Madagascar Proverbs

Disgraced like a man whose own pet bites him.

It is better to refuse than to accept and not to go.

Behave like the chameleon: look forward and observe behind.

Do not scare the birds you are going to shoot.

May your love not be like a torrent: it comes heavy at first but disappears in a very short time.

Do not treat your loved one like a swinging door: you are fond of it but you push it back and forth.

Do not be like a miser who saves for those who will bury him.

Do not waste your time looking for soft ground to drive your spade in.

Do not kick away the canoe which helped you to cross the river.

Done in by his own trade like a water merchant in the rain.

Both happy and sad like somenone who hopes to inherit by his father’s death.

Sick people are like kings.

You think you are strong like the corn plant, yet the bean vine is already choking you.

Making life hard for himself like a harelipped person who whistles.

When you change kings, you change customs.

Divorce a young woman and you make another man happy.

Sorrow is like rice in an attic: you use a little every day and at the end it is all gone.

An egg does not fight a rock.

Love is like a young rice plant: if you transplant it, it will grow.

By getting angry, you show you are wrong.

Wealth is like hair in nose: it hurts to be separated whether from a little or from a lot.

A good wife is easy to find, but suitable in-laws are rare.

A canoe does not know who is king – when it turns over, everyone gets wet.

The dying person cannot wait for the shroud to be woven.

Words are like eggs: when they are hatched they have wings.

Even the bottom of a basket finds something to hold.

Money is like a guest: it comes today, leaves tomorrow.

Iron does not clang by itself.

When the leaders are wise, so are the people.

When the crocodiles leave, the caimans come.

When the liver is hurt, the bile is affected.

The food which is prepared has no master.

Chameleon climbing a tree: the feet cling, the tail holds fast.

Like the stray dog which came in town: its arrival made no one happy, and its departure caused no regret.

A sparrow among the cardinals: not a leader but a follower.

It is not the fire in the fireplace which warms the house, but the couple who get along well.

Nothing is so difficult that diligence cannot master it.

A man finds many faults in a woman when he wants to divorce, and finds many charms in one’s fiancee.

One can’t give a grasshopper to a child if one has not caught it yet.

Distracted by what is far away, he does not see his nose.

Flint and gunpowder: every time they meet there is an explosion.

Roosters’ tail feathers: pretty but always behind.

Let your love be like the misty rain; coming softly, but flooding the river.

Life is a shadow and a mist; it passes quickly by and is no more.

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