Ewe Proverbs(Lododowo) And Their English Translations_READ

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Proverbs serve as a means of identifying the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of a people. They are practical truths and beliefs of a people as a result of how those truths and beliefs have worked for them. Ewes, like many other ethnic groups in Ghana have innumerable truths and beliefs which they refer to as ‘Lododowo’ literally known as proverbs. It is not known exactly when proverbs begun with the Ewes. To the Ewes, proverbs serve as carriers of their philosophies, psychology, sociology, history and general way of life which helps in shaping their society in the way that would benefit them as a people (Atiase, 2012). In other words, these symbolic expressions are a means of communicating their ideas, values, beliefs, feelings, attitudes and behaviours to people. Proverbs are communicated both aurally and visually. Aurally, it is communicated through oral speech, music or literature. The use of symbols, drawings and sculpture works are tangible visual means of communicating proverbs. Proverbs are however sometimes said to be the source of symbols (Atiase, 2012). Ewe proverbs have aesthetic and educational bedrocks to it. To be able to understand and decipher the proverbial language of the Ewes, it demands rational and critical reasoning and thinking. The proverbs are for everyone both young and old. The following are selected Ewe proverbs gathered from researchers and books with their literal translation and possible meaning.

1. ‘Aɖata sɔ hã, mͻ le eme.’ Literal Translation: Although the grass looks even, there are paths in between. (Agbemenu, 2010)

2. ‘Ade ɖitsa kple lã ɖitsa yae doa go.’ Literal Translation: A very experienced hunter will surely meet an experienced wild animal. (Vigbedor 2011)

3. ‘Aƒe eve me gbɔ̃, gbɔdome wͻtsina.’ Literal Translation: A goat that belongs to two homes, is always left outside the home and as such is left unattended to. (Agbemenu, 2010)

4. ‘Afia ɖe kpɔkpɔ nyo wu ya me kpɔkpɔ.’ Literal Translation: Starring somewhere else is better than starring in the air or into space. (Kpodonu, 2008)

5. ‘Afɔkpa dotͻ mesia nudza o’ Literal Translation: Anyone who wears shoes is never weary of thorns. (Massiasta, 2003)

6. ‘Afɔ me yi na nugbe eye atagba tsi na aƒe o.’ Literal Translation: The foot does not go on a mission and leaves the thigh at home. (Massiasta, 2003)

7. ‘Agaga lolo me ƒle na agaga eve ƒe nu o.’ Literal Translation: One big cowry cannot be used to buy what two cowries can afford. (Kpodonu, 2008)

8. ‘Akpakpaxe mekpɔ zi o wͻbe yeadu fia.’ Literal Translation: The duck does not even have a throne, yet it wants to be king. (Massiasta, 2003)

9. ‘Amagbale gbe nuti ha nye ame na eƒe fometowo.’ Literal Translation: A leaf of a shrub is also a member of the shrub family. (Massiasta, 2003)

10. ‘Amedzro nkugaa, menyá xɔdome mɔ o.’ Literal Translation: A stranger with big eyes cannot know the secret paths of the community. (Agbemenu, 2010)

11. ‘Amekuku ƒo trͻ megbea yɔme yi o.’ Literal Translation: A dead person who keeps tormenting the people carrying its corpse will eventually go to the grave. (Agbemenu, 2010)

12. ‘Amenɔvi menɔa yokuti dzi woɖua gbogboa o.’ Literal Translation: Your own brother cannot be on the fruit tree and you eat the green fruits. (Agbemenu, 2010)

13. ‘Asi ɖeka melea todzo o.’ Literal Translation: One hand cannot catch a buffalo. (Agbemenu, 2010)

14. ‘Ati ɖeka me wͻa eve o.’ Literal Translation: A single tree does not make a forest. (Kpodonu, 2008)

15. ‘Ɖe tsitsime aha nɔ na. Literal Translation: The older palm trees, produces more wine. (Agbemenu, 2010)

16. ‘Ɖe wotana hafi dzea azɔli.’ Literal Translation: A person must first crawl before walking. (Agbemenu, 2010)

17. ‘Devi ka akplẽ gã mekaa nya gã o.’ Literal Translation: A child cuts big mussels of “akplẽ” but does not cut big matters. (Agbemenu, 2010)

18. ‘Devi masetoŋu aŋͻkae kua to nɛ.’ Literal Translation: A child who does not listen to advice, the thorn bush grabs his ears. (Azameti, 2015)

19. ‘Devi si nya asikͻklͻ nyuie lae ɖua ŋu kple Fiawo.’ Literal Translation: A child who knows how to wash his hands properly, eats with the elders. (Agbemenu, 2010)

20. ‘Dɔ bu me ɖu na nu eye dɔ bu de na asi o.’ Literal Translation: An empty stomach cannot be constipated in place of the one who has received food (Agbemenu, 2010)

21. ‘Du aɖe woƒe gbagbã yae nye du aɖe woƒe tutu.’ Literal Translation: The downfall of some nations is the upsurge of other nations (Vigbedor, 2011) 21

22. ‘Du ɖesiaɖe kple eƒe koklo koko.’ Literal Translation: Every town with its way of dressing a chicken. (Vigbedor, 2011)

23. ‘Dzigbɔɖi wotsɔ kɔa anyidi hafi kpɔa eƒe dɔkaviwo.’ Literal Translation: It takes patience to be able to dissect an ant to see its intestines. (Agbemenu, 2010)

24. ‘Ge me tu na xona aɖaba o.’ Literal Translation: The beard does not build a house for the eyebrow. (Agbemenu, 2010)

25. ‘Gbɔ̃ tokpo mefia nya vi o.’ Literal Translation: A goat with cut ears can’t counsel her children’ (Agbemenu, 2010)

26. ‘Akpakpavi medoa akͻlɔ̃e o.’ Literal Translation: A nestling dove should not doze (Azameti, 2015)

27. ‘Kpo menɔa nyi wotsɔa asi gbɔlo wua da o.’ Literal Translation: When you have a club, you don’t kill a snake with the bare hands (Massiasta, 2003)

28. ‘Mawue wɔ asi gake asibidewo katã mesɔ o.’ Literal Translation: God made the hands, but the fingers are not equal (Massiasta, 2003)

29. ‘Ne ati aɖe le nya dim ɣesiaɣi le fiá wo ŋuti la, mumu yae le dzrom.’ Literal Translation: A tree which provokes the axe wishes to be cut down (Kpodonu, 2008)

30. ‘Ne lo lolo hã la azi me vi koe wo nye.’ Literal Translation: No matter how big a crocodile is, it is still hatched from an egg. (Vigbedor, 2011)

31. ‘Ne ŋkugbagbãtɔ aɖe be ye le kpe da ge la, eƒe afɔ le kpe la dzi xoxo.’ Literal Translation: When a blind person says that he will throw a stone, he has already had his foot on the stone. (Vigbedor, 2011)

32. ‘Nukoe wu ame wotsɔ fiayi sẽ ati.’ Literal Translation: Circumstances compel one to cut a tree with a royal sword (Massiasta, 2003)

33. ‘Nuɣeɖutɔ menyana be dɔto o.’ Literal Translation: The food-beggar does not know when it is famine (Agbemenu, 2010)

34. ‘Nyɔnu gbe a atsu megbea ayiɖa o.’ Literal Translation: A woman can divorce a man but never divorces a comb (Azameti, 2015)

35. ‘Safui sesèe ʋua ga ʋɔ.’ Literal Translation: It is a strong key that opens a door of riches (Azameti, 2015)

36. ‘Ta menɔa anyi klo ɖͻa kuku o.’ Literal Translation: In the presence of the head the knees does not wear a hat. (Massiasta, 2003)

37. ‘Tɔmedela yae gbáa ze.’ Literal Translation: It’s only the one who goes to fetch water that accidentally breaks the pot (Atiase, 2012)

38. ‘Xexi menoa kekea yi zu o.’ Literal Translation: An open umbrella is not taken to a grove (Massiasta, 2003)

39. ‘Ze mabimabi meyia tɔ gbo to.’ Literal Translation: A half-baked pot is not taken to pond (Massiasta, 2003)

40. ‘Zego yibͻ mee akatsa ɣi la do go tso.’ Literal Translation: It is from the black pot that the white porridge comes from.(Vigbedor, 2011)

41. ‘Zigā menye fia o.’ Literal Translation: The possessor of a big stool is not necessarily a king (Azameti, 2015)


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