Aug 18, 2010

Random thoughts

Random thought today:

Vernacular really does capture sentiments that English just can’t touch. Here’s an example in Kaonde (my second mother tongue):

Person 1: Mwabuka byepi mwane?
Person 2: Mwane nabuka. Na mu sanchila nkambo mambo wa ndamina bumi.

Direct Translation:

Person 1: Have you woken well?
Person 2: Yes, I have woken well. I thank the Lord for he has blessed my soul.

Now if I went around saying that in English (in any English speaking country) I probably would get some very queer looks. However, in Kaonde, no one would bat an eyelid and that response would either spur a conversation about why I feel so good about life or just leave the other person with a sense of good will for the remainder of their morning. Granted the second part of that response isn’t the standard greeting but I just love that I can say it (or something else along the same lines), and have it make complete sense to the other person. It makes me realise a simple “Good morning” can be a drab and non-committal greeting. 


We're more expressive and descriptive in our mother tongue. We can't help but joyous, thankful people.

Lombe, you're right, we are more expressive in our mother tongue. This past Sunday I woke up to find this Kaonde greeting on my phone from my mum! She's a sweetie.

Post a Comment