Pulaar Proverbs

Mo muñaani cuurki, ndañata ƴulɓe

He who has no patience for smoke will have no charcoal

Ko nanndudi ndiwdata

That which looks alike can fly together (birds of a feather)

So bahe cumɗi gooto fof ñifata ko waare mum

If the beards are all on fire, each person must put out his/her own beard

A nangat jorngal haa nji’a keccal

You must take the dry wood until you see the damp wood

Hade maa mantude jamma ndaccu haa weeta

Before you can appreciate the night, you must wait until morning

Baasal warataa kono na tampina

Poverty does not kill but makes one tired

Jom hunuko majjataa

Master of the mouth/speech cannot get lost

Bojje ɗiɗi nagodotaako

Two rabbits cannot be caught together

Findine fiya, bonnuno hade mum ɗanaade

When waken by beating, something bad was done before going to bed.

Unɗooɓe ɗiɗo suudondirta les nafki

Two people who are pounding (millet) hide together under one armpit (if you hide things from each other, you cannot work together)

Luuti jibinte ko cagal baaba mum

An orphan who is born after his dad dies is called Luuti (say bad things only when the person they are about is not there anymore)

So tawi wuro ngo fof ko humde, muɓɓu gite haa koota

If you go to a village where all are blind, keep close your eyes until you go home

Deɓɓo rendu waawa wongaade

A pregnant woman cannot dance the wonga

Kala ko njih ɗaa ɓenni kala ko soynaa yawti

Everything that you see passes, everything that is seen passes.

Sa anndi fof, haali fof, a toñi. Sa anndi fof, deƴi fof, bonni

If you know everything and say everything, you’re at fault. If you know everything and say nothing, everything is ruined.

Yarude seesa haɗtaa yettaade

Going slowly does not prevent you from arriving

Jamma jamma accaani ceedu

The nights of hot season are numbered

Laawol jam woɗdaani

The peaceful way is not far

Ko wosti ñalel e ñalel

It’s exchanging a calf for a calf

Ko gujo yidi fof ko jom jawɗi ɓuri yiɗe

Whatever the thief wants the owner wants it more

Batane muñal fof ko alhumdelilahi

The future of every patience is thanks to God

So goo boni limoore ayiima

If one is ruined the numbers are reused

Demoowo so awi mudo soñi mudo hay so tikanaani Allah weltaaki

A farmer who reaps what he sows might not be angry at God but he will not be happy

ɓe nengasa ɓe ne nguuba yaajat kono luggidtaa

If some are digging and some are burying it will be wide but never deep

Ngaari ina haande waare kono Allah totti ko ɗamɗi

The bull deserves the beard but Allah gave it to the goat

Sa ɓoyi e woyndu, baggal taw maa toon

If you last at the well the bucket will find you there

Cellal ko afo ngaalu

Health is the greatest treasure

Ko legal ɓoyee e mayo/ndiyam fof wontataa noro

A stick that sits in the river/water won’t become a crocodile

Ko muñal waawi fof

Patience can do everything

Ina ŋata walla ŋatataa woɗinde jungo mum ɓuri

Whether it bites or doesn’t bite, it’s best to keep your hand far away

Mawɗo ina jooɗoo yih cukalel ɗaroo roŋku yihde

A seated elder sees what a standing child misses

Ko saaɗi weeli fof, ko yaawuur ɓuri

It’s painful to leave something dangling, and better to respond

Teddungal dasetaake roondete

Hospitality is not dragged, it is carried on the head

Sikke juulata

If you’re not sure, you can’t pray

ɗoo e Senegal ko ngabu saloto taccude maayo

Here in Senegal the hippopotamus refuses to cross the river

Saa yii faaburu dow lekki les lekki waɗaani jam

If you see a frog on top of a tree, below the tree there is no peace

Koɗɗe njidaa wowru ceera arsugaaji

Things that share the same origin have different fortunes

Weli maayɗo, weli maayraaɗo, ko mettiri jahɗo janayse

It’s good for the dead, good for the griever, but sad for the people who attend the funeral

Wonaa ɓoyde lamba woni waawde sipire

The veteran fighter isn’t necessarily the best

Wonaa heñaare haɓɓat ɓoccoɗe

It’s not haste that packs the eggs

Yitere woyi mere sakanu duba leggel

An eye can cry even when not sad

So goo bonii limmore aayiima

One cannot build upon a bad foundation

Dañal e baasal ngondi

One may be wealthy today and poor tomorrow

Mo ekkaaki waawataa

A person who does not try will not learn

Mo ɓamti gada faaburu ne ko leydi fayi

You can help only those who want to be helped

Ko kaaldigal addi paamondiral

It is through dialogue that we come to a mutual understanding

Kongol ko ndiyam so rufii  ɓoftotaako

What comes out of the mouth cannot be drawn back in

Kutal ngal woorataa teɗɗinde becce mum ɓuri

One must face what one cannot avoid

Mallol so firtii jubbol so joomum hulaani yo o jaabo

One should respond to accusations about oneself

Yitere waɗanaaka omboode

Eyes do not have lids (Nothing is hidden to the eye)

Salaade ko waawaa jeyaaka e mbaaɗdaagu

Limiting oneself to what one can do is not a sign of weakness

Yiɗde haɗii yiide

One is blinded by love


Thank you to Jonno, Sakhir, and others for these proverbs.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: