Sunday, March 31, 2013

Learnt how to say "Thank You" in 16 non-African languages

After taking a stab at seeing if I could say "Thank You" in 23 African languages, I decided to try this with non-African languages. Wasn't easy koraa. And let's share some small attendant info. :-)
  1. French: Merci. I learnt this way before Class 4. Pourquoi? I can't add French? Parce que? Let me count it. Je parle Francais en peut. 
  2. German: Danke. I learnt this correctly when I found myself in Amsterdam while traveling to Ghana from America. 
  3. Dutch: Danke je wel. We had just bought some stuff at an Amsterdam bar and we thought it well to say "Thank You". No, I didn't have some of the stuff. Just some tea. We didn't go to the Red Light District but let's just say Amsterdam is quite the liberal city.
  4. (Mexican) Spanish: Gracias. I was forced to learn this when I went to the Dominican Republic for spring break in March 2006 with 5 other African guys. My Spanish was non-existent but I was able to have a 30 minute conversation with a hot mamacita in Spanglish by the 6th day.
    4.5 - (Espana) Spanish: I befriended one gorgeous Spanish lady in Palo Alto once and she told me that this word is different in real Spanish compared to the Hispanic version popularized in the US. In Spain, it is Gratias. Si. 
  5. Portuguese: Obrigado. My Angolan friend, Isabel Correia, hasn't taught me enough Portuguese. I think I learnt this one from listening to and loving Kizomba music. 
  6. Chinese: Xie xie. I learnt this from a Chinese-American friend, Danielle Wen, while I was part of a trip with her visiting Ghana from MIT. D-Lab things. 
  7. Japanese: Arigato. Maybe if I paid more attention during "Oshin", I would have learnt this. But I learnt sometime when I was at MIT. Don't remember details.
  8. Tagalog: Kumusta. I had a Philipino housemate at MIT who taught me this. Nah, she was not Blazian. Do you know how hot half-black, half-Philipino girls are? Mamamia. 
  9. Italian: Grazie. The chances that I learnt this from Mario Balotelli are as slim as Bill Gates coming to Ghana and donating 2.33 billion cedis to forward-thinking initiatives. But I know it anyway. Partly thanks to Farida Alabo.
  10. Russian: Spasibo. Learnt this from a dear friend of mine and partly thanks to an afternoon I spent with a cousin who is half-Russian too in Virginia, USA.
  11. Ukranian: Dyakooyu. Had to follow this one after learning it in Russian. I have a couple of friends who are half-Ukranian though.
  12. Serbian: Hvala. I can't remember if I learnt this to impress a friend who was half-Serbian or I learnt this from herself - Uche Monu. I'm pretty sure I didn't learn it from the countless Black Stars' coaches.  
  13. Arabic: Shukran. Would you remember who taught you this? Too many people speak Arabic. From Ghana to Egypt to Tanzania.
  14. Hindi: Shukriya. I learnt this from my Stanford housemate Sunasir Dutta. He thought me a whole lot more which I can't remember now.
  15. Greek: Efkaristo. I struck a long conversation with a taxi driver who was from Greece one time in the Bay Area. And he thought me how to say this. 
  16. Turkish: Sagolun. There were always so many Turkish guys playing soccer on the fields of MIT and Stanford. Have you watched Turkish football games? They have some passionate fans. I can remember clearly my MIT Turkish friend telling me "Sagolun" for the great work Stephen Appiah aka Tornado gave to Fenerbahce!
Let's see how far we can get this series. But dayum, Africa has way too many languages. I could struggle to get 50 non-African langauges to tell you. I couldn't have said a few more in other languages, so let's stop at 16. Yup, one starting soccer eleven and its reserves. I hope to travel to as many of these countries and speak it to the local folks. :-)
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