The Grass is Always Greener

This page contains equivalents of the saying 'the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence' in various languages. It means that 'others' circumstances seem more desirable than one's own but in reality often are not' [source].

The grass is always greener...

Language Translations
Bengali ঘাস অন্য দিকে সবসময় সবুজ (ghaś onno dike śobśomoẏ śobuj)
the grass is greener on the other side
Chinese (Cantonese) 隔籬飯香 [隔篱饭香] (gaak³ lei⁴ faan⁶ hoeng¹)
next door's rice smells good
Chinese (Mandarin) 这山望着那山高 [這山望著那山高] (zhè shān wàng zhe nà shān gāo)
the next mountain looks taller
Danish græsset er altid grønnere på den anden side af hækken
the grass is always greener on the other side of the hedge
græsset er altid grønnere på den anden side
the grass is always greener on the other side
Dutch het gras is altijd groener bij de buren
the grass is always greener at the neighbours
het gras is altijd groener aan de overkant
the grass is always greener on the other side
English The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence
the grass is always greener on the other side of the road
the grass is always greener on the other side
the grass is always greener
the grass is greener
Esperanto herbaro ĉiam aspektas pli verda trans barilo
grass always looks greener across a fence
Finnish ruoho on aina vihreämpää aidan toisella puolella
the grass is always greener across the fence
French l’herbe est toujours plus verte ailleurs
the grass is always greener elsewhere
l’herbe est toujours plus verte dans le champ/pré du voisin
the grass is always greener in the neighbour's field/meadow
l’herbe est plus verte ailleurs
the grass is greener elsewhere
Galician a vaca da veciña dá máis leite cá miña
the neighbor's cow gives more milk than mine”
German die Kirschen aus Nachbars Garten schmecken immer besser
the cherries from the neighbour’s garden always taste better
die Kirschen aus Nachbars Garten schmecken immer noch am besten
the cherries from the neighbor's garden still taste best
Greek του γείτονα είναι πάντα καλύτερο (tou geítona eínai pánta kalýtero)
the neighbour’s is always better
το ξένο είναι πιο γλυκό (to xéno eínai lio glykó
foreign is sweeter
Hebrew (ha-déshe shel ha-shakhén yarók yotér) הַדֶּשֶׁא שֶׁל הַשָּׁכֵן יָרֹק יוֹתֵר‎
the neighbour’s grass is greener
(ha-déshe shel ha-shakhén tamíd yarók yotér) הַדֶּשֶׁא שֶׁל הַשָּׁכֵן תָּמִיד יָרֹק יוֹתֵר‎
the neighbour’s grass is always greener
Hindi दूर के ढोल सुहावने (dūr ke ḍhol suhāvne)
things owned by other people look good
दूर के ढोल सुहावने लगते हैं (to xéno eínai lio glykó)
distant drums sound sweet
Hungarian a szomszéd rétje mindig zöldebb
the neighbor's meadow is always greener
Indonesian rumput tetangga selalu terlihat lebih hijau
the neighbour’s grass always looks greener
Irish is glas iad na cnoic i bhfad uainn
the hills far from us are green
is milse gcónaí arian na gcomharsan
the neighbour’s money is always sweet
Italian l'erba del vicino è sempre più verde
the neighbour’s grass is always greener
Japanese 隣の芝生は青く見える (tonari no shibafu wa aoku mieru)
the neighbour’s grass looks greener
隣の芝生は青い (tonari no shibafu wa aoi)
the neighbour’s grass is green
隣の花は赤い (tonari no hana wa akai)
the neighbour’s flowers are red
Korean 남의 떡이 더 커 보인다 (namui tteogi deo keo boinda)
someone else's rice cake looks bigger
먼 무당이 용하다 (namui tteogi deo keo boinda)
a distant shaman is helpful
Malayalam അക്കരെ നിന്നാൽ ഇക്കരെ പച്ച (akkare ninnāl ikkare pacca)
from the other side, this side is green
Marathi दुरून डोंगर साजरे (durūn ḍoṅgar sājre)
celebrate the mountains from afar
Norwegian gresset er alltid grønnere på den andre siden (Bokmål)
graset er alltid grønare på den andre sida (Nynorsk)
the grass is always greener on the other side
Polish wszędzie dobrze, gdzie nas nie ma
everywhere is good where we are not
Portuguese a grama é sempre mais verde do outro lado
the grass is always greener on the other side
a grama do vizinho é sempre mais verde
my neighbour’s grass is always greener
a galinha da minha vizinha põe mais ovos que a minha
my neighbor’s chicken lays more eggs than mine
a cabra da minha vizinha dá mais leite que a minha
my neighbor’s goat gives more milk than mine
Russian соседняя очередь всегда движется быстрее
(sosednyaya ocheredʹ vsegda dvizhetsya bystreye)
the next queue always moves faster
там хорошо, где нас нет (tam khorosho, gde nas net)
it’s good where we aren’t
Scottish Gaelic ‘s e miann na lacha an loch air nach bi i
the duck prefers the loch (lake) where it isn’t
tha iteagan bòidheach air na h-eòin a tha fad às
the birds that are far away have beautiful feathers
Spanish el pasto siempre es más verde del otro lado
the grass is always greener on the other side
la hierba parece más verde al otro lado de la valla
the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence
la gallina de mi vecina más huevos pone que la mía
my neighbor’s hen lays more eggs than mine
la gallina de mi vecina siempre es más gorda que la mía
my neighbor’s hen is always fatter than mine
Swedish gräset är alltid grönare på andra sidan
the grass is always greener on the other side
Turkish davulun sesi uzaktan hoş gelir
the remote sound of a drum is pleasant
Ukrainian у сусіда хата біла
the neighbor's house is white (u susida xata bila)
добре там, де нас нема (dobre tam, de nas nema)
it’s better where we aren’t
Vietnamese đứng núi này trông núi nọ
standing on this mountain looking at that mountain
Welsh man gwyn man draw
a perfect place over there
mae’r glaswellt yn lasach ar yr ochr arall bob tro
the grass is always greener on the other side

A song by on this idea, called "The Grass is Always Greener in the Other Fellow's Yard", was recorded in 1924 with words by Raymond B. Egan and music by Richard A. Whiting. Here's a recording of Billy Jones singing it:

Here's a song I wrote in October 2023 called 'The Other Side' based on this saying:

Simon Ager · The Other Side (TT)

Sources and information about this saying

http://www.wordreference.com
https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/479662/origin-of-the-grass-is-always-greener
https://phrases.org.uk/meanings/the-grass-is-always-greener-on-the-other-side-of-the-fence.html
https://www.omniglot.com/bloggle/?p=21568

books   Books of idioms, proverbs and sayings in many languages

If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.


More idioms

It's all Greek to me | It's raining cats and dogs | As easy as falling off a log | A sandwich short of a picnic | It's small world | When pigs fly | Out of sight, out of mind | Crystal-clear | Penny Pinching | Practice makes perfect | The grass is always greener | As Snug as a Bug in a Rug

Idioms in individual languages

Czech | French | Greek | Icelandic | Lithuanian | Manx | Russian | Slovak | Spanish | Swedish | Welsh

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