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Q: Finding the English equivalent of a Dutch expression ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Finding the English equivalent of a Dutch expression
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: wma123-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 08 Oct 2006 20:08 PDT
Expires: 07 Nov 2006 19:08 PST
Question ID: 771865
Please find the equivalemt English expression for the Dutch saying
"Wie zich aan een ander spiegelt, spiegelt zich zacht" meaning, we
learn from each others mistakes and if we see some one else doing
something silly we can avoid doing the same dumb thing.

Clarification of Question by wma123-ga on 08 Oct 2006 21:48 PDT
This English expression exists. It is not a wild goose chase. It's on
the tip of my tongue kinda thing.
Subject: Re: Finding the English equivalent of a Dutch expression
Answered By: justaskscott-ga on 08 Oct 2006 23:40 PDT
Hello wma123,

It appears that this phrase is equivalent to the Latin expression,
"Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum."

"2119. Die zich aan een ander spiegelt, spiegelt zich zacht"
dbnl · digitale bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse letteren

Another site likewise indicates that the German phrase, "Wer sich an
anderen spiegelt, spiegelt sich sanft (o. gut)" is equivalent to
"Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum."

"Sprichwörter - Redensarten - Zitate 1764" [scroll about 1/5 down the page]
Sprichwörter - Redensarten - Zitate

The Latin phrase has been translated in various ways into English. 
Perhaps the most well-known translator was Benjamin Franklin, who

- "Wise men ... learn by others' harms, fools scarcely by their own ...."

"Benjamin Franklin 'The Way to Wealth'" [scroll about 2/5 down the page]
American Literature Research and Analysis Web Site

Here are a few other translations:

- "Happy are they who can learn prudence from the dangers of others."

"A Dictionary of Select and Popular Quotations, which are in Daily
Use: Taken from the Latin,..." (p. 79)
Google Books

- "He is happy whom other men's peril makes ware."

"Lean's Collectanea, by Vincent Stuckey Lean, Julia Lucy Woodward"
Google Books

- "Happy is he whom other people's dangers make cautious."

Alwyn Caelius, "More proveria" (online posting, Dec 3, 2002) (scroll
about 1/3 down the page)
AncientWorlds: The Roman World: Schola Lingvae Latinae

If none of those translations appeal to you, you might like:

- "Learn wisdom by the follies of others."

"Teodor Flonta: English-Romanian Dictionary of Equivalent Proverbs"
[entries 1388 and 1396]
De Proverbio

-- justaskscott

Search strategy:

Searched for various related terms on Google Web Search and Google
Book Search, especially:

"wie zich aan een ander spiegelt, spiegelt zich zacht"
"spiegelt spiegelt"
"felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum"
"aliena pericula cautum"
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