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Funny and Quirky Belarusian Phrases

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When learning a new language, stumbling upon funny and quirky expressions can be both entertaining and enlightening. Belarusian, an East Slavic language spoken in Belarus, is no stranger to such phrases. Let’s take a look at some of the most amusing Belarusian phrases that are sure to tickle your funny bone and give you insight into the country’s rich cultural tapestry.

Хадзіць з во́ўкамі паво́юць
(Literal Translation: Walk with wolves, and you’ll learn to howl)
Meaning: If you keep bad company, you’ll pick up bad habits.

Калі будзеш хадзіць з во́ўкамі, навучышся паво́юць як і яны.

Лепей ме́дзь у галаве, чым грошы ў кішэні
(Literal Translation: Better honey in the head than money in the pocket)
Meaning: Being clever is more important than being wealthy.

Яна заўсёды казала, што лепей ме́дзь у галаве, чым грошы ў кішэні.

Не во́ўка бо́йся, а яго́ зубо́ў
(Literal Translation: Don’t fear the wolf, fear its teeth)
Meaning: Be cautious of the most dangerous aspect of a thing or situation, rather than the appearance of danger itself.

Не забывай: не во́ўка бо́йся, а яго́ зубо́ў, калі ідзеш у лес.

Хто рана вста́е — таму бог пада́е
(Literal Translation: Who gets up early is blessed by God)
Meaning: The early bird catches the worm.

Памятай, хто рана вста́е — таму бог пада́е, таму не спазнівайся!

Без пра́цы не вы́ловіш і ры́бку з ста́ўка
(Literal Translation: Without work, you can’t pull a fish out of the pond)
Meaning: Without effort, you won’t achieve success.

Яны заўсёды кажуць, што без пра́цы не вы́ловіш і ры́бку з ста́ўка, таму трэба стара́цца.

Калі кот напла́кае — душы ў нім няма
(Literal Translation: If a cat cries — it has no soul)
Meaning: This is said about someone who acts pitifully but cannot be trusted.

Не вер слязам: калі кот напла́кае — душы ў нім няма.

These phrases not only add humor but also give depth to the Belarusian language. When used in the proper context, they add color and personality to conversations. Moreover, understanding such idiomatic expressions can serve as a window into the values and attitudes prevalent in Belarusian society.

Next time you find yourself in Belarus or conversing with a Belarusian, try using one of these phrases, and watch the delight and surprise on the faces of the native speakers. Language learning should always be an adventure, and including these funny and quirky Belarusian phrases in your vocabulary will surely make it one!

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