“Proverbs are among the untranslatables. We can translate the words, add subjects and finite verbs and make them into complete sentences; we can paraphrase them, but this will not convey what they mean or the wisdom they impart.
How then do we transfer them to a foreign language. Even those of us who are quite fluent in a foreign language know only too well the awful feeling we have when, in the middle of a conversation what we would say is a proverb in our native tongue, and we are struck dumb, unable to use it. Any translation we attempt to give sounds pathetic. The fact is that to translate what we mean, we have to know what we mean and till that moment, more often than not, we hadn’t really thought about it.” (dall’Introduzione)