bâan meuang มี
bâan meuang = country ; state ; nation
mee = have, has
kèu = crossbeam ; joist ; lintel
mee = have, has
bpae = purlin
Literal MeaningA country has crossbeams and pinions
English ProverbBuild a house on sand
This saying depends upon word play. The word ขื่อ means a crossbeam, a wooden beam used in building a house. It is used to hold the rafters of the roof in place. Similarly, แป is a pinion, a horizontal timber supporting the the middle of each rafter to prevent it from bending and breaking. So these two together are essential for holding a roof together and in place. The words can also be used to mean laws or rules. บ้าน on its own means house. So a house must have crossbeams and pinions for a solid roof, to protect it. Add the word เมือง and it means a country. The whole saying therefore means that a country must have rules and structures to function properly.
yàa leum wâa bâan meuang mee kèu meeb pae mâi châi wâa kun jà tam a-rai gôr dâai
Don’t forget a country has crossbeams and pinions, you can’t do everything.
For Thai proverb, “บ้านเมืองมีขื่อมีแป”, I am not sure if that can be translated to “Build a house on sand”, it sounds like the opposite meaning. For one, the proverb means a country has it rules and law (in order to function), but “Build a house on sand” means having a weak foundation hence a lot of problems, issues or conflict. Honestly, I have not found an equivalent proverb for this in English though.
The wise man builds his house upon the rock. This expression is from the Bible, and is widely known among English speaking peoples.
This is found in the book of Matthew, chapter 7.
No exact proverb that I can think of but we have expressions like “a solid foundation” . And perhaps
the story of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf illustrates the importance
of solid foundation.