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Sayings with Scriptural Backgrounds

When the Old Testament was translated from clerical Latin into the common spoken languages in the 16th century, it had a profound effect on European spoken languages and literature. Many of the phrases derived from this work are so common that people are often not even aware of the source. Here are some examples of phrases with a scriptural background that German and English languages use in everyday speech.

 

Und 1995 hatte ich dann die erste Ausstellung zu diesem Thema. Es werde Licht.
And in 1995 I then had the first exhibition on this theme. Let there be light.
Captions 17-18, Malerei: Benno Treiber

 

Essen kann er auch in Ruh'. Vater drückt ein Auge zu.
He can eat in peace. Father turns a blind eye.
Caption 4, Der Struwwelpeter: Ausschnitte

 

Selbstverständlich, wie auf meinen eigenen Augapfel.
Of course, like the apple of my eye.
Caption 11, Abenteuer und Sport: Fallschirmspringen

 

Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall.
Pride comes before the fall.

Caption 24, Eva erklärt: Sprichwörter

 

Worte zu Asche und Staub zu Staub.
Words to ashes and dust to dust.
Caption 46, Luxuslärm: Interview

 

The above is a play on the usual saying "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust."

 

Further Learning
Be sure and see the latest Yabla video Eva erklärt: Sprichwörter for a selection of more German phrases on Yabla German

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