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Malayalam proverbs - Wikiquote

               
 

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Malayalam proverbs

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This page is for proverbs from Malayalam language, one of the 21 official languages in India.

   

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A

             

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Aana Vayil Ambazhanga.

               
 

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Literal:a small fruit in an elephant's mouth.

           
 

Translation: Too small an amount for a very large need.

         
   

English equivalent :

               

Ariyethra? Payar anjaazhi.

               

Toolbox

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.

                 
   

Literal :How much rice you have? I have enough beans.

         

In other languages

 

Translation: Getting wrong answer for a question asked

         
   

English equivalent: Answer to the point

           
 

Ariyaatha pillakku choriyumbol ariyum.

           
   

.

                 
   

Literal:The ignorant child learns when it itches.

           
   

Translation: If people don't realise the magnitude of a problem, they shall do so the hard way; as it hits them. (gist)

 
     

English equivalent:

               
 

Aanakaaryam Pareyumbol Aano Chenakkaryam?

         
   

?

                 
   

Literal: When you are discussing about elephant don't talk about yam matters.

   
   

Translation: Do not bring up small issues during major problems.

     
     

English equivalent:

               
 

Araante ammakku pranthu pitichaal kaanaan nalla chellu.

     
     

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Literal: If somebody's mother goes mad, it is a good scene to watch.

     
   

Translation: It is always enjoyable to make fun of others tragedy till it actually hits you.

   
     

English equivalent:

               
 

Aadariyunnuvo angadi vaanibham.

             
   

?

                 
   

Literal: Does the goat understand the butcher market trade

       

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Malayalam_proverbs[10/25/2010 12:46:07 PM]

Malayalam proverbs - Wikiquote

Aadukidannaduthu pooda polum illa. Literal: An action has been done without leaving an evidence. Aarku
Aadukidannaduthu pooda polum illa.
Literal: An action has been done without leaving an evidence.
Aarku badha koodiyalum kozhikku kidakkaporuthi illa.
Literal: No matter who ever is possesed,the chicken is the one who suffers.
Translation:
Arukkum munpu pidakkalle.
Literal: Don't wiggle before u're slaugtered.
Translation: Keep Patience.
B
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Brahmavinaano aayusenu panchangam?
literal translation:Does God have limitation of age?
C
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Chakkinu Vechatu Kokkinu Kondu.
Trap made for some one, but got trapped someone else
Bengali equivalent:
,
English equivalent :
Chakkikotha Chankaran.
Made for each other.
Bengali equivalent: );)
English equivalent :
chemmeen chadiyal muttolam, pinnem chadiyal chattiyolam.
D
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E
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Eliye pedichu illam chudaruthu.
Literal translation : Fearing a rat don't burn your house.
English equivalent : Don't overreact.
Ezhavan Eechaku Thulyam - It shows the bad habits .In past days Svarna kept Ezhava from
many feets.
G
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Gathikettal puli pullum thinnum Literal: Even a tiger will eat grass in extreme conditions
H
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I
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Ikkare nilkumbol akkare pacha
The other side of the river is greener.
For example:- When you are doing a work you feel it is very hard and the other works are very
easy.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Malayalam_proverbs[10/25/2010 12:46:07 PM]

Malayalam proverbs - Wikiquote

English equivalent : The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence
English equivalent : The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence
Ikyamathyam mahabalam.
Literal: Unity is strength.
English equivalent :
J
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K
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'Kaakka kulichaal kokku aakummow:?
If crow baths, will it become a crane (trans)
English equivalent :
kupayil kalanjalum, alannu kalayanam.
,
.
Even waste should be measured and discarded. (translation)
English equivalent :
Kurangande kayil poomala.
(It is like giving a garland to a monkey).
Kurangu kaiyile poo malai (Tamil
English equivalent :
Kakkakkum than kunju pon kunju.
Literal: Even for a crow, its own baby is a treasure
Translation: Own creations will be invaluable, even though it may not be so for others.
English equivalent :
Kurakkunna Patti Kadikkilla.
Barking Dog Seldome Bite.
English equivalent :
kurangande kayyill poomala kittiyathu pole. monkey got a garmond and he
destroys it. if we got any chance we will think it is not good
L
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M
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Muttethe Mullakku Manamilla.
.
Literal meaning: The jasmine shrub in your front yard has no fragrance.
We seldom recognise the value of people near to you**
English equivalent :
Moothavarude vaakum muthu nellikayum aadhyam kaykum, pinne madhurikkum.
Obey what the elders tell you, at first they may sound sour, later it will be sweet. (trans)
The original proverb in old Malayalam is thus: *Moothavar chollum muthu nellikka; aadhyam kaykkum
pinne madhurikkum.
An elders advice is like gooseberries; at first sour then sweet. (trans)
English equivalent :
Mookilla Rajyathu Murimookkan Rajavu.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Malayalam_proverbs[10/25/2010 12:46:07 PM]

Malayalam proverbs - Wikiquote

(In the land of people with no nose, the half-nosed man is King) Similar to
(In the land of people with no nose, the half-nosed man is King)
Similar to "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king". Or "Among illiterate people, a
half-literate is a scholar."
English equivalent :
Minnunnathellaam ponnalla.
English equivalent :All that glitters is not gold.
Maththa kuthiya kumbalam mulakimo.
You cant reap a cucumber if you sow a pumpkin.
English equivalent :As u sow so u reap
Mulla poompodi eetu kidakkum kallinum undaam saurabhyam.
Our behaviour also depends on the company that we have
English equivalent :
N
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Nadukadalil chennalum naaya nakkiye kudikku.
Even if you take a dog to the middle of the ocean, a dog will only lap water, not drink it.
You do what you are, hence you are what you do. (English equivalent).
English equivalent :
Nallathe ariyo nayike.
Literal: What does a dog know about the good things.
Translation: Someone who can't understand can't appreciate.
English equivalent: Laying pearls before swine.
English equivalent :
Nanam illathavante aasanathil aalu kilichaal athu avanu oru thanal aayirikyum.
If a peepal tree grows out of a shameless man's butt, it will be a shade for him.
Shameless people are not bothered by anything, however unsightly and offensive. (English
equivalent).
English equivalent :
O
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Odunna pattikku oru muzham munpe
throw a stone ahead of a running dog to hit it
Onam vannaalum Unni pirannaalum korante kumbilil kanji thanne.
Be it Onam
(trans)
, be it the birth of a child, the layman gets served his gruel in a tiny container.
Whatever be the occasion, there is no advantage for poor people. Poor people remain
poor. (Gist)
Onnukil Aashante nenjath, allenkil Kallarikku purath. (Malayalam)
(During the traditional Kerala Martial arts practice, the trainee is either flinging himself at the
chest of the instructor or landing outside the arena
Dabbling in extremes is not helpful
Othu pidichal malayum porum, Othillenkil Malannu Veezhum.
Literal meaning: With combined effort, even a mountain can be moved. With differences, you would
fall flat.
United we stand. Divided we fall. (English equivalent)
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http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Malayalam_proverbs[10/25/2010 12:46:07 PM]

Malayalam proverbs - Wikiquote

P Paashaanatthil krimi. Worm of the poison (so used to address someone inimically, saying this
P
Paashaanatthil krimi.
Worm of the poison (so used to address someone inimically, saying this person can survive in
poison so is very poisonous himself)
Palam Kadakkuvolam "Narayana Narayana" Palam Kadannal "Korayana
Korayana".
Praise the somebody upto gain, then afterdisregard him.
Pinnem Chankaran Thengel.
Still repeating the same type of mistakes.
Pattikku muzhuvan thenga kittiyathu pole.
(Like a dog that gets a whole coconut.)
Used in the event of someone getting something that they cannot use.
Papi chellunnidam paathaalam.
sinner goes to hell
(It's a hell wherever a sinner goes)
Said of those who seem to have all the bad luck.
Pen chollu kettavanu peruvazhi aadhaaram.
(He who listens to a woman will end up on the street--that is, he will be reduced to begging in
the street.)
Said to any man who is so enamoured of a woman that he does not bother to use his own
judgement, but blindly agrees to her wishes.
Payyethinnal panayum thinnam.
Eat slowly, you can eat even a palm. (trans)
take your time, you can complete anything.
Pala thulli peru vellam.
Many drops of water make a large water body
English equivalent : Little drops of water makes the mighty ocean.
Poathinoadu vedham oadheettu karyam illa.
Pen budhi pin budhi
Swantham pallu kuthi natikaruthu
dont show our personal status
Pazham chollil pathirilla
Old sayings contain no hollow grains
Proverbs were made with high wisdom
Puthan Achi Pura Puram Thukkum"
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R
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Rogi ichichathum palu, vaidyan kalpichathum palu.
(The patient wanted milk and the doctor prescribed milk).
This is what you say when things turn out fine under circumstances expected to be harsh.
S
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http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Malayalam_proverbs[10/25/2010 12:46:07 PM]

Malayalam proverbs - Wikiquote

sampathu kaalathu thai pathu nattal apathu kalathu kay pathu thinnaam! T [edit] Thanikku thaanum, purakku
sampathu kaalathu thai pathu nattal apathu kalathu kay pathu thinnaam!
T
[edit]
Thanikku thaanum, purakku thoonum.
In need you will have help from your side only as if a pillar is helpful for a shaking home.
Similar to the saying that while you cries nobody will accompany but while you laugh
thousands will be there with you.
Thala Irikkumbol, Valu-attaruthu.
When Head (elders) are present, tail should not wag (let them decide).
Thala marannu enna thekaruthu.
(Don't forget the head when applying oil to your body)
Should always remember the things (favour done to us) in priority
Don't forget the past
U
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Undaal Ksheenam thendikkum.
"Even a beggar will get tired after having food"
It means ,even if the person is a hardworker or the one who never rests,having more food will make
him tired.
V
[edit]
velukkaan thechathu paandaayi.
Literal: Excessive washing to get fair, may result in white splotches on the skin (i.e.
leucodermia)
Overdoing something will result in an unwanted consequence.
Vinasha kale viparetha budhi.
When your destruction is near, your thoughts and actions will also fail you (i.e. lead you to your
destruction)
Vaadi Prati Aayi.
Literal: plaintif became the culprit
Vadi Koduthe Adi Madikkuka.
Literal: Get hit by the stick you provided
Vaidyan kalpichathum roogi itchichedum paal.
Literal: What doctor prescribed and what patient wanted were same
Kannada equivalent: rOgi bayasiddu haalUanna, vaidya hEliddU haalUanna.
Vaidyan Oothi Oothi Pilla Keninju Keniju.
Literal: Doctor tried all the medicine, still no result on the kid.
W
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nira kudam thulumbukayilla ananyan pokuna villaku allikathum jeevikan bakshanam
kayiokuka,bakshanam kayikan jeevikaruthu shooniyamaya kudam kooduthal shabtham
purapeduvikum
X
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Y
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http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Malayalam_proverbs[10/25/2010 12:46:07 PM]

Malayalam proverbs - Wikiquote

 

Z

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!! As you sow, so you reap. (trans) – If it faultered in seed, so

!! As you sow, so you reap. (trans) – If it faultered in seed, so will it in yield

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http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Malayalam_proverbs[10/25/2010 12:46:07 PM]