Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Learnt how to say "Thank You" in 23 African languages

Today, I learnt how to say "Thank You" in yet another African language. So let me take a stab at seeing if I can say "Merci" in 23 African languages. And let's share some small attendant info. :-)
  1. Akan: Medaase. What you thought I wouldn't add my mother tongue? Some folks can't say what "thank you" is in their lingua francas. Such a fracas. Don't belittle this at all at all.
  2. Ga: Oyiwaladonn. I don't remember when I learnt this but I do know I learnt to say "Nnuu Ga" (I can't speak Ga) during the time I came to Accra to represent KNUST JSS in Kiddie Quiz and me and my Kumasi-living mates were testing our Ga knowledge.
  3. Ewe: Akpe. I love saying "Akpe kakaa" and I am not sure why.
  4. Dagbani: Ti pagi da. Yeap, Jemila Abdulai taught me this one. Thrice.
  5. Hausa: Na gode. I should have known this a long time ago but thanks to Manre Chirtau, I will not forget this one. Ever. Alafia lo!
  6. Swahili: Asante. Yeap, thank you in the most popular language is the same as its most famous kingdom. Or if you spell it Ahsante, then you can forget what I just wrote before.
  7. Zulu (And Siswati): Ngiyabonga. This is one of my favourite words to say. Swazibella aka Phelele Fakudze taught me this and many more. She's the best. Though from Swaziland, she speaks like 11 languages, including many from South Africa.
  8. Yoruba: E se. That's such a short way to say Thank You given how loud Nigerians are. Or are Yoruba people quiet? If you realise they are from the same place as the Gas, you will debunk the last previous statement.
  9. Igbo: Dalu. Or Imela. The words have stuck with me since I got some song from Samsong called on repeat - Bianule.Great gospel from Naija.
  10. Luganda: Weebale. Imagine me going to Uganda and saying this word all over Kampala. They accepted me as their own and Richard Nshuti Mayanja was alive.
  11. Kinyarwanda: Urakoze. Matilda Mutanguha probably deserves a huge chunk of credit for my Swahili prowess, amongst a few other language things. I will love to say this word to Rwanda's Kagame one day.
  12. San: Foo Barka. I learnt this from a Burkinable friend and I just love saying to her "Foo Barka Burkinababe.
  13. Sissala: Nlonlo. I learnt this on Valentine's Day in 2013. Try making me forget that. Ronke taught us that and more. See tweet.
  14. Frafra: Mpuyiha. I could have learnt this from King Ayisoba but he keeps on saying "Kai kai kai". I learnt this via a mix of Ali Maiga's guidance and traveling to Tamale for Barcamp Tamale.
  15. Xhosa: Nkosi. I learnt this from watching Mzansi movies and it was reinforced in me by Phelele.
  16. Setswana: Kea leboga. O kae is a bonus for "how are you?". Okai, one of my best Stanford buddies wouldn't make me forget this. And also that No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series set in Botswana. My buddy from Botswana Tebatso also helped.
  17. Amharic: Amesegnalehu. I used to write this as Amesegnaleho until I discovered 3G for Ethiopia and 3G - Girma Goitom Gemechu for me in Addis Ababa.
  18. Nyanja: Zikhomo. I learnt this after a Zambian artist got a song of the name onto Museke. Too bad, I haven't had the chance to use the word in person in Lusaka though.
  19. Lingala: Melesi. I learnt this Congolese word after having a steady dose of Makoma's gospel music in my playlist. Matilda and Afroziky are to thank for this.
  20. Wolof: Djerdjef. I never made any proper Senegalese friends until I joined Google. Thanks for the likes of Tidjane Deme and Oumoul Sow (who I still haven't met) reinforcing its use in me.
  21. Shona: Tatenda (or Ndatenda). I have Zimbabwean friends called Tatenda and even Tendai (which can also mean thanks). No forgetting this one.
  22. Dioula/Jula: I ni che. I learnt this from some Ivorian ladies I met earlier this year. Turns out the language is popular in Burkina Faso too.It's also the same thing in Bambara which is popular in Mali.
  23. Fang: Abora. I just learnt this tonight from this Gabonese chic I befriended just this year. Funny enough, she couldn't say "How are you" in her own language but she could say "Thank you". Well, abora :-)
This is a series am starting. I have a feeling "Let's go" would be next. Or maybe "I love you". Share how to say "Thank You" in other African languages via the comments. I could have said a few more in other languages, but we had to stop at 23. I don't need to tell you why. And if you think it's because Michael Jordan wore the jersey number 23, you lose your way for the wholewideworld inside. But welcome to the MIghTy African blog anyway. :-)
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