Translating Values from Proverbs

Proverbs can be an important indicator of cultural values as they often reflect the underlying attitudes and beliefs translated into the culture’s members, such as attitudes towards business ventures and business relationships. Making sincere attempts to understand and appreciate our own as well as other cultures’ proverbs can help us improve in our cultural interaction. Consider the following:

  • The bigger the hat, the smaller the property. (Australian)
  • Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. (New Zealand – Maori)
  • Venture all; see what fate brings. (Vietnamese)
  • Where there are no tigers, a wildcat is very self-important. (Korean)
  • Call on God, but row away from the rocks. (Indian)
  • Don’t worry yourself about the fever before it arrives. (Thai)
  • Loyalty is more valuable than diamonds. (Filipino)
  • A crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous wind. (Chinese)
  • If you enter a goat stable, bleat. if you enter a water buffalo stable, bellow. (Indonesian)
  • After victory, tighten your helmet cord. (Japanese)

Do you know more proverbs that reflect cultural values in business? Share them with us in the comment section below.