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Boran Proverbs with English translation


Borana Proverbs with English translation (part 1)

1. Obsan qalomani. 
English: Patience leads to an honorable position.
2. Chubbun tok daqabi, tok ordofi.
English: You can be punished as you do sin on the spot. But for others it can come later. Meaning: As for the punishment of sin, some are immediate; and others come later.
3. Waagaran qabu arrbi namhata.
English: What was withheld as secret thought will come out through a slip of tongue.
 4. Ittiallatin nyatu wahi ingartu ; gurri allatin nyatu wahi ind’agau. 
English: An eye that the vultures peck at, does not see; an ear that the vultures peck at does not hear
 5. Huqondarba alati, muyoni dua dirsa alati.
 English: The weak cow will blame whoever pushes it for its fall; the weak woman will blame her husband’s death for her downfall.
 6. Arbit ilk ufi indadabu. 
English: The elephant does not get tired carrying his heavy tusks.
7. At Mormad nafatu siimma. 
English: You may deny that you were fed, but your body will tell.
8. Okon wan as anan  fud jete.
English: A rake recommends that it be used first to fetch the rubbish that is nearest.
9. Arki tokochi naf indqu. 
English: One hand alone cannot wash the body.
10. Ado an Gafabou, Gur naramuran get aren. 
English: The donkey lamented that while it was pleading for horns, its ears were cut off.
11. Arki marot waldiqa. 
English: Hand was each other in turn.
12. Adho akijedan jiru akijechan nam diba.
 English: While we know what to say, saying it that way is often difficult.
13. Guyya amma ijoolet qae nam d’eeta. 
English: On a bad day children will flee from your sight.
14. Idjiru idi inyatani.
 English: While relatives exist, one cannot eat the sodom apple.
15. Wan oketen inqamne moqan infud’u. 
English: The ladle cannot serve anything if the pot is empty.
16. Warri dua dibbe ind’agau. 
English: People who are on the verge of death do not hear the drum beat
 17. Koblan don jet saren dada nubir tai jenan. 
English: This is amusing; said the dog when asked to guard a container of cheese.
18. Nam Duu, Dubbi Indone. 
English: A man dies, but his word lives forever.
19. Waan namitok it fidamu, tok it fidamu indandau. 
English: The conditions that one can comfortably live with, might be unacceptable to another.
20. Tolikijiba abba qolesa. 
English: One who gives to earn praise will impoverish himself.


About Whispers from the North

Whispers from the North is an online platform that appreciates the ecological, cultural and socio-economic diversities of Northern Kenya. We also acknowledge that the lives of the communities of northern Kenya has been shaped by a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors which have led to complex challenge that calls for a multifaceted approach.

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