¿Qué Onda Vos? A Series on Speaking Guatemalan Spanish

“¿Qué onda vos?” is XelaWho’s a monthly guide to speaking Spanish Guatemalan style. This month’s topic: nuggets of wisdom, estilo chapin.

Every language is full of wise sayings, and Guatemalan Spanish is no exception. Here are some familiar words of wisdom you’re likely to hear coming from the lips of Guatemalan grandmothers…or from the pages of the ultimate guide to Guatemalan slang, ¿Qué onda vos? by Juan Carlos Martínez.

Más vale pájaro en mano que cien volando.

Literal translation: A bird in hand is worth more than 100 in flight.

English-language equivalent: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Más vale poco y bueno que mucho y malo.

Literal translation: It’s more valuable to have a little that’s good than a lot that’s bad.

English-language equivalent: It is better to have quality over quantity.

No hagas a otros lo que no quieres que te hagan.

Literal translation: Don’t do to others that what you don’t want them to do to you.

English-language equivalent: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Más vale prevenir que lamentar.

Literal translation: Prevention is more valuable than regret.

English-language equivalent: Better safe than sorry or an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

You may also like...