CREOLE  PROVERBS

# 1 - 25

 

SAYING IN CREOLE

IN ENGLISH

 1

Abo bu sta na klaridadi, bu ka sibi si utru sta na sukuru.

You're in the clear, and you've forgotten that others are in darkness.
Explanation: if you're rich, don't forget that there are also poor.

 2

Bariga farta korson kontenti.

When the stomach is full, the heart is happy.
Explanation: when we have plenty of food, nobody worries.

 3

Kusi bambaran sin fidju.

You get the cradle ready before having a baby.
Explanation: you take for certain something which is only probable.

 4

Dun di boka ka ta pirdi ku kaminhu.

A good talker never gets lost.
Explanation: he who asks will always find an answer.

 5

Forsa di pis i na iagu.

A fish's strength is in water.
Explanation: for everything a man intends to do, he's going to need money.

 6

Deus sibi ke ku manda iagu di mar salga.

God knows why the sea-water is salty.
Explanation: only God knows the reasons behind his creations.

 7

Bu purba liti bu pidi baka.

You tasted the milk and lost the cow.
Explanation: soon after your first day of love-making, the marriage fell apart.

 8

Iagu salgadu bonitu, ma i disabidu bibi.

The sea's beautiful, but unpleasant to taste.
Explanation: a woman's face and physical stature may be pretty, but if she isn't a good house-keeper, she's a bad choice for a mate.

 9

Bondadi di manhoka.

The kindness of the worm.
Explanation: during the creation of the world and its animals, the worm, according to Guinean Creole tradition, had many feet and many eyes. He took and trip and, on the way, met many animals who didn't have feet, so he offered a pair to each animal until he had no feet left. In other words, the excess of generosity can be harmful to our own well-being.

 10

Alguin bedju nunka i bida nobu.

The old don't return to being children.
Explanation: old people should act like adults.

 11

Ami i lubu ku kema kosta.

I'm the hyena with his back on fire.
Explanation: it's said of a person who has a bad reputation and gets accused of everything even when he's innocent.

 12

Mon ka iangasa kosta.

His hand doesn't reach his back.
Explanation: it's said of a person who wants to accomplish something but lacks the means to succeed.

 13

Bianda sabi ka ta tarda na kabas.

Tasty food doesn't stay long in the pot.
Explanation: all that's good is short-lived.

 14

Bianda ora ki kusidu i ka ta ten dunu.

Warm food has no owner.
Explanation: bread is for everyone to eat.

 15

Ninguin ka ta pudi kubri seu ku mon.

No one can cover the sky with his hands.
Explanation: the truth can't be hidden by anyone.

 16

Galinha kargadu i ka ta sibi si kaminhu lundju.

A transported chicken doesn't know the joy of the trip.
Explanation: he who is sustained by another doesn't know the cost of his existence.

 17

Falta di mame bu ta mama dona.

He with no mother sucks Grandma's teat.
Explanation: we should learn to live with what we have.

 18

Fiansa ta kebra kudher di prata.

When you least expect it, a silver spoon can break.
Explanation: we shouldn't always count on the support of a friend or other person who, in principle, can and should help us, for it may not happen when we most expect it.

 19

Tudu tarda ki na tarda, na tcon ki na bin resta.

No matter how tall the tree, one day it must fall.
Explanation: power isn't eternal, you can be in power one day, and the next you may be a common person.

 20

Baka ku ka tene rabu Deus ku ta banal.

God gets the flies off of cows with no tails.
Explanation: God's providence doesn't forget those who can't provide for themselves.

 21

Bu na toka bu na badja.

You play music and dance at the same time.
The same person can't play music and dance simultaneously. No one can accuse and defend at the same time.

 22

Abo i ka iagu nin abo i ka sol.

You're neither water nor the sun.
Explanation: neither your presence nor absence makes a big difference. You're not equal to the water nor the sun, so that if you're not around we'd miss you too much.

 23

Pumba ku kustuma bua ka ta bin otca kau di firma.

A dove used to flying may find itself with no place to perch.
Explanation: he who has the habit of independence will one day find himself with no place to live.

 24

Te pa bu susa boka ku siti, i mindjor bu kumel.

Instead of dirtying your mouth with the palm oil, it's better to eat it.
Explanation: it's better to do what you're planning, rather than be accused of doing it when it's not true.

 25

Djanti i ka nada tciga ki tudu.

Hurrying is worthless, it's the arrival that matters.
Explanation: to do things hurriedly doesn't imply you've done them well. The important thing is to achieve one's objective.

See Proverbs 26-51

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