Zamnenhof's proverbs

"Water helps not a cooked fish" — It’s too late to close the stable door after the horse has escaped. When the boat reaches mid-stream, it is too late to stop the leak.

Al fiŝ’ kuirita jam akvo ne helpos.

"Admonishments won't help an idiot, only the cane will help" — Actions speak louder than words.

Al malsaĝulo ne helpas admono, nur bastono.

"Even a small drop, constantly hitting, buries through a granite mountain" — If you think that you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito in the room. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

Eĉ guto malgranda, konstante frapante, traboras la monton granitan.

There’s one law for the rich, and another for the poor. — You might steal flour from a rich man, but you'll have to pay him back in bread.

Ju pli da havo, des pli da pravo.

"The head forms the hat" — Speed is nothing without accuracy. Its not about the sword, its about the man behind it. A bad workman blames his tools. There's a hat to fit every head. What for you won't go by you.

Kia la poto, tia la kovrilo.

"Robbers often return in the nude" — Crime doesn't pay. What does it profit a man if he gains the world and loses his soul. Some things are simply not worth it.

Kiu rabi eliras, ofte nuda revenas.

"Get off to a good start, and you'll be home by lunch time" — Early birds catch the worms. He who is late may gnaw the bones. One hours sleep before midnight is worth two after. Timed well, a little can go a long way. If you're not fast, you'll be last. If you snooze, you lose.

Komenco bona — laboro duona.

"You can't make everyone happy — not even angels can do this".

Kontentigi ĉiujn eĉ anĝelo ne povas.

"Learn while your young, so you can be wise in old age" — Train hard, fight easy. It is too late to learn to swim when the water is up to your lips. The roots of education are bitter but the fruit is sweet. What is learned in youth is carved in stone.

Lernu juna, por esti saĝa maljuna.

"Don't judge a book by looking at the cover" — Things can be more than they seem. There's more than meets the eye. Appearances can be deceiving. Not all that glitters is gold. Beware of wolves in sheeps' clothing. Beware of false prophets. The devil will appear as an angel of light. The devil will come in fine clothing.

Ne juĝu pri afero laŭ ĝia ekstero.

"A full till invites a thief" — Opportunity makes the thief. The guard’s sleep is the lamplight of the thief. The thief is no danger to the beggar. Don’t shut the barn door after the horse is stolen.

Plena kaso ŝteliston altiras.

"Better a neighbour near than a brother far".

Pli bona apude najbaro, ol frato post arbaro.

"A grey beard does not a wiseman make" — You can live a long life and still die stupid. It is never too late to learn.

Saĝo barbon ne atendas.

The devil dances in an empty pocket — Idle hands are the devil's playthings. Excuses might be found for a thief who to satisfy his hunger steals because he is starving.

Sako malplena sin rekte ne tenas.

"A single swallow doesn't bring the springtime" — Don't count your chickens until they've hatched.

Unu hirundo printempon ne alportas.

You will find more of Zamenhof's proverbs on the website