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. 

2 comments:

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.

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