Learn English through its Proverbs
If you are looking for a new approach to learning English, study English proverbs. A proverb is a short saying used to express a well-known truth. Proverbs are a quick way to communicate and they reveal how a culture has developed. The truth of a proverb is often a truth which every culture recognizes about human nature or the physical world. Each culture expresses this truth in its own unique way. By studying the proverbs of any language, you gain new insight into both the culture and the native way of speaking. Here is how to include proverbs in your study of English. Each of these paragraphs starts with a proverb.
A good beginning makes a good end. Meaning: If a task is carefully planned, there is a better chance it will be done well. Plan your effort to learn English proverbs. I suggest learning one new proverb a week. Jot it down on several ‘sticky notes’. Post the notes in locations where you will see them often during your day. Think up conversations which allow you to use the proverb and practice it with your English-speaking friends. Ask yourself if your native language has a saying with a similar meaning. What is different about the way the basic truth is stated? The differences reveal cultural references and influences. They give you a better insight into English culture.
Great oaks grow from little acorns. Meaning: Large successful operations can begin from something small. You can find proverbs by searching the internet on “English proverbs with explanations”, “English proverbs”, or “English proverbs with meanings”. Books of proverbs can be checked out from the library or purchased from book stores.
Learning is treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. Meaning: Education is something you keep forever. Remember you are learning English to improve yourself and to improve your understanding of others. Perhaps you will also improve your chances of getting a job. Education is precious and worth the effort you make to get it.
Practice makes perfect. Meaning: Doing something repeatedly is the only way to get good at it. Use the proverb you are studying as often as you can. Look the proverb up on the internet and see what you find.
If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. Meaning: Wishing alone is not enough, you must act. Reading this article is a start to increasing your English vocabulary. Search the Internet. Watch the news broadcast in English. Go to the library. Talk with English speakers. For more ideas, check out my article “Improving Your English for ESL Students”.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Meaning: You should adopt the customs of the people or country you are visiting and behave in the same way. Of course, people do not use proverbs constantly. Speech laden with proverbs becomes trite. People want to hear your own thoughts on the topic of discussion. However, a well-placed proverb can bring instant understanding and displays knowledge of both the English language and culture. This helps both you and your listeners feel more comfortable.