Colombian Proverbs

Proverbial Wisdom from Colombia

  • The old dog barks while he is sitting down.
  • Better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.
  • Who is always sad, does not even have fun when drunk.
  • Poverty does not destroy virtue nor wealth bestow it.
  • There is no better friend than a burden.
  • All fear has much imagination and little talent.
  • He who overcomes his passions overcomes his greatest enemies.
  • Even the candle seller dies in the dark.
  • When force is imposed, the law is a joke.
  • To love and be wise is impossible.
  • It’s better to be the pot than the lid
  • Suit the behavior to the occasion.
  • He who gives away his belongings, slowly becomes a beggar.
  • Clean hands offend no one.
  • Instruction in youth is like engraving in stones.
  • The person who recognizes his major mistakes is on the road to wisdom.
  • A lame man always speaks when it’s time to run.
  • Take the bull by the horns and the man at his word.
  • See and believe, and in order not to make a mistake, touch.
  • Where there are stones the brook babbles.
  • The fish dies from the head.

The Republic of Colombia

Colombian Proverbs

Colombia is a transcontinental country largely situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America. Colombia shares a border to the northwest with Panama, to the east with Venezuela and Brazil and to the south with Ecuador and Peru. It shares its maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. It is a unitary, constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The territory of what is now Colombia was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples including the Muisca, the Quimbaya and the Tairona.(An excerpt from Wikipedia)

More than 99.2% of Colombians speak Spanish, also called Castilian; 65 Amerindian languages, two Creole languages, the Romani language and Colombian Sign Language are also spoken in the country. English has official status in the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina.

Bogotá is the capital and largest city of Colombia administered as the Capital District. It is the political, economic, administrative, industrial, artistic, cultural, and sports center of the country.

“Himno Nacional de la República de Colombia” is the official national anthem of Colombia.

Colombian National Anthem ( English Lyrics):

Oh, unfading glory!
Oh, immortal joy!
In furrows of pain,
goodness now germinates

The dreadful night has ceased.
Sublime Liberty
beams forth the dawn
of her invincible light.
All of humanity
that groans within its chains,
understands the words
of He who died on the cross.

“Independence!” shouts
the American world;
The land of Columbus.
Is bathed in heroes’ blood.
But this great doctrine;
“The king is not the sovereign”,
resounds, and those who suffer
bless their passion.

The Orinoco’s bed
Is heaped with plunder,
Of blood and tears
A river is seen to flow.
In Bárbula
neither souls nor eyes,
know whether admiration to feel
or fear to suffer.

On the shores of the Caribbean,
a famished people fight,
preferring horror
to fickle health.
O, aye! from Cartagena
heavy is the hardship,
and death’s rubble her virtue disdains.

From Boyacá in the fields,
the genius of glory,
from every sprig a hero
was crowned undefeated.
Soldiers without armor
won the victory;
their virile spirit
served them as a shield.

Bolívar crosses the Andes
bathed by two oceans,
swords as though sparks
flash in Junín.
Indomitable centaurs
descend to the plains,
and a premonition begins to be felt,
of the epic’s end.

The victorious trumpet
in Ayacucho loudly thunders,
as in every triumph grows
its formidable sound.
In its expansive thrust
Liberty is first felt,
from the American sky
forming a pavilion.

In agony, the Virgin
Tears out her hair,
and bereft of her love,
leaves it to hang on a cypress.
Regretting her hope
covered by a cold headstone,
but glorious pride
hallows her fair skin.

Thus the motherland is formed,
Thermopylaes bursting forth;
a constellation of cyclops
the night did brighten.
The trembling flower
finding the wind mortal,
underneath the laurels
safety sought.

Of men the rights
Nariño’s preaching,
the soul of struggle
was prophetically taught.
Ricaurte in San Mateo,
in atoms flying,
“Duty before life,”
with flames he wrote.

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