Saturday, February 27, 2010

Con dinero baila el perro y sin dinero bailas como perro

With money the dog will dance and without money you'll dance like a dog.

I nearly fell out my chair laughing when I heard this one.  I love refranes (sayings).  This one equates to our "Money makes the world go round".  Or at least the first half of it does -- "Con dinero baila el perro".

The second half our refrán "sin dinero bailas como perro" doesn't directly translate to any expression in English that I know of, but I think you get it.  If you don't have any money, you're the one taking the orders!  Although I find the reference to a dancing dog much more fun and colorful.

There are a montón of refranes in Spanish, a lot which are hard to interpret, because we simply don't have corresponding sayings in English, and because you need a deep cultural understanding in  addition to the language aspect. 

I will be posting more refranes, but they will be the ones that have a corresponding saying in English, because those will be the ones we can understand and put to use right away.

¡Hasta la próxima!


  1. One thing I forgot to add, is that you can use the first half of this refrán on it's own, "Con dinero baile el perro" without the second half. In fact, that's actually how I heard it at first.

  2. Hahaha, this is a hilarious phrase here indeed. Actually, although very local, some friends keep saying "Con dinero baila el chucho", which is a rather unorthodox way of saying this saying.

    Just in case you don't know "Chucho" is a very street synonym of dog in Spanish.

  3. Hey Alpha, just a couple of quick comments about your English for you...

    Instead of "some friends keep saying..." In this context I think "some of my friends say..." would sound more natural, that's how I would've said it.

    However, if you meant to imply that the phrase used to be said with the word chucho, but is now said with "perro", and your friends continue to use the word chucho, then you could write "some of my friends still say..."

    Make sense? If not, just let me know and I'll try to clarify things for you.

  4. This proverb is very fun in my country, Costa Rica is used a lot especially the elderly is good that these phrases are not lost as typical