Swahili Proverbs Sayings

1. Ada ya mja hunena mungwana ni kitendoí

(adduh ya mj-uh who-nen-uh, moon-gwan-uh knee-key-tendo)

translates to:

Public opinion maintains, a gentleman is judged by his actions.


Handsome is as handsome does (sounds like something Forest Gump would say)

2. Akiba haiozi

(ah-key-ba ha-e-o-z)

translates to:

Put something away for a rainy day!

3. Akufaaye kwa dhiki ndiye rafiki.

(ah-ku-fa-yeah kwa thiki nde-yeah raw-feke)

translates to:

A friend in need, is a friend indeed.

4. Asiyekubali kushindwa si mshindani.

(Ah-see-yeah-ku-balli ku-shin-dwa see mshindawny)

translates to:

He who does not accept defeat is no sportsman.

5. Baada ya faraja.

(Bah-dah ya fah-raja)

translates to:

After a hardship comes relief.

Or better known as. ëEvery cloud has a silver lining.í

6. Chema chajiuza, kibaya chajitembeza.

(Che-ma cha-gee-uza, key-by-yah cha-gee-te-mbe-za)

translates to:

A good thing sells itself, a bad thing advertises itself for sale. (Clearance)

7. Damu zito kuliko maji

(Damoo zee-to ku-leeko ma-gee)

translates to:

Blood is thicker than water.

(Iím sure most of us have used this term a few times!)

8. Dawa ya moto ni moto.

(Dawa ya moto nee moto)

translates to:

The remedy to fire is fire. (Tit for tat or an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.)

9. Hakuna masika yasiyokuwa na mbu.

translates to: There is no season of heavy rains without mosquitoes.

translates to:

Another way to put that is to say that, the troubles of one person are usually the pleasure of another.

10. Hapana siri ya watu wawili.

(Hapana see-ree ya wa-too wa-wee-lee)

translates to:

A secret is no secret when it is shared by two people. (Three can keep a secret if two are dead.)

11. Kawia ufike.

translates to:

Better late than never!

(Now this is one to definitely remember!)

12. Mstahimilivu hula mbivu.

translates to:

A patient man will eat ripe fruits. Patience will be rewarded.

13. Penye nia pana njia.

translates to:

Where there is a will there is a way.

14. Usipoziba ufa, utajenga ukuta.

translates to:

If you do not fill up a crack, you will have to build a wall. In other words it means, ìA stitch in time saves nine.î

15. Wapingapo fahali wawili, ziumiazo ni nyasi.

translates to:

When two bulls fight, it is the grass that suffers.

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