A Yoruba tongue twister

by on December 26, 2016 at 3:06 am in Books, Science | Permalink

Opolopo opolo ni ko mo pe opolopo eniyan l’opolo l’opolopo

That means “many frogs do not know that many people are intelligent.”

That is from Teju Cole, Known and Strange Things, a book of essays.

And here is yet a further update on Nigerian plastic rice.

1 stephan December 26, 2016 at 3:27 am

Google Translate has a lot of trouble with this Yoruba sentence. I don’t know if Yoruba benefits from the recent AI improvement. Here is the Google Translate translation”

” Various brain does not know that many people l’l’brain lot ”


2 Nick December 26, 2016 at 3:36 am

One word could mean several different things in most Nigerian languages. The intonation is what separates them. Opolo means Frog and the same time Brain or the word ‘SENSE’ but there are different ways u pronounce them

3 Thiago Ribeiro December 26, 2016 at 4:09 am

The frog knows many little people who are not intelligent. The mole knows one big person who is intelligent.

4 tyler's illegitimate black son December 26, 2016 at 6:16 am

ooooga boooga controooga

Google Translate: Where da white womynz at

5 dearieme December 26, 2016 at 8:05 am

Red lorry yellow lorry.

6 Thanatos Savehn December 26, 2016 at 8:29 am

Snopes has a good write up on the 5+ year old fake rice fake news story: http://www.snopes.com/plastic-rice-from-china/

There’s a reason plastic resin is pelletized; and it’s not about tricking the gullible into thinking it’s rice.

7 Meets December 26, 2016 at 8:42 am

Like the article says, it’s easy to tell if the rice is plastic

No one would try to sell it to you to eat

8 Ray Lopez December 26, 2016 at 9:36 am

Nice link TS! Very well done. Rice is cheap and probably less expensive than plastic is the main point in favor of the faux fake rice due to price story. Having said that, in Russia and in Italy I’ve heard of people mixing grain and wood (poison) alcohol, to save money (which kills people on occasion, since wood alcohol, unless it’s mixed with a chemical to make it taste bad, which is not always the same, tastes about the same as grain alcohol), so if fake plastic rice price < real rice price, I can see the fake news story about fake rice being true!

9 Li Zhi December 26, 2016 at 11:29 am

Last week (2 wks ago?) at least 9 Russians died due to methanol ingestion, made the news here (USA). It is possible that the fake rice is toxic – for instance lead (Pb) stabilizers might have been added. I’d guess the probability is low…although, if they used Pb, then no restaurant/food store in its right mind would want it – and then its price would plummet…hmmm. PVC isn’t of itself, toxic. Chances are, that any potential present would leach out during “cooking” – but cooking won’t “soften/swell” it…at least not unless it’s made up mostly of stuff which is not PVC. I’ve seen PVC in rice-shape, I don’t know how common a manufacturing method it is. Common enough for someone who’s only tangentially involved in it to be aware, I guess. Makes you think: What do fake news stories and Trump’s Twitter feed have in common…

10 Li Zhi December 26, 2016 at 11:31 am

any potential toxics present would leach out (and contaminate the water/broth) – my clumsy editing.

11 Meets December 26, 2016 at 9:05 am

An American friend posted a plastic rice video on Factbook

More global world, all going crazy together

12 Meets December 26, 2016 at 9:08 am

Btw what does this say about the flavor and texture of rice?

I feel even more justified in always preferring rice to pasta

13 Meets December 26, 2016 at 9:08 am

*pasta to rice

14 Thiago Ribeiro December 26, 2016 at 10:28 am

You must have never had Brazilian rice. Give me potatoes and rice or gime death, I say.

15 prior_test2 December 26, 2016 at 10:34 am

OK, true GMU rice story time. Back when Szabo (I believe that was the company at the time) was running the food services in Student Union II, white worms were discovered in some rice, a fact that actually made it to the Broadside, that glorious beacon of GMU student journalistic talent.

Of course we used to read it in the PR dept., and when one person started giggling with the paper open, we asked what was so funny. She didn’t answer, but only told us to read the article. In which, in a truly impressive coup of quotation, the reporter actually cited a (possibly assistant?) manager, saying that such mistakes were hard to stop, as rice and little white worms look pretty much the same.

GMU, at least back then, had its amusing moments, before anyone ever thought to treat the place seriously.

16 Pt_paraphrase December 26, 2016 at 2:27 pm

GMU serves white worms with their rice and that’s funny.

17 Thiago Ribeiro December 26, 2016 at 2:53 pm

Aren’t white worms nutritious?

18 Dan Culley December 26, 2016 at 10:47 am

The linked article talks a lot about how local rice, once derided for its poor quality, is “much safer.” Ten bucks on who started the rumors…

19 Michael December 26, 2016 at 6:29 pm

One of my favourite tongue twisters is in Japanese:

Sumomo mo momo, momo mo momo, sumomo mo momo mo momo no uchi

It means “the Western peach is a variety of peach, the Japanese peach is a variety of peach, so both the Western and Japanese peach are in the peach family”

20 stephan December 26, 2016 at 8:45 pm

Google Translate also badly chokes on this one.

21 dux.ie December 26, 2016 at 8:12 pm
22 dux.ie December 26, 2016 at 10:41 pm


“””He said he was puzzled why anyone would smuggle artificial rice to sell as real in Africa, as the product his company sold cost more than 70 yuan for 1kg, or 10 times the price of real rice in China. In Africa the cost would increase due to shipping and other costs.”””

23 jd December 27, 2016 at 6:50 am

I suspect that the frogs have it right on this one.

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