Mastering your own language can be mentally excruciating at times, but learning a different one can be fascinating. We hold our heads higher and feel prouder when we become proficient in another tongue.

Have you ever asked yourself about why it is so hard to master English? Like talking to native English speakers can be awfully mind-boggling as if the things they said were out of this world…

Try to ponder on these expressions. Has anyone ever told you ‘Don’t judge the book by its cover.’ when you were laughing at a nerdy-looking kid who turned out to be a prodigy?

Or when you were whining about the corona virus and your mom can only say ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ They don’t make any sense at all… I’m sorry to break your heart, but they do make sense and they’re part of learning a language. That’s the beauty of culture and language. Each one has its own PROVERB.

What is a Proverb? These are short sentences or expressions that are meant to give advice on life, love and other things. Some people enjoy using such expressions since these make them sound wiser.

Here are the 10 common roverbs that you can use in your English studies.


英語をマスターすることを難しいと思ったことはありませんか? ネイティブスピーカーのような英語が話せるようになるには、気が遠くなるような、この世のものではないような感じすらしたことはありませんか?

こんな例があります。後に天才といわれるようになる一風変わった子が馬鹿にされているような場面で、”Don’t judge the book by its cover.(人を見た目で判断するな)” というような表現を聞いたことはありませんか? または、コロナウイルスについて泣き言を言っていたら、母親が、”An apple a day keeps the doctor away” (医者はいらない)と言うような表現を使ったり。




1.Don’t judge the book by its cover. / 人を見た目で判断するな

This means that in most cases we think we can know a person just by looking at them. But in most cases as well, this is proven to be wrong. We need to spend time talking with a person more in order to understand and appreciate him.So a book’s cover may look old and battered but the magical stories in it may leave you in awe.


Example: ‘Children may look vulnerable. But we shouldn’t judge the book by its cover. They can be tougher and smarter than they look.’

例: 子供たちは傷つきやすい。でも見た目で判断してはいけません。子供たちは見た目以上にタフでスマートであるかもしれません。

2.An apple a day keeps the doctor away. / 1日1個りんごを食べるようにしたら、医者はいらない(医者いらず)

People are always anxious about getting terribly sick. However, having a healthier lifestyle can definitely save us from booking a hospital bed.

So I guess eating like a cow and exercising like there’s no tomorrow will make our hearts happier.


Example: ‘In these trying times, we should strengthen our immune system. Thus, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’


3.Strike while the iron is hot. / 鉄は熱いうちに打て

The world offers endless opportunities. Though an ideal opportunity rarely presents itself to us. And when it does, we need to take it and not let it go to waste. Just like making a sword, strike while the iron is hot to mold it.


Example: ‘Strike while the iron is hot. You’ve been dreaming about this job in like forever.You should sign the contract asap.’

例: 鉄は熱いうちに打て。長いこと夢見てきた仕事なら、今すぐに着手するべきです。

4. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. / 郷に入れば郷に従え

Wherever we go, our individual culture will define who we are. Yet many refuse to accept or understand them and even accuse them of being rude. This can lead to arguments.

Always take note that when we travel, especially to other countries,the safest way would be to follow and respect that country’s culture. Just enjoy learning new things from the locals.


Example: ‘I know that you are proud of being an American. But when in Rome, please do as the Romans do. It will keep you out of trouble.’

例: 私は、あなたがアメリカ人であることを誇りに思っていることを知っています。でも、郷に入れば郷に従ってください。あなたをトラブルから守ってくれるでしょう。

5. Look before you leap. / 石橋を叩いて渡る

Decisions! Decisions! More often than not, we feel the need to rush into things. We have a tendency to take risk by deciding without considering any sort of plan. Later on, we regret wasting both resources and time when our dreams just start crumbling down.

So, before we do something, we have to think a million times since there’s no going back. We should take all the time we need before getting into a decision.



Example: ‘Anna, are you sure you want to shave your head clean? Hair will surely grow back but it will take a lot of time. Remember to look before you leap.’

例: アナ、坊主にするって本気? 髪はまた生えてくるけど時間がかかるよ? 石橋を叩いて渡るってことを忘れないでね。

6. Practice makes perfect. / 継続は力なり

There are definitely no shortcuts in life. We can’t learn English today and become proficient the next day. Skills are acquired through constant practice. If we want to be better people with better skills, everyday practice is all we need.


Example: ‘I want to dance like Michael Jackson. Practice makes perfect. I’m almost there. One dance step done, I have 300 dance steps more to go.’

例: マイケルジャクソンのように踊れるようになりたい。継続は力なり。あともう少し、1ステップ終わったから、あと300ステップだ。

7. When there’s a will, there’s a way. / 意志あるところに道あり

We are all 50% human and 50% push carts. Confused? Did you ever feel the need to be encouraged by someone before chasing our dreams? We easily give up on something when we feel like everything’s just way too difficult to handle.

If we want to achieve something far greater in life, we need to find the will to push ourselves. Then, we can find a way to reach our dreams.



Example: ‘When there’s a will, there’s a way. Studying English doesn’t have to be serious all the time. Watching movies and listening to music can be fun ways to learn.’

例: 意志があれば道はある。英語勉強は、常に机に向かってやらなくてもいいんです。映画を観ることや音楽を聴くことも楽しく英語を学ぶ方法となります。

8. It’s no use crying over spilled milk. / 過ぎ去ったことは、くよくよしてもしかたがない

Making mistakes will always be part of our lives. And usually, it comes with regrets. Feeling sad about it is normal. But past is past. It can never be changed no matter what we do. However, there’s still the present and the future to start over again. We must learn from our mistakes and then we move on.


Example: ‘I failed the exams and I felt terrible about it. But it’s no use crying over spilled milk. I just have to study harder the next time.’

例: 試験に失敗して最悪の気分。でも過ぎ去ったことは、くよくよしてもしかたがない。もっと勉強して次のテストに挑もう。

9. Learn to walk before you run. / 千里の道も一歩から

Starting a business or learning a new skill is a step by step process. Following procedures can be very critical in attaining real triumph. Jumping ahead can mean failure. Everyone starts as a beginner at school. It’s best to take it slow.


Example: ‘I thought you want to master English first before studying Spanish. What happens to learning to walk before you run?’

例: 君はスペイン語を学ぶより前に英語をマスターしたいのかと思っていたよ。千里の道も一歩からでしょ。

10. It takes two to tango. / どっちもどっちだ

This talks about working together and taking equal responsibilities regardless of the result. It’s good to work alone, but it’s still a lot better if we ask help from someone who may know more than we do. So technically, dancing a tango needs two people. Find a good partner.


Example: ‘Trust your teachers when they teach you something, but try to make effort, too. It takes two to tango.’

例: 何かを学ぶ時は先生を信じましょう。しかし、努力もしましょう。責任は両方にありますよ。





Practice makes perfect!

* Collaborative editing by CEGA’s staff and teacher Lilanny