5 Proverbs in Dhopadhola

Dhopadhola is the language spoken by Adhola people. The Adhola are Luos who settled in Tororo, Uganda. Other Luos in the country are the Alur, Lango, Kumam and Acholi.

For this post, my parents offered twelve proverbs. They said it’s good to have options. My father, pacing around, would mention the proverb, then mum would translate it into English while I wrote. Please be informed that my mother is a Mugisu. Bagisu are a Bantu-speaking group of people who live mainly in Mbale. The only things the Bagisu/Bamasaba and Jopadhola share in their lexicons are words they borrow from the English language, like: corona, covid19 and quarantine. Dad had to correct her translations here and there but otherwise she speaks Dhopadhola better than a great many Jopadhola.

Let’s get to the proverbs, shall we?

Jaming’o ki oli.

Direct translation : A stupid person doesn’t get tired.

It’s a warning similar to the one in Proverbs 26:4. Enter an argument with a fool knowing they’re not going to stop arguing. The wise thing is to not give them your attention. Just let them be.

Por gichiyen ki lworo.

Direct translation : Jumping backwards is not fear.

The idea is that withdrawal doesn’t necessarily equal cowardice because it takes strength to step away. It takes boldness and bravery to recognize that something is not good for you, and to jump away from it.

Dhiang mawendo ki chandi jakwath

Direct translation : A visiting cow doesn’t disturb the herdsman.

You know how when you meet someone for the first time they’re all nice and sweet? That’s what the proverb is talking about. That strangers are often on their best behavior but if you give them time, their true colours eventually show.

Ng’atopenjo wich jouw won ting’o

Direct translation : Whoever asks for the head of the buffalo carries it on their own.

It means that when you do something wrong, the repercussions are yours to bear, alone.

Loth machiegin ama go thwol.

Direct translation : The nearest stick is the one that beats the snake.

The interpretation is that anything you have close by can be used to offset your problem. Don’t undermine anything; big or small, it can be useful. I believe it goes for people as well. And God will use whoever is readily available and willing to be used. No one is too small.

63 thoughts on “5 Proverbs in Dhopadhola

Add yours

  1. Wow.. Nyamin wallwa.. This is so interesting.. I was so green abt any of these proverbs..
    Thank you for opening my eyes.. Snd mind as well.
    To me u remain my favorite writer..
    #Amarin swa

    Liked by 2 people

  2. After reading I am persuaded to learn the language and the last proverb really speaks volumes. “No one is too small,” Thanks Lisa.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wowwwww
    Thanks Lisa for sharing… just realized that I don’t know Jap as I claim 😜 atleast I learnt some proverbs today πŸ‘

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Awwwww…It’s a great one to live by.

    You’re welcome Dani. Thank you. Today I’ve really enjoyed all the beauty that is engraved in our African languages.


  5. WoooowπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ all along I thought I knew Jap, this article nyamerani has disqualified meπŸ˜„ but then took me to class atleast I learnt some proverbs.

    Liked by 1 person

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