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Proverbs

Fest kôrta ganv, pirjentichem nanv

The jubilee is celebrated by the village, but to bask in the glory is the president’s privilege”      The literal translation of the proverb would be: “The village celebrates the feast; the ‘president’ gets the name. ” When the people from a village celebrate their feast, someone from the village either volunteers or is … Continue reading »

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Donui vhoddeanr pãy, ekay vhoddear nãy

If across two boats you stay put, you will end up on neither foot Donui vhoddeanr pãy, ekay vhoddear nãy literally means: “If you plant your feet across two boats, you will find yourself on neither”. Life’s choices are often limited. It is certainly frustrating not to have the object of your desire. But if … Continue reading »

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Mãy nasleleak bara mãyô

A motherless teen has mothers umpteen “Mãy nasleleak bara mãyô” literally means “one who has no mother has twelve mothers”. However, the number twelve actually means “numerous”, and is  more or less equivalent to the words “umpteen” and “zillion”  in English usage. We see the word bara used in in a similar way in the proverb … Continue reading »

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Muy zaunk zai ani sakhor khaunk zai

If you want to eat sugar, then first become an ant Literally: One must become an ant and (= to) eat sugar

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Redde-padde zhogoddtat, zhaddar kall!

Bulls and buffaloes are battling (with each other); the tree gets the beating! It’s a situation that occurs regularly in the world of nature but has several parallels in the world of man: the mighty and powerful try their stunts; the helpless innocent bear the brunt. When armies wage war, civilians perish, infants vanish and … Continue reading »

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Nhal’li-dhul’li ostori ani xenn kaddul’li dorthori

A clean bathed lady on a cowdung smeared floor An awful portrait, don’t you think? But it isn’t quite as revolting as you might think. In those days, cow-dung floors were the norm, and “cow-dunging” a floor was like painting a wall: the floor would be prepared by scraping off some of the old dried … Continue reading »

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Mel’lê mhoxik bara xer dud

A dead buffalo yields 12 seers of milk Literally: Twelve seers of milk to the dead buffalo.  The dative (to the … ) has the meaning of has. Thus: a dead she-buffalo has twelve seers of milk. That amount of yield for a single Indian female buffalo is beyond normal expectations and therefore isn’t true. … Continue reading »

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