I’m now going through Kasem language notes made long ago on 3×5 index slips. These are providing words and expressions to add to the Kasem dictionary. Here are some proverbs I don’t remember seeing before and an explanation of their meaning. Do we have equivalent proverbs in English?
Ba ba kwei nabeinnu ba ma dole naao.
They don’t throw cow-dung at a cow.
The point of this is that it is not acceptable to make a gift to someone of something they already have in abundance. Taking coals to Newcastle?
Nɔɔno bá wane o faŋe o gaale o tete lunluŋu.
No-one can jump further than their own shadow.
There are limits to human endeavour. This is something like: You can’t pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.
Nɔɔno ba zwɛ kandwa o ke o men-dona wone.
No-one takes a handful of stones and puts them in his millet snack.
You don’t deliberately do something which will harm your own interests. It takes a lot of patient work to remove stones from rice, for example, so you wouldn’t knowingly reverse the process. Any English equivalent?