Borana Culture 

Borana Proverbs with English Translation Part 3

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The speech of the Borana is an Oromo langauge closely related to the speech of two other Oromo groups, the Arsi and the Guji. These three closely related forms of the Oromo language family are classified together as one language under the name Borana-Arsi-Guji Oromo. Since the speech of these three peopls is mutually-intelligible, the speech of these three peoples are officially classified as dialects of the one language under their individual names.


In Ethiopia the speech of these eoples along with the separate langauges of other Oromo peoples are often commonly called simply Oromo. The Oromo languages are members of the Eastern Cushite family of the Afro-Asiatic languages. In Kenya the language is usually called Borana.


Here is part 3 of Borana community proverbs translated in English

  1. Qarro nafii ill

English : The body of a wise person has eyes

  1. Gowa man it naqi, qarro fuul it debis.

English : Lead a fool into the house but just show the path to the wise .

  1. Saa bor dhalule wahin egatine.

English : Even if the cow may give birth tomorrow, there has to be something to feed on till then.

  1. Galanat walt yaa male, garachi walt iyau.

English : Rivers flow into each other but stomach do not.

  1. Dubbi qamna, hujji gamnat irjira.

English : It’s more pleasing to hear of someone busy with work, than hearing of them busy handling dispute.

  1. Galatan gati injenne, achuman bad injenne.

English : I did not ask for a payback for a generous act, nor did expect it to disappear altogether.

  1. Garrin wanjetu, yaadi taka, firin gargar.

English : Even people who share the same opinions have different individual thoughts.

  1. Dukubi iyeesa, madha binensa.

English : A poor man’s ailment is like a wild animal wound.

  1. It gomti balla ilti d’ooti, jet nad’een.

English : Women’s say that it’s fairer for the blind man that his eyes are gouged out.

  1. Ma qaqaria demt ak dures belae.

English : Why are you staggering like a rich man who is hungry; they ask.

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