"Whose bread one eats, that person's language one speaks."

Translation:Kies panon oni manĝas, ties lingvon oni parolas.

August 6, 2015

This discussion is locked.


What does this even mean?


German has a variation on this as a proverb: "Wes Brot ich ess, des Lied ich sing" = Whose bread I eat, that person's song I sing = I will do things that please the people who support me financially or on whom I am dependent. So if my boss tells me to jump, I say "How high?".

It also reminds me of the principle "cuius regio, eius religio" (whose region, that person's religion) where the religion of the local duke was automatically the religion of the local farmers that lived on the duke's lands, and if the duke changed religion (e.g. converted from Protestantism to Catholicism), the tenants had to do so as well.

This seems like an attempt to make an Esperanto-relevant proverb out of them, saying something like "if you grow up in a household speaking a certain language, then you will also speak that language" or something like that.

  • 1987

I take it as a general guide for being polite in a multilingual situation- speak the language of your host if able, unless asked otherwise


Closest I can think of is: "Wiens brood men eet; diens woord men spreekt." (Whose bread one eats, whose word one speaks.) Dutch: One tends to side with the party one depends upon.

The "singing" version is used in several language. I can't think of other "language" or "word" versions, though.


This flows much better in Esperanto than in English.


Laŭ la reta vortaro Zamenhofa versio de ĉu tiu proverbo estas

Kies panon oni manĝas, ties vorton oni parolas.


Why cannot the last part be: oni parolas ties lingvon? Is it a grammatical reason or a poetic reason?


moreton139 demandis:

Why cannot the last part be: oni parolas ties lingvon?

I would expect Duolingo to accept that -- even if it doesn't sound as poetic as the original.

Do you know for a fact that Duolingo rejects that? If so, report it as correct.


I ate a loaf of Italian, yet my can't Italy-speak.


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