it's easy to be smart after the fact

Encolpius

Senior Member
Hungarian
Hello, I am searching the origin of a common Czech and Hungarian proverb. It could be German, Austrian. What would you say if people tend to be clever after the hard problem is solved. I'd love to hear words like: Schlacht, Kampf, Krieg, Soldat, General. Thank you for your ideas.
 
  • berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    The most common German expression is: Nachher ist man immer schlauer/klüger.

    None of the nouns you mentioned rings a bell with me.
     

    Frank78

    Senior Member
    German
    I´ve thought frantically about a military expression. The only thing which comes close is "Kein Plan überlebt den ersten Feindkontakt" (Moltke). It means the majority of things cannot be foresighted. It implies but don´t directly mentions that you are smarter after battle.
     

    dec-sev

    Senior Member
    Russian
    The only proverb in this context which has a kind of damage is...
    In which context? I don´t see any.
    "Aus/durch Schaden wird man klug."
    But it is not the same as the English one.
    I would say it’s not the same as nachher ist man immer schlauer/klüger.
    I mean "Aus/durch Schaden wird man klug“ ist über eine Person, die Fehler macht, aber lernt dadurch, bekommt neue Erfahrung und wird klüger.
    Nachher ist man immer schlauer/klüger impliziert es nicht. Soviel ich weiß, verwendet man die Phrase ironisch.
     

    dec-sev

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I've looked through the thread, and there is no mentioning of "damage" in the original post, Hutschi. It was you to have mentioned "damage" first saying "The only proverb in this context which has a kind of damage is..." I asked in which context. You said
    Context: Schlacht, Kampf, Krieg, Soldat, General.
    All these make damages.
    I could say that all these things also make money, promotion, etc, depending on context which we don't have.
    Aus Schaden wird man klug" only contains facts that are damages, however.
    It also implies that a person becomes cleverer.
    My strong belief that the original phrase "it's easy to be smart after the fact" doesn't imply any damages and the variant proposed by berndf is a good equivalent. Toadie proposed "Hindsight is 20/20" which, as I see it, doesn't imply any damages either. I hope English natives will correct me if I'm wrong.
    The problem is that Encolpius's desire to hear words like war, battle, etc. has lead to confusion, because, in my opinion, it's easy to be smart after the fact doesn't necessarily imply any damages and wars even in the figurative sense.
     
    Last edited:

    dec-sev

    Senior Member
    Russian
    "Nach der Schlacht ist jeder General" seems to be used ironically and close to the Russian "быть крепким задним умом". Или я ошибаюсь?
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    "Nach der Schlacht ist jeder General" habe ich zumindest schon mal gehört. (Bedeutung: Jeder weiß, was getan hätte werden müssen.)
    Ich fühle aber eine völlig andere Bedeutung als "Nach der Schlacht ist jeder gerne General" (die Gefahr ist vorüber, man kann sich dem Kriegsspiel widmen.)
     

    cyanista

    законодательница мод
    NRW
    Belarusian/Russian
    "Nach der Schlacht ist jeder General" seems to be used ironically and close to the Russian "быть крепким задним умом".
    Exactly. I imagine the Hungarian proverb sounds ironical, too.
     

    OBdB

    Member
    Deutsch
    but the solution proposed in German is also highly ironic !!!

    the situation would be :

    two friends are talking, the first related a situation he encountered :

    1st : die Situation war so und so ... und dann hab' ich das so gemacht ...
    2nd : Du hättest besser das und das gemacht ...
    1st : Ja, hinterher ist man immer schlauer als vorher ...

    The meaning is : if I had known before what i know now, my answer (or action) would have been different ... it's a big ironic statement
     
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