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Teda Proverbs

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To give you a taste of Chadian Proverbs, we present to you some Teda proverbs from the book "Daga Tudagaa : Ktab Njnju-in". The homeland of the Teda people is the Barda mountain region of Chad, near the Libyan border. For more information about this book, please contact us directly.

Sara proverbs


Agurnun gubia tede daamo, gishi ye!
If you don`t want your contemporary to get ahead, give him a loan.
Debts keep one from getting ahead.

Shin cubin, soun cubunnodi boz.
One who eats the ear will not rest without eating the eye.
"Give him an inch, and he'll take a mile."

Kdi hi gshi labannun.
Don't let a dog guard the ribs.

Gnei di gi tugopoo, dli di ashi curuuwo gali.
When we slit the [goat's] throat improperly, it's important to skin it properly.
When we begin something on the wrong foot, we must work hard to finish well.

Yuzo y durdo y yum turo hoscini.
The king like the sun will appear one day.
Famous people can't hide.

Goni hi gndun, kruni hi hunaktun.
One cannot hide on a camel, and one cannot conceal one's footprints in the sand.
"Don't beat around the bush."

Ba numma bo-in, bo di tammo, dahu yuzo di wadun.
If you don't consider the relative of your relative as your relative, you cannot be saved (helped).
Your in-laws are part of your protection in case of danger.

Ko numma mde hikoo, dahu numma burawuni kcini.
When your mouth learns certain words, a concussion will arise.
A smart aleck adolescent will end up with a concussion one day [from being hit in the head so often].

Aba murdom yidado, ba murdom yidann yug.
There is no one who has ten fingers who does not have ten relatives.
You are not alone.  Your family is always there to help you.

Dagunu dre cunnukan lore cuat.  Gorsu bidenu cn, yara cuat.
When a girl is fertile, even the head of the family cannot refuse her bringing into the world a child.  In a war where there are already casualties, even mediators cannot keep it from continuing.
The decision of God is irrevocable.

Mdi y tni y, turo, hi ndinai.
A matter and a container have a beginning.
Never change a word in a judgement.

Wni y adibi y, turo, kunu yug.
There is no such thing as a small fire or a small woman.

Yuhadu njennan ha mdi yen! Turci njennan ha labana yen!
To the one who doesn't support you in speech, don't give him a word; to the one who doesn't watch out for you, don't confide in him.
Don't put your faith in someone who is untrustworthy.

Wroei nushi gunu.
Precaution is not fear.
Protecting oneself or being careful is not the same thing as being afraid.

Widenu soun cd; kazu zun yogur.
An eye does not kill a gazelle; saliva does not break a fast.
It is useless to wish for something someone else has.

Click here to view the Sara Proverbs Page

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Surely, the Teda aren't the only Chadians who have significant proverbs to share with everyone!  Please, take the time to send us a few proverbs from your area of the country by e-mail, and thank you in advance!

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