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"En tierra de ciegos, el tuerto es rey."

Translation:In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king.

December 25, 2013



I'm sure that the English (American) version of the saying is 'in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king'.


I SEE what you mean...


It should be one-eyed man. "Man"was missing in the word bank I had.


Same it was missing for me to


Hm, I though it was usually "in the kingdom of the blind", but I might be mistaken.


I agree totally - but I have been marked as wrong


That was accepted for me. Mon. 5-14-18


The word 'man' is omitted. Otherwise, you are correct.


It makes sense without the word 'man'. Just like how you can say "the land of the blind" without having to say "the land of the blind people".


Idioms tend to be a specific phrase, and in this case the phrase is "in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is kind". It is NOT "in the land of the blind people the one-eyed man is king" NOR is it "in the land of the blind the one-eyed is king".


The saying is British English also.


Does anyone else find it really weird how Spanish has a word for 'one eyed person'. Surely this word would be almost never be used.


Spanish has tons of specific words for describing/naming people with certain disabilities, or even just features.

Manco/manca = one-armed [person] (used as adjective and noun) Narizón = big-nosed [person] Cejón = big-eyebrowed [person] ***one of my favorites


I am unable to understand the meaning of this idiom, can anyone plzz explain it to me.


In the "Land of the Two-eyes", a one-eyed person is reviled and castigated! But, in the "Land of the Blind", he is the Master!!!


So it's kind of like "Be grateful for what you have because it could be worse". These Spanish idioms are so interesting.


Exactly, and a reminder that if everyone has it worse, you win even if you have it bad.

Also, as a side note, this isn't just a spanish idiom, it's also common in english.


Example of this saying- If I say to my friend that I will guide them while visiting Spain then they will say I am the one-eyed king among the blinds, means I have more knowledge about spanish than them even though I can barely speak Spanish. Hindi also has a similar idiom so this ex. is apt for that.


It's a pretty popular English idiom as well, and unlike most of these idioms it's almost a word-for-word translation.


Put it like this. Life will be hard for someone who can barely read, but in a world where no one can read, they're the boss.


It is like this,in the land were evry one is blind,no one can see,but a man that has even one eye has an advantage over all others as he is the only one that can see. This one eyed man may be at a disatvantage any where else were all the people have two,but even with just that one eye he has more than the intire land of the blind,makeing him the most powerful.


Ashlie, I've heard this saying many times with a negative meaning. For example if someone wins a competition with a mediocre performance because the competitors were really weak.


And you can simply add "the" to make an adjective a noun, in a process called improper derivation. The closest you can get to it in English is "the ... one".


So I looked up the etymology of it, "tuerto" descends from the Latin "tortus," which means injured, the English descendant and possible literal translation is "tort," which is just injury, so it looks like in Spanish the word took on the unique meaning of referring as "one-eyed."


I wonder if that is the tort for torture.


I thought it would have accepted "cyclops." It does not.


Tuerto means that you have two eyes but only one of them works. So not a cyclops. Cyclops would be "cíclope"


No, tuerto means one-eyed.


All hail Cyclops!


Phoenix totally kicked his butt though. Wolverine had to clean up after him.


It is because Duo wants you to understand that it is someone who has less sight than a normal person. It doesn't want you to interpret it as a monster. "In the land of the blind, the monster is king", would not fit for the idiom's meaning.


Either way, the idiom would mean the same thing. Both cyclops and people with less sight will still be able to see (unlike blind people) but not much as people with normal sight.

  • 1469

Soy un tuerto así que, estoy de acuerdo contigo, Katie. Gracias por tu explicación.


"Tuerto" in Colombia is used to describe a person who does not have an eye, a good eye, a good vision in a single eye, or an example: you can say "está tuerto / tuerta" temporarily if you have one eye bandaged . Very different is a cyclope, which is a mythological character.


So does Latin, oddly enough.


In arabic we say"أعور" which means one-eyed


In dutch we have ¨eenoog¨. It literally means a person with only one (working) eye. ,-(


Eenoogd niet eenoog je kan mij vast wel verstaan


Im dutch LOL i came out of the netherlands


I thought the same thing. Spanish has lots of one-word terms for things we would never expect to have their own dedicated word in English. My favorite is "chocones": bumper cars!


Yes. Yes I do. This kinda creeped me out.


I presume in ancient or medieval times it could be used more often.


Same in French with the word "borgne". It might be useful if you like reading.


Hindi also has a word for one-eyed , it's काना (kana). Infact we have the similar idiom in Hindi, it goes like अंधों में काना राजा and the literal meaning is 'Among blinds, one-eyed is the king'. And although it is not used frequently but it is not rare either :)


Latin luscus (one-eyed person); Irish "aonsúile" (one-eyed animal) "leathshúile" (one-eyed person); French "borgne" one-eyed person; German "Einäugiger". It is not that unusual. Perhaps English is the odd one out?


I used "the one-eyed man" initially, but the translation was not accepted. I did so because in English, "one-eyed" is not a noun, but an adjective.


In English, putting a "the" before the adjective allows it to be used as a noun. For example, take the movie title "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." The word "one" is understood to follow the adjective in order to complete the meaning, but it is not necessary to speak it or write it. Spanish does the same: "los desaparecidos" = the vanished (ones). I, too, used "man" because that is the literal English proverb. ;^)


Yes. You are right.

It's crazy that they list "the one-eyed" as a correct answer, but do not accept "the one-eyed man," which is correct.

I filed a report on this. I hope others do as well. They need to fix this right away.


I've also filed a report for this.


Apparently DL has corrected this because I just used "one-eyed man", and it was counted as correct.


I put down "Among the blind, the one-eyed is king," and it marked me wrong. I'm going to report this, but if I'm wrong, please leave a comment. The concept is the same - I don't see what's wrong with it.


"In the LAND of...." This is not just referencing a gathering of blind people or a group of blind people, but the LAND of the blind.


it said ciegos meant blind-man. but then it said it was wrong. why is that?


Definitely a fault in their translation. One thing that Spanish allows you to do that you can't do in English is use an adjective as a noun (except in names, such as Ivan the Terrible).

So, what's happening here is that the best way to translate "ciegos" would have to be "blind people" (note that it's plural, so their "blind-man" translation is really bad), but you could also think of it as functioning similar to "the blind", as in "the blind have a unique perspective". The same thing is happening with the word "tuerto".


I keep an eye out for idioms like this..


I've never heard of this idiom before.


We have exactly the same proverb in Dutch


English has the identical saying, except "man" is added.


Sorry , I am not sure how to contact administrators so I will ask here . I just wanted to say I am very disappointed not to find a proverb that I quote to myself in English ...but I first heard in Spanish . It is not in this section ..it is something like ........ " When you call up the wind , you may reap a storm ".
I would love to know how to say it properly . thanks


How about "sow the wind and reap the whirlwind"?


Hosea 8:7a "For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind."


In greek we have :"Στους στραβούς, ο μονόφθαλμος" which means exaclty the same. We use it when somenone did something wrong but the majority did it worse...


I entered, "In the land of blind men, the one-eyed is king", but it didn't except it because "men" is not the same as "people". I feel that it should've been accepted since the words "man" and "men" are often used generically in reference to people in general, probably stemming from the word "man" being used in short for "human".


I said: in the land of the blind, one-eyed is king.


I think "the one-eyed is the king" is an acceptable translation


According to this idom, Jayfeather should worship Brightheart. Weird.


I actually got your "Warriors" reference. Also, I thought it was hilarious.


Rarely used in English nowadays


Damn, thats deep duolingo...


I just used "one-eyed man," and it was deemed wrong.


why isn't -in the land of the blind,the one-eyed man is king-?


I thought the two eyed man was king. this changes everything


So very, very TRUE lol


Does anyone understand the meaning of this phrase?


You don't need perfect vision to become king in the land of the blind. Even with your imperfections, you can become someone of great importance, because so many others are lacking a unique feature that you have.


Sooo many words I haven't seen before...


Tuerto is also somebody with a bad eye.


I've learned nothing through this section of the course and I'm beyond frustrated.


Whaaaaaaaat? I forgot the coma and got it rong


No you forgot W...


Not only the W in wrong. You also forgot the double-m in comma. Por que no los dos?


Ah,,, these questions make me uncf!


I dont get it i have tryed yeterday and today


I typed "In the land of the blind, the king is one-eyed" and It wasn't accepted. The sentence holds the same meaning as the required answer.


word order "the one-eyed is king" (but I don't know why 'king' doesn't need 'the' here), the difference is faint, but it exists. the idea that the one-eyed MAY BECOME king in the land of the blind


"En tierra de ciegos, el tuerto es rey." = "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king."


"The" is not used before "king" in the English translation because this idiom is not talking about someone becoming a literal king, necessarily. It is a metaphor meant to encourage everyday people to use the skills they have for the benefit of those around them, or to realize that whatever little talent they might have, they might still be great.

"King" is being used figuratively here to mean that the person who has just a little more ability than all the others around them becomes the one who can lead or be powerful or be useful or serve.

Ex: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed person is powerful.

Translation: If you have just a little more ability than others, you can use your ability to help all those around you.

It's also rather like the metaphor, "A big fish in a small pond."


Why does it not accept "one-eyed person?"


Just got the question again. It doesn't like "blind men" either. Nope, you must get it right word for word.



Duolingo didn't accept "person" because this phrase is a metaphor, not just a sentence used in everyday interactions. "One-eyed" is used like the word "one" is used - to instruct or teach. The idea is to focus on the ability, not the person. You can think of leaving off the word "person" as an intentional act to create poetry or a great one-liner for a movie. Its absence increases such things as emphasis, impact, inclusion, brevity, and illustration.


One does not say such things. - NOT - One person does not say such things.

One looks to the skies. - NOT - The one person looks to the skies.

The rich and the famous. - NOT - The rich people and the famous people.

And the meek shall become great. - NOT - And the meek people shall become great people.

The one-eyed is king. - NOT - The one-eyed person is king.


I got it right but there is a word (man) missing


I got that correct after the second attempt yet it wouldn't accept my answer. I don't quite understand it.




I missed the word 'the' and did wrong!!!! :(


If surrounded by people less capable or able, someone who would not normally be considered special, can shine.



Still, I can't get def. article's usage here (why king w/o article?, why 'the blind' if there are many of them, Yeah, I see that blinds mean those hard 'curtains' with slats (although one piece is also called a blind) ) --sorry for nested parenthesis



I'm guessing your difficulty stems more from the level you are in the tree and the fact that you were studying idioms in Spanish, not just translating everyday phrases. I, too, had tremendous difficulty in idioms because I "bought" them very early on when I first started studying in Duolingo 5 years ago. I have to admit, I HATED them. I thought they made no sense and were a waste of time.

Now, 5 years later, with a long gap between me studying, and after 64 days of intense study and moving up the tree, I am far more prepared for them.

I think Duolingo should not allow people so early in their Spanish study to use the idioms because they can be very confusing and frustrating if you don't know the basics.

I'm just guessing that's what you experienced. If so, just forget about them for now and wait until you feel very confident in at least the first 4 levels. Then try them again and remember that they are like proverbs or metaphors. The key is to find the equivalent in English and understand their intent and meaning - what they are trying to teach.

In this case, "the blind" is NOT about blinds on a window. Instead, "blind" means people who can't see. But, more than that, it is a metaphor about people who have less ability than you do - whatever form of ability that takes.


It is hard can you give me a hint


I must say, this is definitely my favorite Spanish idiom so far.


This entire part of the course is impossible to learn from. I can't even figure out what most of the words mean by tapping on them. I hope a developer sees this and they do a complete overhaul of this entire part of the program.



I believe idioms should be presented only after someone passes say 15,000 points or checkpoint 5. It's just too confusing for beginners with little vocabulary or word structure. And, it does not enhance learning those things so early on.


Its the one eyed man, this is political correctness gone mad!


"In the land of the blind man, the one-eyed is king", why is it wrong?


The idiom is supposed to mean that there are a lot of blind people in the land, not just one.


I have never in my life heard this phrase. English is my first language. Can someone explain a similar phrase?


Another way of interpreting this Spanish idiom in English, as the in the expression, "The blind leading the blind." The myopic 'one-eyed' blinding vision of the leader, the king, diminishes the quality/effectiveness to lead a following nation/people of the land hence blind people of the earth. Cause and effect logic. I hope this might be helpful to you. Everyone have fun learning Spanish!


In the land of cigars, the turtle is king.


kinda funny ))) muy divertido))) and creative translation


"عمشه بين العمي"in tunisian


In the land of the blind - the king is one eyed



You translated "En tierra de ciegos, el tuerto es rey." as "In the land of the blind - the king is one eyed"

I don't know if Dúo accepted your translation or not. But, I would respectfully disagree. Reason: If you change the order of the words, you change the meaning of the idiom significantly.

By saying "the king is one-eyed", I believe you are saying that the king of blind people would be one-eyed - and that's it. They must be one-eyed to be leader. That's not really what this idiom is saying. In fact, the king could be 2- or 3- or 5-eyed.

But, when you translate the word order directly as it is in Spanish (and in other languages, apparently), "the one-eyed is king", then you are saying that if all the others in the land are blind, and if there is a one-eyed person, then that person would be king - because even if they only have one eye compared to the rest of us who have two eyes here in this land, in a different land where no one can see, they are still better equipped to lead (at least visually) than anyone else there.

The idiom said in the correct order is not meant to limit who can lead, but meant to say that it just takes a little tiny bit more ability or skill or education or whatever to be the leader of others who don't have what you have. And, to accomplish that, the word order matters.


Can't move the the to place is the


Anyone else notice how blind man is also synonymous with blind drunk? Haha


I said right but it didn't work


Same like the hindi saying,"vasarat langdi gai shahani" Which translate to a 3-legged cow is smart in calves


Didnt put the dash, marked me wrong


I'm never going to say these proverbs, except for "Where there's smoke, there's fire."


German: Unter den Blinden ist der Einäugige König. Dies ist ein Sprichwort. Ok


The hindi idiom for this is 'andho me kaana raja'!


Anyone else think it should be In the land of the blind, the king is one-eyed.


It does not want to accept my correct answer...


I got it wrong because I didn't have a dash (-)


When i answer this question, I always get it wrong when it is right. It is fustrating! >;c


Cyclops is not an acceptable alternative to one-eyed according to Duolingo. Fair I suppose.


I've literally never heard this phrase in english (maybe its an american thing?) So i just guessed at what made grammatical sense to me and got it wrong :(


I'm American and I never heard it before this, either.


In translation, isn't "king" unique, therefore "the king" is more accurate? Spanish version doesn't say el rey but in English i never heard just king


You've heard "king" in English just now in this phrase: "...the one-eyed is king."

"...is king" is actually quiet common when using "king" as an equivalent for "powerful", "strong", "influential", "top-dog", "pampered", etc.

Other examples:

"Let's play king of the mountain."

"He is king in his house."

"That particular animal is king of the barnyard."

"I want to be king." (Maybe in real life, or maybe while kids are pretending."

"Who will be king?" (Think about a movie line.)

"My cat thinks he's king of the house."


This topic is discussed extensively. I have commented several times. If you read the discussions, you can learn a lot. This is idiomatic, so you are looking at a phrase that is meant to tell a moral. It's not a typical translation.

Basically, this phrase means that if you have just a little more skill or ability than all those around you, then you can be a leader. So, if everyone is blind, then if a person has one good eye, they are the most capable and can be the leader.

It is phrase that is apparently found in many cultures around the world.


There is only x2 the therefore its impossible to build the sentence correctly


Theres so many versions of this phrase. Theres no way without doing this multiple times to know which one you want.


FeliciaDanyelle, there are not really many versions of this phrase. It is an idiom and almost a direct translation (except the definite articles of "the"). This has been discussed extensively on this lesson. If you read the discussions thoroughly on this sentence, you will see that it is the same idiom in numerous cultures and languages.

"En tierra de ciegos, el tuerto es rey." = "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king."

En = In

tierra = land --> the land

de = of

ciegos = blind --> the blind

el = the

tuerto = one-eyed

es = is

rey = king


"In the land of blind men the one-eyed is king" wasn't accepted


The word "men" isn't in the idiom.


Never heard this one in my 36 years on Earth


That is honestly the most amazing thing I've ever heard, no wait, the second most. Yeah that's it.


Y se llama El Rey Lear.


Letting people select word by word and absolutely having to select the comma is a really bad way to learn this.


Wow .. I am shocked I got this right in my first try


What does this mean?


¿Qué hace esta media?


Pls let me comment


Ok you can comment, but just this once.


These idioms are ❤❤❤❤ man really.None seems to be useful


This was ❤❤❤❤!!!


How do you get those hearts in your comment? :-/


That is too hard


This is not a popular saying....


En la tierra de los ciegos, el ojo es rey


En tierra de ciegos, el tuerto es rey


En tierra de ciegos, el tuerto es rey


En tierra de ciegos, el tuerto es rey


I wrote it correctly


I am doing correct but it is not accepting


Sounds like Lord of The Rings lol

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