Fun-Lugha

Your ever reliable language services provider in Tanzania

LESSON #48: Methali…#1

Methali is the Swahili name for a proverb or proverbs. We Africans in general use a lot of ‘methali‘ in our everyday conversations especially when trying to pass on some wisdom or when rebuking say one’s child. There’s hundreds upon hundreds of methali, some with English (or other languages) equivalents and some totally and uniquely Swahili. I will try as much as I can to talk about English equivalents and compare the wordings as well and I would be glad if you all can share different equivalents in your own languages.

Onto methali #1:Mtoto umleavyo ndivyo akuavyo”– this translates to ‘the way you raise a child is the same way they will grow up’ which is pretty much self explanatory I should think. So just to give a scenario, say one’s child has been convicted of a crime and growing up the parent(s) ignored others’ warnings about their child’s bad behaviour, then those same people would now turn around and say this, as in the parents have pretty much ‘reaped what they’ve sown’ . Speaking of which, I guess methali #2 is pretty much set, it will of course be the Swahili equivalent of ‘you reap what you sow’ (which is not exactly a proverb I suppose but since it is one in Swahili then I guess potayto- potahto??)… stay tuned for that.

Akhsanteni!

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