“El que se enoja no prospera”: Spanish proverb

  1. Original Text: “El que se enoja no prospera” (Spanish)
  2. Transliteration: “He who gets angry doesn’t prosper”
  3. English translation: “He who gets angry doesn’t prosper”

Context: The informant’s family is from Mexico, but her family currently resides in Concord, California. She is am 18-year-old freshman at USC studying Political Science. She says that this saying is a Mexican saying, and it is “all over Mexico, not just specific to one region”. She explains that it means “if you get angry, you’re just going to be stuck in it, and you can’t get ahead”. Her mother taught this phrase to her and her siblings when they were younger, and it stuck with her through all these years. The informant comes from a bilingual household, where Spanish and English are spoken.

Analysis: Per the informant, this saying is specific to Mexican culture. The fact that this saying was taught to the informant by a parent at a young age suggests that rejecting hate and keeping your peace is a value of Mexican society and culture. The message is instilled in children so they carry it through into adulthood — hopefully contributing this philosophy to their community. The saying is told by an adult to children, giving it more legitimacy and truth than if it were to be children saying it to other children. On another note, this particular saying uses the masculine pronoun “el”, which is indicative of Mexican (and overall Hispanic) patriarchal culture.