> That man is like a duck.
The native duck, debar, doesn't fly very well, or high like other birds, it doesn't walk or run like some animals, it can't sing well, and it doesn't swim as well as a fish. But it can do all these things. Applied to a person who seemingly can do many different things, none of them expertly. "Jack of all trades."
> Don't be like the man from Ngerchemai who lost both the turtle and the canoe.
Don't bite off more than you can chew...don't be selfish.
> The light of youth is darkness.
A young person may display pride or may be showy in dress habits; youth may shine, but the brilliance does not mean enlightenment.
> One for whom the door of words was not closed.
When the secrets of a clan or a profession were being taught by an expert, the house was completely closed and instruction took place in strict, whispered secrecy. the idiom may be applied to a person who, while having the proper status to be knowledgeable, has never learned in closed session; an important but uninformed person. Conversely, an expert or knowledgeable clan his torian is one who "has had the door closed" (mleng a simer).
> Like the man of Ngerechemai, who lost his turtle and lost his canoe.
Relates to a fisherman who jumped from his canoe to catch a turtle only to find that his canoe had drifted beyond recovery. Applies to any situation where a person fails at a task, or, aptly, to a situation where a man, through his own foolishness, loses both his wife and his mistress.