Dari Language Blog

Afghan Dari Proverbs Posted by on Feb 24, 2013 in culture, language

Afghanistan has a rich oral tradition. Using proverbs and verses of poetry in conversation is very common among the people, both educated and uneducated. While English language also has some proverbs but they are rarely used in daily communication . In Afghan proverbs and verses of poetry are used to get important point across; it also shows the wisdom of those who use it.

In this blog post we will introduce you to some very common Afghan proverbs.

1.      Qatra qatra darya maisha.

The literal meaning of the proverb above is (drop drop river becomes.) as we remember from our previous blog posts that the verb comes at the end of a sentence and here in the literal translation you see that the verb is at the end. The meaning of this proverb is that drops make a river. It is used to encourage people that regardless of how little they are able to do; it still counts and means a lot because if we continuem some day we will achieve our goal. For instance if someone argues that they don’t recycle because their efforts will not make much difference, we can tell them qatra qatra darya maisha. Which means that if everyone of us contribute even a little, combined together it will have a huge impact. It can be used in many different situations.

2.      Haich gul bay khaar naist.

This proverbs means: There is No flower without thorns. It indicates that as human beings we all have flaws and shortcomings and no one is perfect.

3.      Durugh-go hafiza nadarad.

The literal meaning of this proverb is ( liar memory does not have.). It means that a liar is forgetful because they have said so many lies that they can not remember them and might give two different accounts of the same incident.

4.      Joyenda yabenda ast.

This proverb literally means (a seeker a founder is). The literal meaning is important because it will help the students of Dari language to identify every word in the proverb and also know the structure of the sentence in Dari. This proverb means that a seeker is a finder. If you are determined to do something and you don’t give up, you will eventually succeed.

 Pleas watch the accompanying video of correct pronunciation of the proverbs.


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About the Author: Sayed Naqibullah

Sayed Naqibullah speaks Pashto and Dari as his native languages. Since 2004 he has been teaching Dari and Pashto and working as cultrual advisor to NGO workers, foreigners who live, work, or are visiting Afghanistan. Sayed has worked as a linguist for several companies that produce language course-ware. He has worked as a guide, interpreter and translator of a number of NGOs working in Afghanistan. Sayed is also a blog writer on Afghan culture and languages. He is the author of a Dari language textbook called “Dari as a Second Language”.


  1. Matt:

    Will you please do one for “There is a road to the top of even the highest mountain”? That is a favorite of mine, but I don’t know how to say it in Dari. Thanks! 🙂

  2. Rezaghul:

    What is the Dari version of “it is what it is”? I think I remember it starts as “chizi khi hast khi hast de miya”

  3. thezircon:

    Those are very useful. Especially the last paragraph makes me understand the structure of the sentence. It’s about ‘subject + object + verb’ right?