Sudanese Arabic Proverbs

Learning proverbs in a foreign language is a great way of expressing your sense of humour about certain situations without having to try and make jokes that might not really be appropriate.

While in England during the summer I heard an old proverb being used to describe the admiration that a mother had for her children: “all her geese are swans” Which means that in a mother’s eyes her children are the most beautiful and special children in the world. Of course all children should be lovely in their own mother’s eyes but there are occasions when some mothers lose their sense of reality!

This reminded me of a couple of very similar proverbs that we have in Sudanese Arabic.

Al khunfusaana shaafat walada fil Heet gaalat da looli malDuum fii kheet.

This translates as: The dung beetle saw her ugly son on the wall and said he looks like a pearl beads on a string.

Another proverb with a similar meaning is: al girid fii ‘een ummu ghazaal.

This translates as: the monkey is in his mother’s eyes a deer.


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