Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi is assistant professor of linguistics at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, India. His research interests include language documentation, writing descriptive grammars, and the preservation of rare and endangered languages in South Asia. His most recent books are A Grammar of Hadoti (Lincom: Munich, 2012), A Grammar of Bhadarwahi (Lincom: Munich, 2013), and a poetry collection titled Chinaar kaa Sukhaa Pattaa (2015) in Hindi. As a poet, he has published more than 100 poems in different anthologies, journals and magazines worldwide.
Below is 2 of 6 in a series of monthly installments of Poetry in Translation from lesser known Indo-Aryan languages—namely, Hadoti, Bhadarwahi, and Dogri for Visitant.
Proverbs are usually metaphorical, and they provide traditionally held truth. Bhadarwahi proverbs tell us about the culture and society of the speakers of Bhadarwahi. Here, I give a brief account of Bhadarwahi proverbs. I have used the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) for transcribing them to allow wider readership.
(IPA): International Phonetic Alphabet
(W2W): Word-to-Word Translation
(LT): Literal Translation
(EE): English Equivalent
(IPA): dʰɑ:n çeiʈle kui peʈe ei zəmejɑ bʰət kʰə
(W2W): paddy paddy-field girl womb come son-in-law cooked-rice eat
(LT): Paddy is in the field, daughter is in the womb you invite son-in-law for the meal.
(EE): Haste makes waste.
(IPA): luhɑ:rɑ en kɑnɑ kes dʒo kentʃi neĩ epu dʒo
(W2W): iron-smith this arrows whom for someone not self for
(LT): Someone to an iron-smith: For whom you are preparing arrows,
Iron-smith: For no one but for myself.
(EE): A bad way has a bad end.
(IPA): ʈʰukoro nə tʃəʈoro loɽe
(W2W): spitted not lick should
(EE): One should keep his/her promises.
(IPA): zəlte ɡʰər erɑ mũtʰ hi səi
(W2W): burnt home from fire EMP right
(LT): When home is burning at least get a burnt log.
(EE): Something is better than nothing.
(IPA): ɖumɑ̃ kero mɑ̃rɑhɑu epu sɑhrɑu
(W2W): lower-caste of groom self décor
(LT): A lower-caste groom decorates himself.
(EE): Self-praise is no recommendation.
(IPA): nile drɑmnɑ dure rɑ hernere bʰote ən
(W2W): green ground far from see-of become AUX
(LT): Ground seems greener from far.
(EE): The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
(IPA): ɑu: zençere mɑhrɑw biʃo zençere məkəɽ dʒew zençere ʈləkəɽ
(W2W): came like groom sat like monkey went like waste-food
(LT): It came like a groom, sat like a monkey, and left like food waste.
(This proverb is used for snowfall.)
Dwivedi, Amitabh Vikram. A Grammar of Bhadarwahi. Lincom Europa, 2013.