Spanish Proverb 2

Original Transcription: “A quien madruga, Dios le ayuda.”

English Transcription: “One who wakes up early, God helps him/her” or “God helps those who wake up early.”

This is another common Spanish proverb. The literal translation of the phrase is “one who wakes up early, God helps him/her.” If this proverb were translated into English syntax, it would read, “God helps those who wake up early.”

The Spanish word “madrugador(a)” refers to an “early riser” or one who wakes up early in the morning. The speaker uses this proverb to describe themselves when they have woken up early, usually before the other members of their family. Due to its meaning, the phrase becomes a form of bragging that shames those who choose sleep over work. Therefore, the proverb inadvertently accuses another person of laziness. If the person being addressed likewise wants God’s help, they must wake up early and begin working.

Although simplistic, the saying intertwines the Spanish cultural values. The proverb communicates the importance of good work ethic and reinforces the value with religious beliefs. The English equivalent of this proverb is “the early bird gets the worm.” The English phrase is a secularized version of the same proverb since it teaches that rewards come directly from one’s hard work. The English proverb places the power of reward into the human’s hands as opposed to the Spanish idea that rewards for hard work come from God.