

    Than we have another expression in Polish: Po każdej burzy wychodzi słońce. ( After every storm, the sun comes out.) :oops:
     
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    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Macedonian:

    Секое зло за добро! (Sékoe zló za dóbro!) lit. "Every bad (thing) (happens/is) for (something) good!"
    Than we have another expression in Polish: Po każdej burzy wychodzi słońce. ( After every storm, the sun comes out.) :oops:

    In Macedonian it is: По дожд доаѓа сонце! (Po dóžd dóaǵa sónce!) lit. "After rain, comes sun!"
     
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    matakoweg

    Senior Member
    In Dutch we say: na regen komt zonneschijn: after rain sunshine will come

    We also say: Elk nadeel heb (substandard for 'heeft') zijn voordeel: every disadvantage has its advantage.
    This was used by the famous football player Johan Cruijff who was also famous for sayings like this.
     

    Welsh_Sion

    Senior Member
    Welsh - Northern
    Did we not mention n French: Après la pluie, le beau temps or (I think,) Après l'orage ...

    Cymraeg/Welsh:

    Mae ymyl arian i bob cwmwl du
    = There's a silver edge to every black cloud and
    Fe ddaw eto haul ar fryn = The sun will come again on a hill ('There will sunshine again on a hill' is probably better stylistically)
     
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