I would like to know the translation of this saying. Is "Protéger vos arrières" OK ?

  • 2
    what is the meaning of the saying?
    – FlipFloop
    Mar 12, 2016 at 17:38
  • I don't know of any idiomatic way to say it in French, but I'd translate it as something like: "[Celui] qui couvre sa/[la] tete, risque ses fesses." (This translation is based on my taking it to mean in English: "Don't cover your head [because if you do you'll] leave your butt exposed.")
    – Papa Poule
    Mar 12, 2016 at 19:07
  • @FlipFloop Apparently it's a Japanese saying
    – None
    Mar 12, 2016 at 21:19
  • 3
    Proverbs rarely bear literal translations and OP should at least have said he was giving the English translation of a Japanese proverb.
    – None
    Mar 13, 2016 at 9:27
  • 1
    Yes you are right, sorry everybody, it is indeed an Japanese proverb, but as I had an English transaltion that made sense, I thought the proverb was quite common in English too. Sorry and thanks again for your efforts
    – Makoto
    Mar 13, 2016 at 21:21

2 Answers 2


It is the translation into English of a Japanese saying: 頭隠して尻隠さず. In English you "don't bury your head in the sand" and in French we can say ne pas faire l'autruche, (sometimes faire la politique de l'autruche) or se voiler la face. In all cases it means that even if you ignore the problems (cover your face) problems don't disappear(the rest of your body is still visible).

Wiktionary has an entry in English for 頭隠して尻隠さず. And French Wiktionary has a whole page on Japanese proverbs with literal translation and French equivalent.


Je dirais : "prenez des risques" puisque vous ne protégez ni votre tête ni le bas de votre dos. "Protéger vos arrières" à l'inverse, recommande de se méfier de ce qui peut venir de derrière.

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