With accent marks:
Лу́чше сини́ца в рука́х, чем жура́вль в не́бе.
A titmouse in hands is better than a crane in the sky.
It is better to have at least something but today, than to rely on vague promises but for tomorrow - this is the meaning of this proverb.
It has many variations in different languages. Even the ancient Romans used an expression that can be translated as follows:
- Better a sparrow in hands than a goose in the sky.
The English equivalent of this proverb is "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush".
Other Russian proverbs
Get your sleigh ready in summer and your (horse-drawn) cart in winter.
Do not chop the branch you sit on
Appetite comes with eating.
If you are chasing two hares at once, you won’t catch a single one.
Poor people are inventive.
Where it is thin, it breaks.
(lit.) Whoever gets up early, God gives him
Crowded, but not aggrieved.