As They Say In Zanzibar


By David Crystal

cover image of As They Say In Zanzibar

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David Crystal, one of the world's leading commentators on language, tackles the proverbs of the world. In this anthology of global proverbs Crystal brings his customary keen eye and linguistic expertise to this wonderfully rich topic. Proverbs are fascinating in what they tell us about a culture's view of everyday life: whether it be the importance of animals or the significance of the weather, proverbial wisdom is a key factor in understanding different peoples and cultures. Here David Crystal, the world's leading commentator on language, takes us on a global tour of the world's proverbs. Whether you are in Andorra, China or Tierra del Fuego, there is a nugget of local wisdom to inform and entertain. Some proverbs to entertain:
  • When two elephants struggle, it is the grass which suffers. (Zanzibar)
  • One must chew according to one's teeth (Norway)
  • Admiration is the daughter of ignorance (Spain)
  • A blind man needs no looking glass (Scotland)
  • Never bolt your door with a boiled carrot (Ireland)
  • Don't call the alligator a big-mouth till you have crossed the river (Belize)
  • An untouched drum does not speak. (Liberia)
  • Do not try to borrow combs from shaven monks. (China)
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    As They Say In Zanzibar