What German proverbs do you know? :-)

Hello dear language learners,

Here is a few German proverbs I find nice to have in our toolkit:

man muss das Eisen schmieden, solange es heiß ist
= strike while the iron is hot

eine Stecknadel im Heuhaufen suchen
= to look for a needle in a haystack

Rom ist nicht an einem Tag erbaut worden
= Rome wasn't built in a day

aus einer Mücke einen Elefanten machen
= make a mountain out of a mole hill (literally: make an elephant out of a mosquito)

Hunde, die bellen, beißen nicht
= barking dogs seldom bite

zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen
= kill two birds with one stone (literally: to slay two flies with one fly swat)

Lügen haben kurze Beine
= a lie has no legs

Reden ist Silber, Schweigen ist Gold
= speech is silver, but silence is golden

I hope it's useful, and if you know some more interesting ones, that would be nice to share in the comments. :-)

alles Gute,

November 27, 2015


My favourite: Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei.

November 27, 2015

I think I can oblige... here are some expressions that attest our obsession with sausages:

And here are some oft-used phrases, which are not proverbs exactly, but very revealing nevertheless:

November 28, 2015

Great blog posts! Thanks for the link.

November 28, 2015
November 28, 2015

Great site, just checked it out. I do not agree with each single wording and explanation (caveat: I'm from northern Germany) but overall it's quite accurate.

November 28, 2015

„Verfassung vergeht, Verwaltung besteht.“

My favourite.

November 29, 2015

I found the list in the Wiktionary to be quite exhaustive. Unfortunately, most of them are without an explanation.

If you're fine with figuring out the explanations yourself, then Wikiquote is also a good source.

edit: Thanks, mizinamo, that's by far the best solution :)

November 28, 2015

You can also make explicit links with [link text goes here](URL goes here) e.g. ["Deutsche Sprichwörter" on Wikiquote]( for "Deutsche Sprichwörter" on Wikiquote.

November 28, 2015

That's neat, thanks! You seem to know the website (and most of the courses) quite well. Is there, by any chance, a manual somewhere to read up on features like this?

November 28, 2015

Unfortunately not.

This sort of thing works with "Markdown", a markup system for which you can find tutorials on the web.

Occasionally, someone posts a tutorial in the discussion forum as well.

Here are some posts I was able to find:

And finally, .

The Wiki is probably about as close to a manual as Duolingo has, but it's unofficial. Still, have a poke around it; there are only a dozen or two pages in it, I think, so it won't take too long to read, and there's useful basic info there.

November 28, 2015

Thanks a lot Mizinamo for the sharing! :D

I've been wondering for a long time how did the moderators and other people do that. Once again, thanks!

November 29, 2015

Good stuff, thanks a lot!

November 29, 2015

Bold Italic Bold Italic Duolingo

November 29, 2015

These German proverbs are excellent! I love that I can express so much in just one line of the language.

November 29, 2015


December 2, 2015
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