[Falling/Fallen] leaves return to their roots

Lydia Qiu

Senior Member
Mandarin
Here's a Chinese idiom “Falling leaves return to their roots”, meaning "returning to one’s hometown and/or family. " (Chinese Idioms Vol. 7)
but I noticed that there's another English version of this idiom "Fallen leaves return to their roots", do you happen to know the differences between these two English versions?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hi, Lydia. I have never heard either version of this aphorism. "Falling leaves" makes me believe that the act of falling is what returns the leaves to their roots. "Fallen leaves" makes me believe that the act of decomposition is the thing that enables the leaves to return to their roots.

    I may be wrong, but I doubt that this saying originated anywhere in the English-speaking world. It sounds to me like something that originated in China.
     
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