Metaglossia: The Translation World
336.7K views | +13 today
Metaglossia: The Translation World
News about translation, interpreting, intercultural communication, terminology and lexicography - as it happens
Curated by Charles Tiayon
Your new post is loading...

Education World ® - African Proverbs and Their Meanings

Don't set sail using someone else's star.
Meaning: Just because someone has been successful at doing something does not mean you will be successful at doing the same thing.
The best way to eat an elephant in your path is cut him up into little pieces.
Meaning: The best way to solve a problem is to solve it bit by bit.
A sugarcane is sweetest at the joint.
Meaning: What seems to be hard to achieve in real life is often the best.
He who does not know one thing knows another.
Meaning: No one knows everything, but everyone knows something.
It takes a whole village to raise a child.
Meaning: Everyone in a community should be responsible for helping to raise a child.
Rain does not fall on one roof alone.
Meaning: Trouble comes to everyone at one time or another.
After a foolish deed comes remorse.
Meaning: After you have done something foolish, you feel sorry for doing it.!
No comment yet.

Some African Proverbs And Their meaning

African Proverbs are rich and are used mainly by elders to communicate thoughts in a witty way. Sometimes you can decipher their meanings by mere logic, at other times you need a guide. Below are some of the most popular African proverbs.!
No comment yet.

Nigeria Crawling and Wobbling At 52 | IndepthAfrica

Nigeria Crawling and Wobbling At 52
Posted On : October 1st, 2012 | Updated On : October 1st, 2012


job title or skills

city, state or zip

Jobs by JobinAfrica
By Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Daily Trust
“Do not swim in shallow waters if you do not want your back to show.” Malawian Proverb.

The meticulously-planned 50th Independence Anniversary of our nation was blasted into infamy two years by criminal elements who wanted to make a statement to the effect that they have a large chunk of our political space. Since then, our independence anniversaries, events which had been marked by two generations of Nigerians with deserved pomp and pride, have been hushed affairs. Leaders who used to inspect school children parades with military fanfare now release statements and retreat further behind barricaded official residences. Now the loudest sounds we hear are those of citizens who choose to blast their grievances, or criminals after millions in banks, or of security agents who run after them. A nation which started its journey on a confident trot is now crawling and wobbling. It is uncertain how long it can stay on all fours; and it is even more doubtful if our leadership has the capacity to prevent it from collapsing on its belly.

A few years ago, comments which suggest a perilous future for Nigeria would have been roundly condemned as doomsday prophesy. Even when the foundations of our nation began to be exposed to massive assault by corruption and impunity, Nigerians thought we could still turn our nation around. When our political system began to resemble everything else but a democratic system, with massively-rigged elections, non-accountable leadership and power produced by a combination of cynical manipulation of our structural weaknesses, violence and corruption, those who thought they could tell when a nation was sick enough to set alarm bells going began to warn of dangerous slides.!
No comment yet.

Tony who?

By Hakeem Baba-Ahmad
If the man talking nonsense is a fool, the man listening should not be. — Hausa Proverb

A curious story in one of the news dailies a few days ago said that former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair advised our President Goodluck Jonathan to disregard the voice of Nigerian opposition and other citizens who complain over his policies.

The paper reported that Mr Blair was responding to Jonathan’s long list of achievements and initiatives-in-the-pipeline that will improve the economy, security and the electoral process, and his lamentations that these are poorly appreciated by Nigerians.

The occasion was a business and investment roundtable organised on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly at which Blair was invited as a guest of the President. Mr Blair was reported to have urged our President to disregard opposition parties, push ahead with his reform, and ignore voices which claim they are representing the majority, when in fact they represent minority views or vested interests.!
No comment yet.

Twitter / BBCAfrica: Today's African proverb: Until ...

Today's African proverb: Until the lion tells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. Smith Moyo, Malawi!
No comment yet.

Yorùbá proverbs: An insight into the indigenous healthcare delivery system and health education


This article attempts a discussion of the socio-cultural background of the verbal arts regarding the role of proverbs in the Yorùbá indigenous healthcare practices. It also touches on the use of verbal arts in both indigenous and in community-based healthcare programmes. It will be explained how, in the Yorùbá world view, the verbal arts in general and the indigenous healthcare practices in particular, are held in very high esteem. Prior to any undertaking, the Yorùbá people take care of their health. To buttress this point, there are aphorisms and proverbs that show the Yorùbá concern for health, be it general, personal, domestic or environmental. Yorùbá proverbs are highly idiomatic, having both denotative and connotative meanings. The denotative meaning tends to be the signifier of the connotative meaning, which, in fact, is the one held in high esteem. The semantics of the denotative structure, though in itself a truism, is a means to the signified end. The health-related meanings of the proverbs are in most cases restricted to the denotative meaning. At the connotative level, the meaning of the proverb may not necessarily be health-related. Denotative meaning considers the componential meanings of the symbols in the proverb while on the connotative level, the metaphorical and idiomatic meanings generated from usage context are taken into consideration.

South African Journal of African Languages 2012, 32(1): 79–83!
No comment yet.

RetroRead - Hausa proverbs by George Charleton Merrick converted to the Kindle at RetroRead


0 sooda, you are full of noise, though no one asks
you to make it.
Sooda, a small bird which makes a great twittering.

16 Maikia ba ki sauka'n banza, sai maidalili.

0 vulture, you do not settle on the ground without a reason.

17 Belbela chi da motsi'n woni.

0 belbela, you live by the movements of others.

Belbela, the paddy bird of India; it is always seen near cattle, &c, and feeds off the ticks.

18 Gona'n tofa k^woya dagga nesa.

Go a long way round to avoid the fields where tofa
is growing.
Tofa, a grass which leaves prickles in the feet.

19 Karre'n ramma ba ruanka da kanzo.

0 dog, made of tie-tie, you have no concern with Jcanzo.

Ramma, a straight bush; tie-tie is made out of its

bark. Tie-tie, the native English for string made out of bark. Karre'n ramma, a basket made out of this tie-tie filled!
No comment yet.

Twitter / SlateAfrique: Le proverbe africain du jour: ...

Le proverbe africain du jour: «Le tam-tam ne résonne que lorsqu'on le bat.» (Cameroun)!
No comment yet. Liberia: Facts of Life

A book containing Liberian proverbs and parables, along with their related meanings, is expected to be published next month (October) in the country. The 17-page book, written by Robert Sunnay, provides some guidance to success. It contains 100 proverbs and parables.

Three of the parables, written as fables, are as follows: And they are Cobra: King of the Frogs (Cobra's attitude compels frogs to desire another king), Little Monkey and Leopard (Hunger and greed make monkey lead leopard to his destruction), and The Struggle for Decent Living (Your mouth is your bedroom).

In an interview with Robert Sunnay, the author said the collection of Liberian proverbs make use of our honored tradition, as well as our everyday sayings. For instance, he said: "Don't blame your parents when you stump your toes." This means that every man is responsible for what he makes of his own life.

"Ancestry may contribute, but an individual's decision determines his fortune or misfortune. Or, don't blame the father; blame his son. While some believe in luck, problems attend us all; none is exempt," Sunnay said. He said there are people who were born lucky, while others are faced with a myriad of problems, sometimes lasting throughout their life time.!
Jimmy Rodgers's curator insight, January 17, 2014 2:24 PM

This article is about a book being pulished and was writeen in parables . This can help you live a better life style because it provides some guidence to sucess and the tales can help you learn lessons.

James Rodrigue's comment, January 21, 2014 2:40 PM
What's a lesson that you learned from a story? (e.g. a book, a movie, a parable, a story someone told you, etc.)
Jimmy Rodgers's comment, January 23, 2014 6:51 PM
A lesson i learned from a story was from the scary parts of movies. I learned when creepy stuff is going on not to walk towards the basement or atatic and scary music lol

BBC Africa - Google+ - Today's African Proverb “The sun will shine on those who…

Today's African Proverb “The sun will shine on those who are standing before it shines on those who are sitting” Sent by William Kokulo, Monrovia, Liberia...!
No comment yet.

Le grand livre des proverbes africain TOUT NEUF Livres Val-de-Marne -

Présenté par hamadou kourouma? traduits et rassemblés par Mwamba Cabakulu. Voici un livre très riche qui doit prendre place dans votre bibliothèque.!
No comment yet.

Some African Proverbs and Their Meaning - InfoBarrel

Proverbs are frequently-used sayings which often provide witty insight into a culture's beliefs and traditions. Many people ask me the meanings of some African Proverb they picked up in a movie or heard from a friend.!
Kenzie and Courtney's curator insight, April 8, 2015 11:42 PM

Africa Religion-

This shows how people in Africa convey their beliefs. They write Proverbs that have a deeper meaning, relating to their common beliefs, traditional religions, and just personal opinions. These sayings reflect the true emotions behind the most common religious beliefs in Africa. Some even provide insight to their cultural aspects of life as well.

Danielle and Maddie's curator insight, April 9, 2015 12:18 AM

Danielle and Maddie's insight:


This is short but it says alot for a little amount of words. Proverbs are what are used from people to find insight in different cultural beliefs. This i think connects to religion because they are what people use to find out about other beliefs for example in Africa.


West African Proverbs. : Inspirational Quotes

Inspirational Quotes, Motivational Quotes, Deep Quotes, Life quotes, Inspiring Sayings and Love quotes.!
No comment yet.

L'art de la métaphore : proverbes africains

Certains sont pas terribles, mais d'autres ont un sens X_EaLZka9ZE feature=player_detailpage...!
No comment yet.

Entre el Caos y el Orden: Diez proverbios africanos

"No puedes esconder el humo si encendiste fuego."

"La marca que produce el látigo desaparece; la huella de la injuria jamás."

"Siéntate a la orilla del río y verás pasar al cadáver de tu enemigo."

"Hasta que los leones tengan sus propios historiadores, las historias de caza siempre glorificarán al cazador."

"La muerte de un anciano es como una biblioteca que se quema."!
No comment yet.

Le professeur masqué: De l’abus du proverbe: «Ça prend un village pour élever un enfant.»

Voilà souvent le proverbe africain que j’entends quand on parle du rôle des parents versus les missions de l’école. Au cœur de ce débat, il y a bien sûr des zones sensibles dont le thème de la déresponsabilisation parentale.

Prenons par exemple la formation de trois heures «Nager pour survivre» que le MELS entend mettre de l’avant en troisième année du primaire. Oublions tout de suite que celle-ci est fort limitée et règlera peu de choses en fait quant à la problématique des noyades au Québec. Attardons-nous plutôt à cette question : est-ce le rôle de l’école d’assurer une telle formation?!
No comment yet.

Palava Hut Chat: parables and proverbs from Liberia....

Liberian Parables are short stories and saying which are Usually meant to teach a lesson, or to give an advice. frequently, the selfish person learned that lesson the hard way.

The child who says his mother will not sleep will not sleep also .

A wise man does not find the depth of a river with both feet at the same time .

When a crazy man runs away with your clothes while you are in the bath room, don't follow him.

A child who washes his hands clean eats with elders.

A bird and a fish can get marry but where will they build their nest?!
No comment yet.

Proverbios africanos, que invitan a la reflexión

Unos cuantos proverbios africanos, que invitan a la reflexión… Proverbio KIKUYU: “Un buen jefe comienza por hacer las pruebas en su hogar”. Proverbio HAUSSA: “La mentira pu...!
No comment yet.

proverbes africains

Au chef, il faut des hommes ; aux hommes, il faut un chef. Proverbe africain Aussi longtemps que les lions n'auront pas leur historien, les récits de chasse tourneront toujours à la gloire du chasseur. Proverbe ...!
No comment yet.

An African Proverb for Fathers Day | The Center for Early African Christianity

The Center for Early African Christianity...

An African Proverb for Fathers Day Jun. 17, 2012
by Joel Elowsky

I received this from our good friend and consultation group member Thomas Oduro:

The Akans of Ghana say the following proverb:

The head of an animal is never lost in soup.

This implies that the contributions of someone can neither be ignored nor disregarded.!
No comment yet.

Le grand livre des proverbes africains d'Ahmadou Kourouma

Partie intégrante du genre poétique par leur structure symétrique et leurs sonorités, les proverbes ajoutent une note de vérité universellement reconnue à la sagesse populaire qu'ils ont véhiculée au fil des générations.
La plupart des proverbes sont anonyme, ils remontent à des millénaires en arrière. Composés en situation par des artisans du langage, témoins et acteurs de leurs temps, ils ont vocation à donner des leçons de morale à tous ceux qui ont besoin d'être éclairés dans leur vécu au quotidien. Là dessus, l'Afrique est très performante ; ses traditions culturelles les plus anciennes au monde en sont la preuve. Fruit d'une pensée qui remonte à la nuit des temps Ahmadou Kourouma a eu l'idée géniale de réunir un ensemble de proverbes de chaque pays africain et largement représentatif d'une thématique dominante. C'est une œuvre colossale valorisante pour l'auteur et pour le patrimoine des ancêtres, dans une Afrique des indépendances qui est passée admirablement à l'ère de l'écriture. Kourouma fait partie des écrivains de renommée mondiale mobilisée pour apporter à l'oralité le support écrit dont elle a besoin pour se perpétuer en tant que produit du génie populaire qui remonte aux origines. Kourouma fait partie des écrivains de renommée mondiale connu pour ses romans de haute facture et ses travaux de recherche de référence aux titres évocateurs : «En attendant le vote des bêtes sauvages, «Allah n'est pas obligé», «Le soleil des indépendances». Kourouma explique pour ceux qui l'ignorent que l'Afrique a une longue tradition dans les palabres qui se tiennent à des moments déterminés de la vie sociale. Il s'agit d'un débat coutumier entre des participants hommes appelés à apporter des solutions à des problèmes d'intérêt collectif ou des conflits entre deux ou trois parties. Ce sont les plus jeunes qui prennent d'abord la parole, une façon de les responsabiliser ou de les initier au débat selon des règles imposées. Les plus âgés parlent à leur tour conformément au même code rituel que nul ne peut transgresser, sous aucun prétexte. Et ainsi de suite jusqu'à ce qu'on arrive à l'aîné de tout le monde qui prend le parti de la majorité pour trancher la question. Quel bel exemple de démocratie ces discussions qui se déroulent dans le respect rigoureux de la différence ! Chaque participant, comme dans un tour de table, participe à la compétition en appuyant son argumentation sur les meilleurs proverbes possibles. Concernant les proverbes, pour Ahmadou Kourouma, ils permettent d'abord de donner un contenu concret à une notion abstraite. Un exemple : «Où la barbe apparaît, l'enfance disparaît. Ce qui signifie que lorsqu'on porte une barbe, on doit se comporter en adulte. Le proverbe donne aussi le temps de la réflexion et permet d'observer une pause dans une longue palabre. Si, dans une discussion, on aboutit à une impasse, l'ancien avance un proverbe et l'assemblée alors se tait et prend le temps de réfléchir à sa signification». Le cheminement ci-dessus indiqué pour aplanir les difficultés permet de mettre fin à des conflits sociaux ; il est digne d'une société générale qui ne doit pas connaître d'affrontements qui, chez les autres, se terminent dans le sang. Une telle société ne peut qu'évoluer dans le bon sens. Chaque membre participant à des palabres étant soumis à la recherche de meilleurs proverbes pouvant aider au règlement d'un problème. Le proverbe paraît être essentiel dans la vie des Africains. Et à l'auteur d'ajouter : «D'une façon générale, tout ce que fait l'Africain, tout ce qu'il est, tout ce qu'il sait, tout ce qu'il subit, tout ce qu'il croit se trouve résumé dans les proverbes». Savoir parler sur la vie individuelle ou collective est un atout important L'apprentissage se fait à l'intérieur de la communauté moyennant des palabres répétées qui exercent à la parole les participants. Il est prouvé que parler en public libère de tous les complexes et améliore le niveau de langue. Ceux qui se cachent au fond pour ne pas dire un mot deviennent à la longue des timides maladifs si leur cas ne s'aggrave en se transformant en une forme de déséquilibre mental. Et, là dessus, les Africains sont prévoyants. Un proverbe luba dit : «Celui qui sait parler n'est jamais pauvre». Restons dans la parole facile pour citer cet autre proverbe concernant les vieux qui, dans le meilleur des cas, ont acquis le niveau de la langue et beaucoup de sagesse, ce qui justifie ce proverbe : «Les paroles du vieux sont pleines d'expérience parce que la bouche du vieux peut sentir mauvais, mais les paroles qui en sortent sont d'or». Les trois cent pages regroupent un corpus assez copieux en proverbes et peuvent être considérés comme étant les meilleurs dans chaque pays africain.

Lire la suite:!
No comment yet.