This summer I informed my teacher that I wanted to learn more about Albanian expressions and proverbs. A few days later she arrived to our lesson with a list of expressions and then after that, she just started teaching me all kinds of things, stuff people say to congratulate on honors, or old expressions from her grandmother, Albanian proverbs, you name it. I've really enjoyed learning these all summer and in fact, whenever I'm with a group of Albanians they all get a kick outta me saying these things. This however can be bad at times when I'm with a family and they want me to keep saying things over and over again, almost puppet-like (the following are literal translations by the way, I'll explain) :
Albanian family: Chelsi, Chelsi what have you learned in your lessons?
Me: Oh we've been studying grammar, I've been reading the newspaper, and oh, Albanian expressions
Albanian family (very excitedly): Oh oh, tell us what you've learned
Me: Ummm, okay, "Don't fly with leeks up your but"
Albanian family: (laughing hysterically) ahhh hahahahaha, another one another
Me: Don't put off today's work until tomorrow because you can do it even the day after tomorrow
Albanian family: wooo hoo, woww, another, another
Me: I don't eat soap for cheese.
Albanian family: ahhhhh hahha, where do you get these? Another, another
Me: Do you think you're special, you make red eggs or something?
Albanian family: hahahaha
And this game can go on for hours. Now the thing is, as I said I really do enjoy learning expressions, sayings, etc, so now I'm writing below some of my other favorites, with the Albanian and English together.
- "Mos bie nga Kina" which means, "don't come from China." The meaning is somehow tied to, don't go all the way around the world when trying to explain something - in other words, be direct.
- "Kali kuqe ka nje huqe" which means, "even the red horse has it's flaw." The meaning is that even the pretty girl, nice girl has at least one flaw. One of the women from my language school has instructed me to say this to my Albanian female friends that smoke
- "Mos shit pordhe" which means, "don't sale farts" - you can say this to someone who is being a know-it-all or someone who thinks that he or she is all that
- Albanians love it when I say, "Per mua, shqipja eshte buke e djath" which means, for me, "Albanian language is like bread and cheese." English speakers would say, "like bread and butter." This is a big lie, but people laugh when I say it.
- "Te bashkohet toke me qiellen, ti nuk do te paguash per kafe!" I often have to say this to my friends when I'm trying to pay for coffee and put my foot down, the meaning is, "Even if the earth and sky were to meet, you cannot pay for this coffee!" Yep, paying for coffee can get this dramatic.
- "Djali pa vellai eshte si zog pa krah" which means, "A boy without a brother is like a bird without a wing." This is just a saying that I find intriguing
- "Bej syte kater" which means, "Make four eyes." My teacher likes to tell this to me, it means, be careful! I think we in the States would talk about eyes in the back of our head but here, it's just better to make four eyes