Spain is one of the most influential countries in world history. The country’s world exploration and conquests have resulted in various regions around the world becoming known as Latin America.

Like many other European nations, much of Spain’s early history is marked by arrivals of Celts (around the 900s BC) and Romans (who ruled much of Spain from the 100s BC to the 400s AD). Spain was later conquered by Muslims and then by various Christian Kingdoms before uniting under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1479.

After the discovery of the Western Hemisphere in the late 1400s, Spain soon began colonializing the region. This caused the language of Spanish and the religion of Christianity to spread and eventually predominate throughout much of the Americas. By 1900, however, Spain had lost all of its overseas possessions.

Major themes of Spain include painting (including artists such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali), gambling, bullfighting, Catholicism, coffee, olive oil, literature (including the works of Miguel Cervantes, music, dancing, architecture, and mining.

Spanish Proverbs

In trouble to be troubled is to have your trouble doubled.

Let not the tongue utter what the head must pay for.

Though the speaker be a fool, let the hearer be wise.

He that does not show himself is overlooked.

He who has no shame has no conscience.

A rich man’s foolish sayings pass for wise ones.

With money you would not know yourself; without money nobody would know you.

What does not happen in a year may happen in a moment.

Tomorrow’s remedy will not ward off the evil of today.

Don’t believe what you see, but only what I tell you.

He who follows his own advice must take the consequences.

Make your affairs known in the marketplace, and one will call them black and another white.

Begin in other people’s way so as to end by having your own way.

What is much desired is not believed when it comes.

Make sure you have many books and many friends—as long as they are good ones.

Every season brings its joy.

If you want to be respected, you must respect yourself.

The person who plants the lettuce does not always eat the salad.

Ask for too much so that you can get enough.

It is beautiful to do nothing and then rest afterwards.

Look for the good, and let the bad come on its own.

The person seeking India’s riches must have them within himself.

Three Spaniards, four opinions.

Give the grateful man more than he asks for.

The wind changes every day; a woman changes every second.

He who talks a lot is bound to be right sometimes.

I dance to the tune that is played.

If you don’t pay a servant his wages, then he will pay himself.

If someone cannot even keep his own secrets, don’t count on him to keep someone else’s.

Tomorrow is often the busiest time of the year.

The secret of patience is to do something else in the meantime.

It is better if they say “He ran away here” than “He died here.”

Sell publicly and buy privately.

Buy from people who are desperate, and sell to newlyweds.

He that has a good harvest must be able to endure a few thistles.

The person that makes one basket can make a hundred.

Every person is a fool in some person’s opinion.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Don’t let anyone know about your silent [secret] money.

A meowing cat is never a good mouse catcher.

Say nothing when you are giving—only say something when you are receiving.

If you must battle your enemy, hit him where it hurts him most.

When the cat’s away, the mice will play

Under a good cloak may be a bad man.

Don’t sign a paper without reading it, or drink water without seeing it.

Talking about bulls is not the same thing as being in the bullring.

At her wedding, the bride eats the least. (Catalonia)

When there is a famine, no bread is stale. (Catalonia)

A gentle breeze blowing in the right direction is better than a pair of strong oars. (Canary Islands)

If you are choosing between bad company and loneliness, choose the second option.

Never advise someone to go to war or to get married.

A person who talks a lot is bound to be right sometimes.

Don’t talk too much—your ignorance exceeds your knowledge.

Even the best writer has to erase sometimes.

Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.

Changing one’s mind is more often a sign of prudence than of ignorance.

The obscure we see eventually; the completely apparent takes longer.

Take hold of a good minute.