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"Dumplings rather than blossoms"

Posted by ESC on August 09, 2000

In Reply to: "Dumplings rather than blossoms" posted by ESC on August 08, 2000

: : First, I must apologize for using this thread, but the main page cuts out before it gets to the posting section.
: : I am translating a Japanese book and it has this phrase "dumplings rather than blossoms" refering to France being forced out of necessity to comply with the financial policy of Deutsche Bundesbank (The German central bank). The biggest, meanest dictionary I had came up with the poor effort of "bread is better than the song of birds".
: : Can anyone help me think of a better saying, preferably not something that some guy just decided to make up to suit his translating needs -I already tried that and the author of the book wasn't impressed.
: : Even if you can't help me I would appreciate it if you could let me know of any links that may be useful.

: : Thanks in advance.

: So far, I've found just the opposite of the point you're trying to make. "If you have two loaves of bread, sell one and buy a lily." (regional distribution: Iowa) "A Dictionary of American Proverbs" by Wolfgang Mieder & others. Still looking...

There's a saying about "hard times call for hard choices." Or something like that. Does anyone know that exact quote?

Then there's the political term "bread-and-butter-issue," one that affects voters' personal budgets. From "Safire's New Political Dictionary" by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993).

These are kind of along the dumplings/blossoms track, but they're not too pithy.

"Hunger can explain many acts. It can be said that all vile acts are done to satisfy hunger." Maxim Gorky (1869-1936), Russian writer.

"Love and business and family and religion and art and patriotism are nothing but shadows of words when a man's starving." O. Henry, (1862-1910) American writer.