In Greek we have the proverb: ''Οπου φτωχός κι η μοίρα του'. A literal translation in English is 'Where poor and his fate'. A better rendering could be 'Misfortune never leaves the side of a poor man'. I think the following may convey partially the idea in English.

  • 'Misfortune dogs him who is down.'
  • 'No poor man is relieved of his misfortune.'

How can one convey this meaning in French?

3 Answers 3


Misère, misère !
C'est toujours sur les pauvres gens
Que tu t'acharnes obstinément


La misère tombe toujours sur les pauvres.


Coluche's quote comes from his sketch Misère which is a parody of French protest / socially aware songs of the seventies. Coluche makes fun of the partially tautological statement misery/extreme poverty always strikes the poor. I doubt the Greek proverb share the same tone.

The second one is not very well known in French and also sounds like the same tautology. It probably comes for the Northern-Catalan (Roussillon) proverb: Sempre la miseria cau suls pobres, first attested in 1882. It possibly inspired Coluche.

LPH and Solastalgienitsyne suggestions are certainly more faithful to Οπου φτωχός κι η μοίρα του.

  • « — La misère est pire que les morpions, y'a k'la mort qui nous en débarrasse. — C'est ben vrai ça ! » scènette d'impro.
    – Personne
    Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 22:07
  • Un autre point de vue : lemauricien.com/actualites/societe/…
    – Personne
    Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 22:54

I know no such saying in French but I think that the following rendering would be good enough (although its scope is somewhat larger).

  • La misère appelle la misère.

Différemment, peut-être un peu plus abstrait (la notion de série) et détaché de toute notion de « pauvreté » mais ça peut sans doute être utile :

Un malheur ne vient jamais seul.

  • 1
    Une variante un peu plus légère sur le même thème : "les emmerdes, ça vole toujours en escadrille!"
    – XouDo
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 14:32

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