MALAGASY PROVERBS

Afa-baraka toy ny voakaikitry ny amboa kely tiana.
Disgraced like a man whose own pet bites him.

Aleo mandahy tsy handeha toy izay manaiky tsy ho lasa.
It is better to refuse than to accept and not to go.

Ataovy dian-tana: jerena ny aloha, todihana ny afara.
Behave like the chameleon: look forward and observe behind.

Ataovy fihavanam-bava sy tanana: raha marary ny tanana mitsoka ny vava, ary raha marary ny vava manafosafo ny tanana.
Be like the mouth and the hand: when the hand is hurt the mouth blows on it, when the mouth is hurt the hand rubs it.

Aza atao fihavanam-bato ka raha tapaka tsy azo atohy, fa ataovy fihavanam-by raha tapaka azo atohy.
May your friendship not be like a stone: if it breaks you cannot put the pieces together. May it be like iron: when it breaks, you can weld the pieces back together.

Aza manaitra vorona ho tifirina.
Do not scare the birds you are going to shoot.

Aza manao fitia ranotrambo: be fihavy fa mora lasa.
May your love not be like a torrent: it comes heavy at first but disappears in a very short time.

Aza manao fitia varavarana, tiana ihany ka atositosika.
Do not treat your loved one like a swinging door: you are fond of it but you push it back and forth.

Aza manao toy ny mpanankarena mahihitra ka mihary ho an’ny mpandevina.
Do not be like a miser who saves for those who will bury him.

Aza mitady tany malemy hanorenam-pangady.
Do not waste your time looking for soft ground to drive your spade in.

Aza mitsipa-doha laka-nitana.
Do not kick away the canoe which helped you to cross the river.

Enjehin’ny zavatra ataony toy ny mpanakalo rano tratry ny orana.
Done in by his own trade like a water merchant in the rain.

Faly malahelo toy ny manantena handova.
Both happy and sad like someone who hopes to inherit by his father’s death.

Ilay kamo mihindran’angady ka “Aza mahita anie aho”.
The lazy man who goes to borrow a spade: “I hope I will not find one”.

Izay marary andriana.
Sick people are like kings.

Kely fantatr’olona toa kary.
Small but notorious like a wildcat.

Manao ho izaho toy ny katsaka nefa ladinin’ny tsaramaso.
You think you are strong like the corn plant, yet the bean vine is already choking you.

Manita-draharaha toy ny sima misioka.
Making life hard for himself like a harelipped person who whistles.

Miova andriana miova sata.
When you change kings, you change customs.

Misao-bady tanora ka manome zara ny sasany.
Divorce a young woman and you make another man happy.

Ny alahelo toy ny vary an-tsompitra: ahafahana iray fatambary isan’andro dia levona ihany ny farany.
Sorrow is like rice in an attic: you use a little every day and in the end it is all gone.

Ny atody tsy miady amim-bato.
An egg does not fight a rock.

Ny fitia toy ny ketsa ka raha afindra dia maniry.
Love is like a young rice plant: if you transplant it, it will grow.

Ny fo tezitra tsy ananan-drariny.
By getting angry, you show you are wrong.

Ny harena toy ny volon’orona: kely alana maharary, be alana maharary.
Wealth is like hair in the nose: it hurts to be separated whether from a little or from a lot.

Ny ho vadina betsaka fa ny ho rafozanina no ts’isy.
A good wife is easy to find, but suitable in-laws are rare.

Ny lakana tsy mahalala andriana fa rehefa rendrika lena avokoa.
A canoe does not know who is king. When it turns over, everyone gets wet.

Ny maty tsy miandry manenona.
The dying person cannot wait for the shroud to be woven.

Ny teny toy ny atody: raha foy manan’elatra.
Words are like eggs: when they are hatched they have wings.

Ny vodisobika aza manan-tandrify.
Even the bottom of a basket finds something to hold.

Ny vola toy ny vahiny: tonga anio, lasa rahampitso.
Money is like a guest: it comes today, leaves tomorrow.

Ny vy tsy mikotrana irery.
Iron does not clang by itself.

Raha hendry loholona hendry vahoaka.
When the leaders are wise, so are the people.

Raha lasa ny mamba misosoka ny voay.
When the crocodiles leave, the caimans come.

Raha voatohina ny aty, marary ny afero.
When the liver is hurt, the bile is affected.

Sakafo masaka ts’isy tompony.
The food which is prepared has no master.

Tanalahy miani-kazo: ny tanana mamikotra, ny rambo misafelika.
Chameleon climbing a tree: the feet cling, the tail holds fast.

Toy ny amboa nivahiny: tonga tsy nahafaly, lasa tsy nahatezitra.
Like the stray dog which came in town: its arrival made no one happy, and its departure caused no regret.

Tsikirity momba fody: tsy tompon-dia fa mpanaraka.
A sparrow among the cardinals: not a leader but a follower.

Tsy ny donak’afo no mahafana ny trano fa ny mpivady mifanaraka.
It is not the fire in the fireplace which warms the house, but the couple who get along well.

Tsy misy mafy tsy laitry ny zoto.
Nothing is so difficult that diligence cannot master it.

Vady hariana be tsiny, zanak’olon-tsy vadina toa soa.
A man finds many faults in a woman when he wants to divorce, and finds many charms in one’s fiancee.

Valala tsy an-tanana tsy atolo-jaza.
One can’t give a grasshopper to a child if one has not caught it yet.

Varimbarian’ny lavitra ka tsy mahita izay ambany maso.
Distracted by what is far away, he does not see his nose.

Vatofalia sy vanja: isaky ny mihaona mitselatra ihany.
Flint and gunpowder: every time they meet there is an explosion.

Very indroa toa tain-kisoa.
Twice rejected like pig’s dung.

Volombodin’akoholahy: malaza tsara ihany fa aorian’ny namany.
Roosters’ tail feathers: pretty but always behind.