What is your favourite non-English quotation?

It’s real too. I learned it from one of my German profs in college.

Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

I’m told it’s from the Black Speech of Mordor, though its Westron translation is probably more well-known.

Never in the history of the Straight Dope had that tongue been heard in our halls Smapti the Grey :frowning:

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes

Latin quotation from Virgil’s Aeneid meaning, ‘I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts’; the warning given to the Trojans that they should not trust the Trojan Horse.

Caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.

(Antonio Machado)

“Wayfarer, there is no path,
The path is made by walking”

Vyizzer zomanimor orzisazis zanzeris orzis? (Old Slavic proverb.)

Why are there so many more horses asses than there are horses?

There’s a Persian proverb (I don’t have the Farsi memorized; I hear it from my wife) that is expressed in a couple different forms: “Pour the oil as if the vessel is full” or “Carry the vessel as if it is heavy.” The sense being, be gracious and generous with your guests, don’t give any hint that they’re a burden.

As jy dom is, moet jy kak

The vulgar Afrikaans equivalent of “play stupid games, win stupid prizes”

Misremembered. Thanks.

Ah. That seems really appropriate. Persians are probably the most hospitable people as a group I’ve known.

Also from Voltaire:
“[…] le Canada, pays couvert de neiges et de glaces huit mois de l’année, habité par des barbares, des ours et des castors […]”

(Canada, a land covered by ice and snow eight months of the year, inhabited by barbarians, bears and beavers)

Óigame compay!
No deje el camino por coger la vereda.

Usted por enamorado
Tan viejo y con poco brillo
Usted por enamorado
Tan viejo y con poco brillo
El pollo que tiene al lado
Le ha hecho perder el trillo

!Óigame compay!
No deje el camino por coger la vereda.

Ay, pero yo como soy tan sencillo
Pongo en claro esta trovada
Yo como soy tan sencillo
Pongo en claro esta trovada
Compay, yo no dejo el trillo
Para meterme en Cañada.

Have you heard Joan Manuel Serrat’s “Cantares” song? he sings Machado’s lyrics beautifully.

I dunno, Coast Guard?

Fiat justitia ruat caelum.

(Let justice be done though the heavens fall.)

Voltaire also added in 1758-59: " Vous savez que ces deux nations sont en guerre pour quelques arpents de neige…" (You know that these two nations [Britain and France] are at war for a few acres of snow…).

A play on words using this latter quote is used for the French version of “Trivial Pursuit” called “Quelques arpents de pièges” (“pièges” meaning “traps”).

A (square) “arpent” was/is about 0.84 acres in area (varying slightly in different jurisdictions - I would suspect it’s obsolete with the exception of old property deeds), and is often used in translations - e.g. “Green Acres” in French is “Les arpents verts”.

libe iz libe ober gesheft iz gesheft
“love is love, but business is business!”

aun dos iz a gute gedank?
"and this is a good idea?

“Cuando no hay cerebro…, no hay cerebro” - My father in law.
(when there is no brain…, there is no brain", when commenting on something stupid said by someone.

rape fermentum ?

Here is an inspirational Hebrew Proverb:

לֵֽךְ־אֶל־נְמָלָ֥ה עָצֵ֑ל רְאֵ֖ה דְרָכֶ֣יהָ וַחֲכָֽם׃

King James translation: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise”

The Russian for “In Truth there is no news, and in News there is no truth.” The joke is that Pravda (the Russian word for truth) and Tass (the Russian word for news) are two big newspapers.