Thursday 19 November 2009

A taste of Italian wisdom

"Il pesce puzza dalla testa."

It means "the fish stinks from the head". I first heard it from a colleague, who is fond of this proverb. I fell in love with it when I heard it the first time, which is a few months ago, and I have been trying to find it since then. I finally found it on this site. I will go back to it, partially because of my love/hate relationship with Italy, partially because when one wants to learn a language, he might as well learn a few smart lines. Especially since I might never be fluent in Italian, so at least I can sound smart talking the little Italian I know. I blogged about it before, on various occasions: if my pronunciation, even my accent, is good, my understanding of the language is close to nonexistent.

"Il pesce puzza dalla testa" is supposed to be mean something about corruption comes first from the highest authority. In that sense, it applies to Italian politics of all ages, but it can also apply to Montreal or indeed any time and place in the civilised world. It also applies to humans as individuals: stupidity is the greatest sign of corruption.


The Artful Gypsy aka Wendy the Very Good Witch said...

I can think of a few other places and countries where this applies as well. I think I like the saying better in Italian...ha!

quedula said...

I don't speak italian but yes I can imagine it has a much better rhythm than in english. It is certainly widely applicable