Poco se aprende por cabeza ajena

10:16 Aug 24, 2017
Spanish to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / Expressions / idioms
Spanish term or phrase: Poco se aprende por cabeza ajena
Helping a friend translate a wedding speech and this has come up. It seems like a version of the more poplular saying "Nadie aprende en cabeza ajena" and I'm looking for ideas for an equivalent expression in English rather than a literal translation. I imagine it would be something along the lines of "you can only learn from your own mistakes" or somthing like that. Any other ideas would be great please!
Thanks! :)
Matt Horsman
Spain
Local time: 05:55


Summary of answers provided
4 +1You have to learn the hard way
Rebecca Hendry
4you have to get there yourself
David Hollywood
4One must think for oneself / One cannot think with another's mind / You must do your own thinking
BNN Medical Tr.
4As Albert Einstein once said...
Laura Diez
3one only learns through one's own mistkes
Barbara Cochran, MFA


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


30 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
You have to learn the hard way


Explanation:
Without the context of the anectode being told by the speaker, it's hard to know, but here is a possibility.

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Note added at 31 mins (2017-08-24 10:48:20 GMT)
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oops sorry anecdote!

Rebecca Hendry
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:55
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 80

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Helena Chavarria: I think your suggestion is the most appropriate.
7 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
One must think for oneself / One cannot think with another's mind / You must do your own thinking


Explanation:
My takes on it.

BNN Medical Tr.
Brazil
Local time: 01:55
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
one only learns through one's own mistkes


Explanation:
Reference: Larousse Unabridged Spanish/English Dictionary

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Note added at 3 hrs (2017-08-24 13:52:14 GMT)
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"mistakes"

Barbara Cochran, MFA
United States
Local time: 23:55
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 32
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8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
you have to get there yourself


Explanation:
I would say

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Note added at 8 hrs (2017-08-24 18:38:52 GMT)
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in the context of a wedding speech there's a lot of banter (especially if it's the best man) , they prod you and make it fun, I remember my own wedding in whidh my best man (best friend) made a cracker of a faux pas in Spanish when he said "I have known David for "25 anos" instead of "años" and the Spanish speakers cracked up

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Note added at 8 hrs (2017-08-24 18:43:14 GMT)
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you have to get there on your own steam

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Note added at 8 hrs (2017-08-24 18:46:36 GMT)
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"under your own steam"

David Hollywood
Local time: 01:55
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 158
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2 days 13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
As Albert Einstein once said...


Explanation:
"Experience is knowledge. All the rest is information."

It reminds me of this quote I'm very fond of ;)


    Reference: http://www.azquotes.com/quote/1389903
    https://www.quotemaster.org/q20f5db32e2f4e0989bdf7ffc1a702e75
Laura Diez
Spain
Local time: 05:55
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in SpanishSpanish
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