1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swahili
  4. >
  5. "Lila na fila"

"Lila na fila"

Translation:Better and worse

June 16, 2018



What do lila and fila mean, literally?


the closest translation I can think of is 'good' and 'evil'. There's a proverb 'lila na fila havitangamani', which roughly translates to 'goodness and evil cannot be reconciled/affiliated with each other'


Yes. According to the UDSM on-line dictionary 'Good and evil are not compatible'. From the same dictionary: fila = 'bad thing', but there are no entry for lila apart from this expression.

The proverb is also mentioned in http://swahiliproverbs.afrst.illinois.edu/compatibility.html with the following comment: 876. Lila na fila havitangamani. (hazitangamani). Perhaps and actuality are not compatible - J. Good and evil will not mix - F. Used when two situations must not be confounded. The case of lila is not the same as that of fila.


I don't use this in English, nor is it in my kamusi. What does it mean?


it's similar to the English saying 'for better or worse' i.e. no matter what


This dont translate over in english to better and worst

Learn Swahili in just 5 minutes a day. For free.