Ila proverbs

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Ila is a language spoken by 106,000 people in Zambia, formerly called Northern Rhodesia.

Beak[edit]

  • Kula-kula, vu.
    • Translation: To clean the beak by rubbing it on the ground.
    • English equivalent: The remedy is often worse than the disease; Burn not your house to rid it of the mouse.
    • Meaning: The effect of a treatment or bodily enhancement, whether pharmaceutical or not, whether a household remedy or professional-ordained, is often worse than what it was intended to cure or alleviate.
    • Source for meaning and proverb: G. Fowler, Dennis (2000). A Dictionary of Ila Usage, 1860-1960. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 311. 

Clothing[edit]

  • Ndaakusamine ceci cicona nicibiya, kufumba umbili oobaka
    • Translation: I have put these ugly skins on, but at least they cover my body.
    • English equivalent: Make do with what you have.
    • Meaning: Though what you may use may seem ugly, it still performs its original purpose.
    • Source for meaning and proverb: G. Fowler, Dennis (2000). A Dictionary of Ila Usage, 1860-1960. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 22.