One more kotowaza for the frogs. It’ll be something different next week, I promise.
(Kaeru no ko wa kaeru; “A frog’s child is a frog”)
“Like father, like son.” “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” The character and abilities of a child tend to resemble those of a parent. In a negative sense, the saying can be used disparagingly to claim that the children of “mediocre” families are doomed to mediocrity themselves. Due to this nuance, it’s better not to use it in an attempt to praise someone.
蛙 (kaeru) is “frog” again; 子 (ko) is “child.” We have two particles, the associative (possessive) の (no) and the topic marker は (wa). Rendered literally, this kotowaza becomes “As for child of frog, frog.”
The saying can also be extended to 蛙の子は蛙の子, “a frog’s child is a frog’s child.” Note also that the case of the frog’s child turning out to be like its frog parent can be a surprising or counterintuitive congruence: tadpoles look very little like frogs, after all.
(“Benkyou shite mo imi nai yo, uchi wa nouka da shi. Shosen, ‘Kaeru no ko wa kaeru‘ da mon.” “Sonna koto nai yo. ‘Keizoku wa chikara nari’ da yo.”)
[“There’s no point in me studying; we’re just farmers. After all, like they say, ‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.’” “That’s not true! They also say ‘Perseverance is strength’!”]