La hierba no crece más rápido si se la dispara.

English Translation

Grass doesn’t grow faster if you shoot it.

This seems like a strange thing to say. Does it have a special meaning in Spanish speaking countries?

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This does indeed seem like a strange thing to say. I imagined somebody sarcastically saying this to a trigger-happy person with a gun shooting into the ground, perhaps trying to kill a mole or something similar.

Anyway, this interested me, so I went over to Tatoeba and checked where this came from.

Following the trail backwards, the original sentence posted on Tatoeba was in German and it used (a conjugated form of) the verb ziehen. An English translation of that sentence would be -

Grass doesn’t grow faster if you pull it

Ah, now that does sound like something that people might say!

From there, the German was translated into French using the verb tirer.

Now, one possible translation of tirer is “to shoot”, and this is where the English sentence appeared, as a translation of the French. The person who provided the English translation also provided a translation using the verb “to pull”, so they would have clearly understood the meaning, but sometimes people on Tatoeba think that it’s clever/amusing etc. to include other valid translations for completeness.

Subsequently, the Spanish sentence was then translated from the English one containing the verb “to shoot”, and hence you have this pair of sentences.

So, to answer your question, I don’t think that it’s very likely that this would have a special meaning in Spanish speaking countries, or any other country for that matter.


Thanks very much for your research - it’s very interesting and shows how translations can change meanings.

Honor to whom honor is due:
It is originally an African saying.

In Germany it is mostly used - often wrongly - in the context of teaching and child rasing.

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