Kotokoli tem language
«Hypotheses on the origin and the meaning of the word- The origins of Tchaoudjo according to a tradition»
28 tem proverbs collected in 1970 in Kadambara
Cɛnɩŋa baa káláwá ná ketéréniika.
The leper has nothing to do with a ring.
Leprosy is a disease that corrodes your fingers.
In this case, ka dán zaḿ alikisánɩ
If the fly can not satisfy the leper, it will not reach the butcher.
The wounds of the leper are so purulent that the fly can do without meat from the butcher.
Ɖugoogoore tán dʋlʋ táárɛ tɔnɖɛ
A scream does not pierce the skin of an antelope.
We must not be content with talking, we must act.
Ba zʋwáana nya nɛ, nyáa sɩ sɩ Caaváádɩ cɔɔ bolíni
As you are carried, you do not realize that Chavadé is far away.
Chavadé is a village tem not far from Sokodé the chief town of the kingdom.
Woríya ndʋʋ waa na ɖɛɛdɛlɛsɩɖɛ nɛ, sɩ sɩ bɔ kɔná yɩ ɩwɛɛlɛɛ bíya
Beneficiary of a generous reception, the hunchback asks to be brought his grandchildren.
The beggar (here a hunchback) is always tempted to abuse the generosity of his benefactors.
A kadaadɩya na kodoovonúm na ɖeezí sɔkɔrɔ sɩ sɩ kʋvʋlʋmɩnɩ nɖɔɔ!
We do not have the right to fault the millet dough because it is black or to give the yam paste reason because it is white.
Justice must be equal for all.
Fɔɔ tán nyasɩ ko bu bɩ tála mʋʋrɛ
The dog does not bite his little one to the bone.
We are less severe towards his people.
Kutoluú tɛn yɛɛná adɛ baaná
Buttocks do not have an interest in getting angry with the ground.
One must know how to forgive when there are interests to be safeguarded.
Ʋgɔm tɛn zɛlɩ ɩsɩɖʋ na nʋvɔ njɔ
The stranger is not the one to whom he returns to seize a body to bury by the feet.
The body of the deceased is led to his grave with his feet in front. The stranger who does not know where the cemetery is, does not have to take it on the side of the feet.
Abɔnɩ jɔ bú tán zɩḿ nyɔɔsɩ
With an old woman, a child never dies of hunger.
Grandmothers are supposed to spoil children. One does not die of thirst near a source.
A súu wɛ, na bɔ tɔɔ kelimbírée
If there is guinea fowl, why eat chicken?
We always aim for the best.
Bú tán mʋzʋ ɩ jaa lábááwʋ bɩ ka ʋ gɔɔ wɛ
As long as his mother lives, the infant will not be forced to suckle his father's purse.
Necessity can lead you to accept what you deem hateful in ordinary times.
Bɛ rɛŋɛná maarɩ wúro na na nyán gbaarɩnáa kɔlɔŋááa
Why bother to look over the wall at a leopard being driven into the public square?
You have to know how to be patient.
A siḿka waa yáa tɛɛwʋ, ka gʋjʋʋ ndáá gɛ bɩn dɛm
The bird that likes to bring rain will have it on his head.
We harvest what we sowed.
Buwá wenka ko zumáa nɛ, kán gbɔwʋ kʋ ʋrʋ
It is when a river is calm that it can be dangerous for the man.
The clothes do not make the man.
Ʋrʋ wen zewɔɔ fálálááwʋ ndaá, ɩɩɛ ɛɛɖɔʋɛɛ, ɩɖɔʋɛɛɛɛ
When someone runs in quackgrass, he is either pursued or pursuing.
Faala cɔwʋ́ gɛ fɩ́nɖɛ nuudi
Cangbɔ́ɔ ndɛ́lɛ mɔɔná kɔ nɔɔ́
Kelimbíre wɛ́n bɛɛ́ nyɛ́ bɛɛŋɩ́ gɛ́ na ɖɩ lɛ́ɛ́ wáámɩ́lɛ nyɛ́ ndɛ́
Kɔjɔɔrɩya ɖíi tán nɩɩ sɩnɖáázɩ
N ɖɔɔndɩ báárɛ tán maazɩ
Aa zɛ́ɛ nɛ́ a da lɩ́ɩ núm, hálɩ atenka
Ba vɩ́nɛ lééléé nɛ́ ba da na wɩlásɩ hálɩ bo
Kɔzɔŋa tén zéé na ka lʋ́rʋ gaalangáálɔɔ́
25 Bán jɩɩdɩ́ sɩ sɩ gúúní waa zɩ́, gúúní ta lʋ́rʋ yáá
Bíya ɖɔɔndɩ gɛ agala ŋmanɖʋ́
A bén zewɔ́ɔ fɔ́ɔ, ka nyɩ sɩ ka galá rɔɔzɩ́ gɛ́
A nyéé ɖíízi njɛm mʋ́tʋ, nyán lɩɩná kʋ yɩ ɖaawɔ́rɔ́