Gdzie kucharek szesc tam nie ma co jesc, polish proverb

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Joined: 2 Apr 2010
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Location: Wroclaw, Poland

04 Dec 2013, 11:08 am

In Poland we have proverb "Gdzie kucharek sześć tam nie ma co jeść" "where is six cooks (chiefs) you don't have nothing to eat" this is my translation.

I have found also this in wiktionary: "too many cooks spoil the broth"

what do you think about meaning of this proverb?

Last edited by pawelk1986 on 04 Dec 2013, 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Joined: 23 Sep 2009
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04 Dec 2013, 11:47 am

This is simply the law of diminishing marginal returns specifically concerning the use of labor. ... al_returns

An example: Two men can dig a small ditch faster than one (one can dig very fast using all of his energy while the other one recuperates). But since there is only room for one man digging in the ditch, adding a third man adds significantly less than adding the second man. At some point, the benefit of an additional digger will be less than the cost of hiring the digger, resulting in a loss of productivity.

Unless you are in the army, of course... in which case you have two men taking turns digging the ditch, and 18 men playing cards... and no one gets paid...

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04 Dec 2013, 11:49 am

^ If it takes one man 8 hours to dig a hole how long does it take two men to dig half a hole. :P

I've left WP indefinitely.


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04 Dec 2013, 1:02 pm

Not sure of the meaning of the Polish proverb.

"Too many cooks spoil the broth" sprang to my mind even before I read that
you had found that aphorism- as a familiar English Language equivalent. But that doesnt seemed to be an exact fit. The Polish proverb doesnt say the food is ruined- but that it doesnt exist. Maybe the chefs eat it at all while they cook.

Someone once said "a man with a watch knows what time it is. A man who wears two watches at the same time is never quite sure.".

Mom used to say "the cobbler's children are always the last to get shoes".

But niether of those seems to be quite the same thing.

I think the polish saying maybe about commitees, and how they never do things as well as one guy with a vision can design things.


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04 Dec 2013, 1:47 pm

We have a saying at work "Too many chiefs and not enough Indians".

They will have like 10 managers overseeing three employees, so nothing gets accomplished. the employees spend their whole time trying to give status updates to the various bosses, who are also each throwing out different goals.