I have been curious for sometime about how other languages express the value of considering another person's perspective.
In English, there are of course sayings about walking in another person's shoes, as well as seeing things through another person's eyes.
I was wondering what other solutions there were to expressing this important and perhaps complicated sentiment of trying to be or understand another person in order to be less judgmental of them, to have more compassion or patience.
I wasn't sure how to research idioms and proverbs in other languages, so I emailed someone who seemed like he might have some ideas. Simon Ager is a language enthusiast and web designer. He kindly posted a call out on his blog, and has had some interesting responses.
- In Catalan: posar-se en la pell de l’altre, literally "putting yourself into someone else’s skin."
- In Italian: mettersi nei panni di un altro, literally “to put oneself in someone else’s clothes.”
- From the book, Walk Two Moons: “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins.”
- In Hebrew: al tadún et xaverxá ad še tagía li mkomó (אל תדון את חברך עד שתגיע למקומ), "don’t judge your friend until you will stand [literally ‘reach-’] in his place."