Proverbs 271 to 359

DIANE 271 - 359

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

271. Khumo le lehuma di lala 'mogo.

Wealth and poverty lie together.

(a) A fat kitchen is next door to poverty.
(b) Aus derselben Ackerkrume Wächts das Unkraut wie die Blume. (G.)

272. Kobo di lekana marudi.

The cloaks fit the shoulders (i.e. there is enough, but nothing to spare).

Cut your coat according to your cloth.

273. Kobo e shugoa ke mungoa eone.

The owner is the one to tan the skin.

(a) If you want a thing done, do it yourself.
(b) On n'est jamais si bien servi que par soi-même. (F.)

274. Kobo ga e ke e aparoa ka lotlhono.

A kaross (a skin rug) should never be worn on the reverse side to the fur.

You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

275. Lala ka lobadi.

Never mind, go and sleep over your wound.

Forgive and forget — or:
Before deciding go and sleep over it.

276. Leare go nna melelekelo mebe le tle le ipetololele.

When the chase is badly organized it generally exposes itself to disadvantage.

Too – too will in two.

277. Lebitla ja kgomo ke molomo.

The grave of the ox is the mouth.

 

278. Lecogo ga le timeleloe ke molomo.

The hand never loses its way to the mouth.

 

279. Lecogo le tlhapisa je lengoe.

One hand must wash the other.

One hand washeth the other and both the face.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

280. Le epa le bona mongoa tshimo.

Gleaners work harder when they see the owner of the lands.

The foot of the owner is the best manure for his land.

281. Lefifi le jele nogoana jeone.

Darkness has eaten her own child.

A la chandella la choere semble demoiselle. (F.)

282. Lefoko ga le ke le booa, go booa monoana.

A word (once uttered) can never turn back, only a (pointed) finger can.

A promise once passed is hard to be revoked.

283. Legodu ke je le choeroeng.

The one who is caught is the thief.

Daar zyn meer dieven alser opgehangen worden (con). (D.)

284. Legodu ke je le roloang moroalo.

The thief is the one from whose shoulder the bundle is taken.

This he said because he was a thief and had the bag.

285. Lekgatlakgatla le jele difokoana,
Modikologa o jele pholo ea tona.

Hasty actions killed small game.
Slow proceedings won big game.

Slow-footed counsel is mot sure to gain.
Rashness still brings repentance in her train.

286. Lehufa le apeecoe le lencoe, lencoe ja bucoa lehufa ja sala.

Polygamy was boiled in the same pot as a stone. The stone got soft, and polygamy remained.  1 

(a) One wife is too much for most husbands to bear,
But two at a time there's no mortal can bear.
(b) Les envieux mourront, mais non jamais l'envie. (F.)

287. Leina le senya motse.

The mere mention of a name may destroy the whole town.

It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul —
Let me not name it to you chaste stars,
It is the cause.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

288. Leitlho je le josi le tshabeloa ke selabe.

See: Itlho je le josi.

See: Itlho je le josi.

289. Lemena jaaka, digela morago ke nne ke bone meabo bangoe.

Bechuana hunters' cry for game to tumble into the pitfalls they have dug and covered up.

Pitfalls carefully concealed with boughs.

290. Lemme ga le bolae go bolaea lefifi.

“Take this” does not hurt, only darkness (emptiness) does.

(a) A little is better than none.
(b) Mieux vaut un “tiens” que deux “tu l'auras”. (F.)

291. Lemme ga le bolae, sebe sa mogotlha ke go ea fela.

Take this does not kill, a serious blow is to go empty-handed.

(a) A bit in the morning is better than nothing all day.
(b) Ein “nimm hin” ist besser als zehn “helf Gott”. (G.)

292. Lencoe ga le booe go booa monoana (See Lefoko.)

See: Lefoko ga le ke le.

(a) Like an arrow to its aim flies the good man's word.
(b) A curse will not strike out the eye unless the fist goes with it. (Con.)

293. Lencoe ja kgosi le ageloa mosako.

Always build a fence round the chief's word.

(1) I am king of the Romans, and above grammar. (Emp. Sigismund.)
(2) A verbis legis non est recedendum. (L.)

294. Lencoe ja maabanyane ga le tlhabe kgomo.

The evening word does not kill an ox.

If wishes were horses beggars would ride.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

295. Le pelung ea mo-le-epi.

The success of a scheme depends on the will of the organizer.

(a) Where there's a will there's a way.
(b) A cœur valliant rien impossible. (F.)

296. Le pelung ga le tshitshe.

A secret buried in the heart seldom gives satisfaction.

A fault confessed is half redressed.
A fault denied is twice committed.

297. Leshoetsana ga le lele fela leabo le utloa mashoedi a magolo.

A young bird seldom crows except as it heard the old ones crowing.

As the old cock crows, the young one learns.

298. Lesilo le kgomo ga le tlhaleshoe.

The fool who owns an ox is seldom recognized (as a fool).

The learned pate ducks to the golden fool.

299. Lesilo le laeloa ka bosilo.

A fool should be instructed along foolish lines.

'Tis folly to be wise where ignorance is bliss.

300. Lesilo le tsaloa le matlhale.

A fool is born among the wise.

Every bean has its black.

301. Lesilo sesholo sa matlhale.

A fool is a treasure to the wise.

Les foux font des festins, et les sages les mangent. (F.)

302. Letlaatlaa le motlha mongoe fela.

Noisy festivities are ephemeral.

In the time of mirth, take heed.

303. Le-tla-le-anya, ntoa.

A step-child often means strife.

He that marries a widow and three children marries four thieves.

304. Loare go bona sesha lo se eka-eke lo latlhe segologolo sa lona.

At sight of new styles you always discard your old customs and nurse the new.

Cast not forth thy old water while the new comes in.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

305. Lofetlho lo mamoma loa lotlhanya.

A greasy turn-stick  2  (i.e. one with bits of food adhering to its fork) will often create disputes.

Like dogs that snarl about a bone and play together when they've none.

306. Loleme loa basadi lo lotlhanya metse.

Women's gossip breeds civil wars.

A gossipy woman talks of everybody and everybody of her.

307. Lonyaco ga lo na seipato.

Contempt has no excuse.

 

308. Lorato lo roba ditokololo.

Love paralyzes the joints.

Nothing is great or small,
Nothing is mean or irksome,
Love will hallow it all.

309. Lore go bona nna.

Just as you see me (= I alone survived the catastrophe and am here to tell the story).

 

310. Lo re go bona thola borethe ka ko ntle mo teng e botlhoko.

When you see the outer gloss of the wild apple, you may depend on it that it is bitter inside.

A fair face may hide a foul heart.

311. Lore lo ojoa lo sale metse.

Bend the twig while it is green (said in training the young.

As the twig is bent so the tree inclines.

312. Lo rile kolobe o kana ka poo. (See Erile).

You said a pig was as big as a bull.

Pinto was but a type of thee,
Thou liar of the first magnitude.

313. Loroaneng go tseneloa gongoe.

Into the bush, people (hunters) enter at the same time.

 

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

314. Lo se bone maje jo katogana, bosigo aa atamalana.

When you see stones apart by day you may depend upon it that at night they come together.

Friends may meet but mountains never greet. (Con.)
They that see you by day will not break in upon you at night.

315. Losho lo fa mojeng oa kobo.

Death is at the end of the cloak.

In the midst of life we are in death. (X.)

316. Losho lo golo, ditshego.

Great laughter, greater sorrow.

Gaiety is often the reckless ripple over depths of despair.

317. Lo tla tlhoboga khudu e rathoa.

You will give up (hope) when the tortoise is chopped.

All is not lost that is in danger.

318. Lotlhokoa lo godisa tse dingoe.

Straws foster other straws.

Money brings money.

319. Maano ga a site go sita a losho.

There is a plan for everything but death.

There's a remedy for everything but death.

320. Mabele a basadi botlhe a amusa matlhale.

All women's breasts can feed wise children.

All the wit in the world is not in one head.

321. Mabele maamusa batho.

Corn, the nourisher of the people.

 

321a. Mabogo a mantsi ke a rata tirong, dikgobeng ga ke a rate.

Many hands I like at work, but I do not like them at meals.

There is no brotherhood possible, at any rate stable, between man and man but a brotherhood of labour.

322. Ma-Dipodi ga ipone se se mo tlhogong.

Ma-Dipodi sees not the object on her head.

(a) Men's faults do seldom to themselves appear.
(b) Familiare est hominibus omnia sibi ignoscere. (L.)

323. Maeo le maboo ga a itsioe.

Goings out and comings back are among the things unknown.

 

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

324. Mafatlha a nku a itsioe ke baaneedi.

Twin-lambs are known only to the shepherds.

(a) He who has been in the oven himself knows where to find the pastry.
(b) Die Blumen zu pflegen,
Das Unkraut zu tilgen,
Ist Sache des Gärtners. (G.)

325. Mafoko a bo Gatoe.

Reports of Messrs. They-say (useless hearsay evidence).

(a) “They say so” is half a lie.
(b) Dictum de dicto. (L.)

326. Mafoko a kgotla mantle otlhe.

Forensic arguments are all acceptable.

Fari quas sentiat. (L.)

327. Mafoko a matlhong.

The best news is in the eyes (= the face).

In the forehead and in the eye, the lecture of the mind doth lie.

328. Mafoko ga a lale nageng.

News does not stay a night out on the way.

Ill news travel apace.

329. Mafoko ga a timanoe go timanoa dijo.

News is not to be stinted, only food may be.

Some straw, a room, water and in the fourth place, gentle words,
These things are never to be refused in good men's houses.

330. Magodu a  {  itlhophela.
itoba-tobeletsa.

Thieves take their own choice.

Pickpockets are sure traders, for they take ready money.

331. Magodu ga a ka a coana.

Thieves seldom fall out.

A gambler and a swindler are near neighbours.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

332. Magogo o belaela lomepa.

The honey-badger (ratel) doubts the (honey) comb.

The hog to the honey pots (In the vernacular saying the sense is the same as that of “He smelt a rat.”)

333. Mahura a ratoa gotlhe.

Everybody loves fat (= good things).

He that hides can find.

334. Mahuta maitsioe ke beng.

Their owners alone know them.

Every fox burrows its own hole.

335. Maikaelelo a nogoana' motho!

The resolutions of mortal men are unreliable.

Man proposes, God disposes.

336. Maila go bakoa.

Things hate being praised prematurely.

Do not hallo before you are out of the bush.

337. Maja-polaelo ke uena, maatamela di shutsa.

You weakling who only eat what others killed, and come forward only when the pots are boiling.

He is like a bag pipe, you never hear him till his belly is full.

338. Makgooa a dumela maaka.

White people often believe untruths.

De wereld will bedrogen zyn. (D.)

339. Makikitsana a ma-ja-kgomo le aa ja ga a gadimane, a gadimana ntoeng.

Sons of the Beef-eaters (warriors) never look at one another when they eat; they look at each other in battle.

While the hound gnaweth the bone,
Companion would he have none.

340. Makoloanyane lo tla nna lo mpheta fela, lo ba lo mphitlhela ke ntse ke le fa.

You young folk will pass me by and return to find me still here.

 

341. Malebadi losho, a choana le ke gakiloe.

Absent-mindedness is like death, for it resembles “I have forgotten.”

Men are men, the best sometimes forget.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

342. Malepa maitsioe ke beng.

Tricky puzzles are only known to the tricksters.

Nightingales can sing their own songs best.

343. Mamphoroana maatlhamela babolai.

Young birds will always open their mouths even to those who came to kill them.

It is a silly goose that comes to a fox's sermon.

344. Mangana loco loo phage.

Bulging cheeks, the tribal mark of cats.

This child has a red tongue like its father.

345. 'Ma-Ngoana ke eo o choarang thipa ka bogale.

The mother is she who catches the knife by the blade.

One mother is more venerable than a thousand fathers.

346. Manong a ja ka ditshika.

Vultures eat with their blood relations.

Birds of a feather flock together.

347. Mao lolo ntlha pedi lo tlhaba kobo le moroki.

The double-pointed awl pricks both the material and the sewer.

The same knife cuts both bread and the finger.

348. Maoto a moeng pheko, a sidila babobodi.

Visitors' footfalls are like medicine, they heal the sick.

When friends meet, hearts warm.

349. Maoto a nong ke phofa.

The feet of the vulture are its wings.

Robin that herds on the height.

350. 'Ma-Poo ga nyaloe.

The mother of a bull (influential man) cannot be advantageously married.

Belle, bonne, riche, et sage, est une femme en quatre étages. (F.)

351. Marojana maitisi, mabooa a ikgorosa.

Calves that tend themselves come and go at their own sweet will.

De kat is weg de muis is baas. (D.)

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

352. Marope a bagale melora, ba bonolo ba sa tshedile ka bonolo joa bone.

The dwellings of fierce men become ruins in ashes; the meek live quietly by reason of their meekness.

(a) He that strikes terror into others is himself in continual fear.
(b) He that fights and runs away may live to fight another day.
(c) Deep swimmers and high climbers seldom die in their beds.

353. Marota aa sira-sirana.

Hill-tops hide one another from view.

A dwarf on a giant's shoulder sees further of the two (or: Huge winds blow on high hills).

354. Maru a nale ditladi otlhe.

All clouds have lightning.

Though I am not splenetive and rash, yet have in in me something dangerous.

355. Maru a senang tladi malematsa.

Clouds without thunderstorms are deceptive.

There's no relying on a starry sky.

356. Maru gase pula, mosi ke one molelo.

Clouds do not always denote rain, but smoke is always a sign of fire.

Every cloud engenders not a storm.

357. Maseloana.

A nameless child.

Filius terrae. (L.)

358. Masilo a shule matlhale ale teng.

The unwise die in spite of the presence of the wise.

 

359. Masilo, letlotlo ja matlhale.

Fools are the treasures of the wise.

I never could believe that Providence sent a few men into the world ready booted and spurred to ride, and millions ready saddled and bridled to be ridden. (Rumbold.)

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Proverbs 271 to 359

DIANE 271 - 359

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

271. Khumo le lehuma di lala 'mogo.

Wealth and poverty lie together.

(a) A fat kitchen is next door to poverty.
(b) Aus derselben Ackerkrume Wächts das Unkraut wie die Blume. (G.)

272. Kobo di lekana marudi.

The cloaks fit the shoulders (i.e. there is enough, but nothing to spare).

Cut your coat according to your cloth.

273. Kobo e shugoa ke mungoa eone.

The owner is the one to tan the skin.

(a) If you want a thing done, do it yourself.
(b) On n'est jamais si bien servi que par soi-même. (F.)

274. Kobo ga e ke e aparoa ka lotlhono.

A kaross (a skin rug) should never be worn on the reverse side to the fur.

You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

275. Lala ka lobadi.

Never mind, go and sleep over your wound.

Forgive and forget — or:
Before deciding go and sleep over it.

276. Leare go nna melelekelo mebe le tle le ipetololele.

When the chase is badly organized it generally exposes itself to disadvantage.

Too – too will in two.

277. Lebitla ja kgomo ke molomo.

The grave of the ox is the mouth.

 

278. Lecogo ga le timeleloe ke molomo.

The hand never loses its way to the mouth.

 

279. Lecogo le tlhapisa je lengoe.

One hand must wash the other.

One hand washeth the other and both the face.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

280. Le epa le bona mongoa tshimo.

Gleaners work harder when they see the owner of the lands.

The foot of the owner is the best manure for his land.

281. Lefifi le jele nogoana jeone.

Darkness has eaten her own child.

A la chandella la choere semble demoiselle. (F.)

282. Lefoko ga le ke le booa, go booa monoana.

A word (once uttered) can never turn back, only a (pointed) finger can.

A promise once passed is hard to be revoked.

283. Legodu ke je le choeroeng.

The one who is caught is the thief.

Daar zyn meer dieven alser opgehangen worden (con). (D.)

284. Legodu ke je le roloang moroalo.

The thief is the one from whose shoulder the bundle is taken.

This he said because he was a thief and had the bag.

285. Lekgatlakgatla le jele difokoana,
Modikologa o jele pholo ea tona.

Hasty actions killed small game.
Slow proceedings won big game.

Slow-footed counsel is mot sure to gain.
Rashness still brings repentance in her train.

286. Lehufa le apeecoe le lencoe, lencoe ja bucoa lehufa ja sala.

Polygamy was boiled in the same pot as a stone. The stone got soft, and polygamy remained.  1 

(a) One wife is too much for most husbands to bear,
But two at a time there's no mortal can bear.
(b) Les envieux mourront, mais non jamais l'envie. (F.)

287. Leina le senya motse.

The mere mention of a name may destroy the whole town.

It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul —
Let me not name it to you chaste stars,
It is the cause.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

288. Leitlho je le josi le tshabeloa ke selabe.

See: Itlho je le josi.

See: Itlho je le josi.

289. Lemena jaaka, digela morago ke nne ke bone meabo bangoe.

Bechuana hunters' cry for game to tumble into the pitfalls they have dug and covered up.

Pitfalls carefully concealed with boughs.

290. Lemme ga le bolae go bolaea lefifi.

“Take this” does not hurt, only darkness (emptiness) does.

(a) A little is better than none.
(b) Mieux vaut un “tiens” que deux “tu l'auras”. (F.)

291. Lemme ga le bolae, sebe sa mogotlha ke go ea fela.

Take this does not kill, a serious blow is to go empty-handed.

(a) A bit in the morning is better than nothing all day.
(b) Ein “nimm hin” ist besser als zehn “helf Gott”. (G.)

292. Lencoe ga le booe go booa monoana (See Lefoko.)

See: Lefoko ga le ke le.

(a) Like an arrow to its aim flies the good man's word.
(b) A curse will not strike out the eye unless the fist goes with it. (Con.)

293. Lencoe ja kgosi le ageloa mosako.

Always build a fence round the chief's word.

(1) I am king of the Romans, and above grammar. (Emp. Sigismund.)
(2) A verbis legis non est recedendum. (L.)

294. Lencoe ja maabanyane ga le tlhabe kgomo.

The evening word does not kill an ox.

If wishes were horses beggars would ride.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

295. Le pelung ea mo-le-epi.

The success of a scheme depends on the will of the organizer.

(a) Where there's a will there's a way.
(b) A cœur valliant rien impossible. (F.)

296. Le pelung ga le tshitshe.

A secret buried in the heart seldom gives satisfaction.

A fault confessed is half redressed.
A fault denied is twice committed.

297. Leshoetsana ga le lele fela leabo le utloa mashoedi a magolo.

A young bird seldom crows except as it heard the old ones crowing.

As the old cock crows, the young one learns.

298. Lesilo le kgomo ga le tlhaleshoe.

The fool who owns an ox is seldom recognized (as a fool).

The learned pate ducks to the golden fool.

299. Lesilo le laeloa ka bosilo.

A fool should be instructed along foolish lines.

'Tis folly to be wise where ignorance is bliss.

300. Lesilo le tsaloa le matlhale.

A fool is born among the wise.

Every bean has its black.

301. Lesilo sesholo sa matlhale.

A fool is a treasure to the wise.

Les foux font des festins, et les sages les mangent. (F.)

302. Letlaatlaa le motlha mongoe fela.

Noisy festivities are ephemeral.

In the time of mirth, take heed.

303. Le-tla-le-anya, ntoa.

A step-child often means strife.

He that marries a widow and three children marries four thieves.

304. Loare go bona sesha lo se eka-eke lo latlhe segologolo sa lona.

At sight of new styles you always discard your old customs and nurse the new.

Cast not forth thy old water while the new comes in.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

305. Lofetlho lo mamoma loa lotlhanya.

A greasy turn-stick  2  (i.e. one with bits of food adhering to its fork) will often create disputes.

Like dogs that snarl about a bone and play together when they've none.

306. Loleme loa basadi lo lotlhanya metse.

Women's gossip breeds civil wars.

A gossipy woman talks of everybody and everybody of her.

307. Lonyaco ga lo na seipato.

Contempt has no excuse.

 

308. Lorato lo roba ditokololo.

Love paralyzes the joints.

Nothing is great or small,
Nothing is mean or irksome,
Love will hallow it all.

309. Lore go bona nna.

Just as you see me (= I alone survived the catastrophe and am here to tell the story).

 

310. Lo re go bona thola borethe ka ko ntle mo teng e botlhoko.

When you see the outer gloss of the wild apple, you may depend on it that it is bitter inside.

A fair face may hide a foul heart.

311. Lore lo ojoa lo sale metse.

Bend the twig while it is green (said in training the young.

As the twig is bent so the tree inclines.

312. Lo rile kolobe o kana ka poo. (See Erile).

You said a pig was as big as a bull.

Pinto was but a type of thee,
Thou liar of the first magnitude.

313. Loroaneng go tseneloa gongoe.

Into the bush, people (hunters) enter at the same time.

 

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

314. Lo se bone maje jo katogana, bosigo aa atamalana.

When you see stones apart by day you may depend upon it that at night they come together.

Friends may meet but mountains never greet. (Con.)
They that see you by day will not break in upon you at night.

315. Losho lo fa mojeng oa kobo.

Death is at the end of the cloak.

In the midst of life we are in death. (X.)

316. Losho lo golo, ditshego.

Great laughter, greater sorrow.

Gaiety is often the reckless ripple over depths of despair.

317. Lo tla tlhoboga khudu e rathoa.

You will give up (hope) when the tortoise is chopped.

All is not lost that is in danger.

318. Lotlhokoa lo godisa tse dingoe.

Straws foster other straws.

Money brings money.

319. Maano ga a site go sita a losho.

There is a plan for everything but death.

There's a remedy for everything but death.

320. Mabele a basadi botlhe a amusa matlhale.

All women's breasts can feed wise children.

All the wit in the world is not in one head.

321. Mabele maamusa batho.

Corn, the nourisher of the people.

 

321a. Mabogo a mantsi ke a rata tirong, dikgobeng ga ke a rate.

Many hands I like at work, but I do not like them at meals.

There is no brotherhood possible, at any rate stable, between man and man but a brotherhood of labour.

322. Ma-Dipodi ga ipone se se mo tlhogong.

Ma-Dipodi sees not the object on her head.

(a) Men's faults do seldom to themselves appear.
(b) Familiare est hominibus omnia sibi ignoscere. (L.)

323. Maeo le maboo ga a itsioe.

Goings out and comings back are among the things unknown.

 

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

324. Mafatlha a nku a itsioe ke baaneedi.

Twin-lambs are known only to the shepherds.

(a) He who has been in the oven himself knows where to find the pastry.
(b) Die Blumen zu pflegen,
Das Unkraut zu tilgen,
Ist Sache des Gärtners. (G.)

325. Mafoko a bo Gatoe.

Reports of Messrs. They-say (useless hearsay evidence).

(a) “They say so” is half a lie.
(b) Dictum de dicto. (L.)

326. Mafoko a kgotla mantle otlhe.

Forensic arguments are all acceptable.

Fari quas sentiat. (L.)

327. Mafoko a matlhong.

The best news is in the eyes (= the face).

In the forehead and in the eye, the lecture of the mind doth lie.

328. Mafoko ga a lale nageng.

News does not stay a night out on the way.

Ill news travel apace.

329. Mafoko ga a timanoe go timanoa dijo.

News is not to be stinted, only food may be.

Some straw, a room, water and in the fourth place, gentle words,
These things are never to be refused in good men's houses.

330. Magodu a  {  itlhophela.
itoba-tobeletsa.

Thieves take their own choice.

Pickpockets are sure traders, for they take ready money.

331. Magodu ga a ka a coana.

Thieves seldom fall out.

A gambler and a swindler are near neighbours.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

332. Magogo o belaela lomepa.

The honey-badger (ratel) doubts the (honey) comb.

The hog to the honey pots (In the vernacular saying the sense is the same as that of “He smelt a rat.”)

333. Mahura a ratoa gotlhe.

Everybody loves fat (= good things).

He that hides can find.

334. Mahuta maitsioe ke beng.

Their owners alone know them.

Every fox burrows its own hole.

335. Maikaelelo a nogoana' motho!

The resolutions of mortal men are unreliable.

Man proposes, God disposes.

336. Maila go bakoa.

Things hate being praised prematurely.

Do not hallo before you are out of the bush.

337. Maja-polaelo ke uena, maatamela di shutsa.

You weakling who only eat what others killed, and come forward only when the pots are boiling.

He is like a bag pipe, you never hear him till his belly is full.

338. Makgooa a dumela maaka.

White people often believe untruths.

De wereld will bedrogen zyn. (D.)

339. Makikitsana a ma-ja-kgomo le aa ja ga a gadimane, a gadimana ntoeng.

Sons of the Beef-eaters (warriors) never look at one another when they eat; they look at each other in battle.

While the hound gnaweth the bone,
Companion would he have none.

340. Makoloanyane lo tla nna lo mpheta fela, lo ba lo mphitlhela ke ntse ke le fa.

You young folk will pass me by and return to find me still here.

 

341. Malebadi losho, a choana le ke gakiloe.

Absent-mindedness is like death, for it resembles “I have forgotten.”

Men are men, the best sometimes forget.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

342. Malepa maitsioe ke beng.

Tricky puzzles are only known to the tricksters.

Nightingales can sing their own songs best.

343. Mamphoroana maatlhamela babolai.

Young birds will always open their mouths even to those who came to kill them.

It is a silly goose that comes to a fox's sermon.

344. Mangana loco loo phage.

Bulging cheeks, the tribal mark of cats.

This child has a red tongue like its father.

345. 'Ma-Ngoana ke eo o choarang thipa ka bogale.

The mother is she who catches the knife by the blade.

One mother is more venerable than a thousand fathers.

346. Manong a ja ka ditshika.

Vultures eat with their blood relations.

Birds of a feather flock together.

347. Mao lolo ntlha pedi lo tlhaba kobo le moroki.

The double-pointed awl pricks both the material and the sewer.

The same knife cuts both bread and the finger.

348. Maoto a moeng pheko, a sidila babobodi.

Visitors' footfalls are like medicine, they heal the sick.

When friends meet, hearts warm.

349. Maoto a nong ke phofa.

The feet of the vulture are its wings.

Robin that herds on the height.

350. 'Ma-Poo ga nyaloe.

The mother of a bull (influential man) cannot be advantageously married.

Belle, bonne, riche, et sage, est une femme en quatre étages. (F.)

351. Marojana maitisi, mabooa a ikgorosa.

Calves that tend themselves come and go at their own sweet will.

De kat is weg de muis is baas. (D.)

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

352. Marope a bagale melora, ba bonolo ba sa tshedile ka bonolo joa bone.

The dwellings of fierce men become ruins in ashes; the meek live quietly by reason of their meekness.

(a) He that strikes terror into others is himself in continual fear.
(b) He that fights and runs away may live to fight another day.
(c) Deep swimmers and high climbers seldom die in their beds.

353. Marota aa sira-sirana.

Hill-tops hide one another from view.

A dwarf on a giant's shoulder sees further of the two (or: Huge winds blow on high hills).

354. Maru a nale ditladi otlhe.

All clouds have lightning.

Though I am not splenetive and rash, yet have in in me something dangerous.

355. Maru a senang tladi malematsa.

Clouds without thunderstorms are deceptive.

There's no relying on a starry sky.

356. Maru gase pula, mosi ke one molelo.

Clouds do not always denote rain, but smoke is always a sign of fire.

Every cloud engenders not a storm.

357. Maseloana.

A nameless child.

Filius terrae. (L.)

358. Masilo a shule matlhale ale teng.

The unwise die in spite of the presence of the wise.

 

359. Masilo, letlotlo ja matlhale.

Fools are the treasures of the wise.

I never could believe that Providence sent a few men into the world ready booted and spurred to ride, and millions ready saddled and bridled to be ridden. (Rumbold.)


Footnotes & References

#NoteDescription
1LehufaThe literal Translation of Lehufa (polygamy) is jealousy.
2Turn-stickThe Bechuanas used to have forked turn-sticks for stirring meat, porridge, etc., in the pots. When the pot is taken off the fire the turn-stick was usually handed to the child to pick. If much porridge (or stew as the case may be) adhered to the forky of the wooden stick, two or more children shared the picking and often quarrelled for the scrapings.