Feb 1, 2005

Kotowaza of the day: Curse of the college freshman


Japanese:
知恵がかえって害となる

Romanized:
Chie ga kaette gai to naru

Meaning of Japanese:
Too little wisdom can lead to misfortune/disadvantage

English equivalents:
A little learning is a dangerous thing

4 Comments:

At 2/02/2005 1:47 AM, Blogger Safety Neal said...

While it's not an exact translation, but I've often heard it said: "Some people have to learn things the hard way," which is saying that they will suffer misfortune b/c of their lack of wisdom. Sort of like George Bush's little adventure in Iraq, re-learning the lessons of Vietnam all over again.

 
At 2/02/2005 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't mind my asking, where do you get all these kotowaza? They're fascinating.

 
At 2/03/2005 8:19 PM, Blogger eBohn said...

Safety-
The translation of the Japanese is actually abbreviated, the original implying something very much like the English equivalent: learning ABC without XYZ can lead to trouble. Your example is good, but there's probably a different kotowaza for people who haven't even acquired ABC.

Anonymous-
Thanks for dropping by. I'm glad the kotowaza have piqued your interest.
The Japanese originals I take from a kotowaza dictionary on our bookshelf. While an English equivalent is often apparent right off the bat, I also search the web for alternatives that I haven't (or might never have) thought up myself. And, as you can see, helpful commenters also provide suggestions.

 
At 2/03/2005 11:49 PM, Blogger head said...

Anon here again. It's a fun challenge to try and figure out the readings first, get the rough meaning, then try and equate it to something in English. Certainly helps keep my chops up. Thanks for the practice material!

Also, feel free to drop by my blog, should you ever get bored. Eventually there will be some better content. Possibly.

 

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