Monday, February 07, 2011

Proverb Monday

Proverb: Funtumfunafu ne Dεnkyεmfunafu baanu yafunu yε yafunukoro; nanso sε wɔredidi na wɔreko a na efiri atwimnenemudε ntiara.

Translation: Stomachs mixed up, crocodiles stomachs mixed up, they both have one stomach but when they eat they fight because of the sweetness of swallowing. (This refers to siamese crocodiles which have two heads and a single stomach).

Usage: There are several versions of this proverbs, some of which have slightly different meanings. It represents the dilemmas of the Akan family system. Anything which is acquired for the family is good the whole family , but the pleasure of enjoying it is an individual thing: this fact causes quarrels. It can also be used for people of the same blood or relation fighting over something that would benefit them both.

This proverb is deep and most Akans cannot even read as it is written.

10 comments:

  1. I'm one of those who can't read this. It is indeed deep. Thanks for sharing and especially for the explanation.

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  2. True, very deep and never heard it before.

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  3. @Geosi, now you have heard it. Use it. Tell others. And spread the word.

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  4. This is some deep stuff!! Where do you get these proverbs from... i couldn't read that stuff, so you could be making up stuff and we wouldn't know:-) jk! You should attach an audio clip to help with the pronunciation.

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  5. This is definitely one that requires more explanation than some of the other recent ones you've shared. Very interesting!

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  6. @yeh, I don't know if you are a Twi speaker or not. Since you are have not been following this blog for a long time I would help you out.lol.

    This proverbs are from "Bu Me Bε, Proverbs of the Akans" by Peggy Appiah, Kwame Anthony Appiah and Ivor Agyeman-Duah.

    I am not one to make things up and I cannot attach an audio clip to it. You want me to do that myself? lol. Time man, time! This book contains over 7000 proverbs. Since you have doubted me I would always state the source and the page number.

    Besides, I don't know where you had problems if you really speak Akan. 'Ky' is pronounced 'ch' and 'ɔ' is pronounced as in p'o't. 'Tw' has no comparison in English but could be 'chw'.

    Or is it the assonance that bothers you? You should know that Twi is a rich language.

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  7. @Amy, I agree with you. It is one of the most complex proverbs I have read myself and it is a mouth full.

    The question is 'why should siamese crocodiles fight over the same food while eating if they share a single stomach?' It is only because each want to enjoy the sweetness of swallowing. Thus, in life we ask 'if we are all citizens of this earth why should we fight for resources and kill each other?' Is it for the pleasantness of telling the other that you are rich or what?

    On a smaller scale, the proverb sees no reason why we should quarrel over things which is for our common good.

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  8. Of course I was joking about you making it up, and even if you did, it would be a compliment to you because this proverb is a deep and sophisticated expression of twi. And no, i'm a Ga trying my tongue at twi...
    Thanks for sharing and bringing me up to speed!

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  9. @yeh! lol. thanks. 'trying my tongue at twi' that's great because I speak no Ga. lol. Don't even understand it, though I have been trying 'small small'.

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