12 Mar

Proverbs liven up your speech

Speaking freely in a presentation or a key note you will certainly   know the language you are communicating in well. Though, especially in a professional environment, it may not be your mother tongue, it could be for example the country’s lingua franca or English. So you know the content of your speech but want to liven it up?

Of course there are many techniques how you can deliver a lively speech. What about using linguistic idioms? Idioms have several advantages, for example

  • you can use them as a conclusion to point out the main point of the visual type of the language catches the audience,
  • you create a feeling of familiarness if your audience knows the idiom.

Being a non native speaker, how will you find a suitable proverb? You will certainly know a suitable idiom of your mother tongue but usually translating it 1:1 into let’s say English an English / US-American audience won’t understand it. Translation tools like Google Translate come to their limits. You need an expression fitting to the particular context of a pthoroughroverb but not a translation word by word.

Using online dictionaries might be more helpful. Here are some examples I found online:

  • leo.org
    DE Man soll den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben.
    EN Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
  • languagerealm.com
    FR C’est au pied du mur qu’on voit le maçon.
    EN The tree is known by its fruit.
  • pons.com
    ES Camarón que se duerme se lo lleva la corriente.
    EN Devil take the hindmost.

Including proverbs into your next speech will make it even more lively! Furthermore doing so you show thorough understanding of the language itself.