Swahili Proverbs

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Swahili Proverbs!

Kiswahili is a very versatile language composed of many languages so you may find it interesting to know that a saying in your language might be here translated in Kiswahili, this includes sayings and proverbs from English too. 


Penye niya, pana njiya Where there's a will, there's a way
Udongo uwahi umaji Work with the clay while it is wet
(Strike the iron while its hot)
Penye kuku wengi usimwage mtama Where there are many fowls do not spill millet
i.e. do not utter a secret in front of many people
Fimbo iliyo mkononi ndiyo iuwayo nyoka Stick that is in the hand is the one that kills the snake
i.e. What is possessed by you is likely to be the only one that may help you.
Mchagua jembe si mkulima He who chooses (differentiates between) spades is not a farmer
i.e. he fusses about spades is not a farmer
Haraka haraka haina baraka Things done in haste yield no good
(great haste makes waste)
Ulimacho huvunacho What you reap, you sow
(You reap what you sow)
Asie sikia la mkuu huvunjika (m)guu He who listens not of his elders /superiors, his leg breaks
i.e., listen to your elders/superiors they know better (from experience??)
Mkono mmoja haupigi makofi One hand (alone) cannot clap
Mgeni ingia mwenyeji apone Come oh guest so that the host may benefit (from your presence)
(usually in Tanzania as in many third world countries, when there is a guest, the host {especially wife} spends a lot of time to prepare best of food and other things {maybe room too} to make the guest feel very welcomed.. in return the rest of the house benefits by getting better food than is usual.. and many more things)
Barabara refu haikosi kona Long road is not without a corner
i.e. nothing is perfect
Mwanamke mzuri hakosi kasoro A beautiful girl is not without a fault
i.e. no one is perfect
Simba mwendapole ndie mla nyama A lion that walks quietly is the one that eats meat
i.e. when a lion prowls, it is the one that stalks the prey and eats its prey finally
Be watchful of people who do things in secrecy, they have something up their sleeves
Jembe lisilo na mpini halilimi A spade without a handle does not plough

My personal knowledge of Kiswahili proverbs and sayings is very limited so I have gone to the market and bought a small book of Swahili sayings called "Swahili Sayings in English & Arabic" by Moosa. K. Al-Rijeby. Very renowned author of various books of knowledge and information such as "The Dark Continent", "The British and Omani domination in East Africa" and "The Analyst English-Swahili Dictionary"

It is with Mr. Moosa. K. Al-Rijeby's permission on 13th June 1999 - over the telephone conversation that I quote various sayings from his publication


"Swahili Sayings in English & Arabic"
by Moosa K. Al-Rijeby
Moosa K. Al-Rijeby,
P.O. Box 292, Postal Code 111,
C.P.O. Seeb International Airport,
Sultanate of Oman.
Telephone +968 603824

Please excuse any spelling or grammatical error from my end.

 

 

KulManSam's In Africa, a taste of Africa, rich with content mainly foods and language from East Africa, Zanzibar Islands. Including African Recipes straight from Zanzibar Islands. Zanzibar style Biriani/biriyani, Mchuzi = Curry/Gravy, Zanzibar Chapatti similar to Indian Paratha, Zanzibar Bokoboko same as Middle Eastern Harees, Zanzibar maandazi very similar to New Orleans Binge's, Spiced African tea from Zanzibar with cardamon, milk and more. Then you can also learn Swahili or learn Kiswahili the language predominantly spoken in East African coastal area (Swahili = coastal in Arabic). Learn how to say hello in Swahili
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