Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Learnt how to say "What is your name" & "My name is" in 23 African languages

Depending on which country I am in and who I am speaking to, I can have 1 out of about 7 names. You probably know my real one, but you do know my Ugandan, Kenyan, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Tanzanian and South African ones? Or my real other name which I use to call myself when I meet some lucky lady I feel like saying it to? Just in case, you happen to be in certain place or country and you feel you have to pull one of these out, let's learn how to say "What is your name" and "My name is" in 23 African languages. :-) Thanks to my friends who helped me pull this list together recently as I had missed writing blog posts such as these.
  1. Akan: Wo din de sɛn? Me din de.. Yeah, name in Twi is "din". It might be more popular to hear people say Yɛfrɛ wo sɛn? & Yɛfrɛ me... which directly translates to "What do we call you? & We call me... 
  2. Ga: Te atsɛɔ kbo tɛŋŋ? Atsɛɔ mi.. I learnt this once but I don't remember when.  Thanks to +Seyram Freddy Ahiabor for 'reminding' me. You can also say Mɛni ji ogbɛii? ŋgbɛ ji.
  3. Ewe: Wo nukɔ de? Nye nukɔ enyɛ... Saying Nukɔ is the Ewe word for name would be stating the obvious. Another one taught to me by Seyram  
  4. Dagbani: A yuli? N yuli nyela... Yeap, +Jemila Abdulai taught me this one. Once. :-)
  5. Hausa: Ya sunanka? Sunanka...! Learnt this recently, thanks to the one and only +Ali Bukari Maiga.
  6. Swahili: Jina lako nani? Jina langu ni.. I've known this for awhile as I've also known Swahili for awhile. I can't pinpoint who thought me this, but here's to all the people who've made sure I won't ever forget this one. 
  7. Yoruba: Kiloruko e? Oruko mi ni... I learnt this from Mimi too, see how what I learnt rhymes with her name :-)
  8. Igbo: Kedu aha? Aha m bu ... Learnt this from my friend +Chioma Ileagu just last week. Crowdsourcing :-)
  9. Idoma: Yo le ko neh? Yem le ko... I learnt this from my friend who's from the same tribe as 2Face Idibia and is also related to him. A rather small language in Nigeria but dear to me anyways :-)
  10. Luganda: Elinya lyo ki? Bampita ... Weebale to +Terry Karungi for teaching me this. Now I can give more credence to Richard. ;-)
  11. Kinyarwanda: Bakuyita ani? Bampita... Oh, similar thing to Luganda, yeap Richard Nshuti Mayanja's parents are from different places but don't differ by much. Thanks +Matilda Mutanguha
  12. Amharic: Semeh man naw? Semie...  I learnt this from +beza tesfaye who I met when I first went to Ethiopia. Bonus - for a lady, you say - "Semesh man naw?"
  13. Wolof: No toudou? Ma ngi toudou.. +Oumoul Khaïry Sow, who I befriended through my time at Google taught me this. Never been to Senegal, hope to go sometime soon.
  14. Bambara: E toogo dit? Neh toogo... So next time you are in Mali, you know what to say. Thanks to my fellow Global Shaper from Mali, Aminata, for teaching me this.
  15. Bemba : Ishina iyobe, niwebo nani? Ishina yandi ni... I can't wait to visit Zambia and say things like this. Even as there is bubbling Ghana-Zambia rivalry. 
  16. Nyanja : Ndiwe ndani zina? Zina yanga ni ... Thanks to +Chisenga Muyoya for teaching me this one. 
  17. Moore: Fo your la boin? Mam your la... Your? In an African language. Give me moore. :-) Thanks to +Tatiana Pandare for teaching me this.
  18. San: N to lin die? Ma to lin... I am gonna surprise a Burkinababe with this soon. Another lesson from Tatiana.
  19. Shona: Unonzani? Ndinonzi... A couple of Zimbabwean friends taught me this, sticky now.
  20. Siswati: Ugobani lima malako? Lagama lami .. +Phelele Fakudze taught me this one. If I had known this earlier, I would have said this to King Mswati III when I met him this year. 
  21. Zulu: Ubani igama lakho? Igama lami ngu... Just learnt this from +Lynette Ntuli, my fellow Global Shaper who I met in Cape Town this year. She's a Zulu woman, and they are the best in Mzansi. #Word.
  22. Setswana: Leina la gago ke mang? Leina la me ke... Oh wait, there's an easier way to say this, says my friend from Botswana called Tebatso +Manteba S'rurubele. O mang? Ke .. <- yea, that's what I am using next time.
    uite similar to the Zulu one. I could imagine the kids in the Soweto Uprising shouting it in 1976.
  23. Fang: Wa neu ewoula ya? Meu neu ewoula na... Next time you're in Gabon you know what to say. Tell them the MightyAfrican's hot Gabonese friend thought you. If you wanna go hang with her and her friends, see me in chambers and drop me some mian'g. :-)
This follows the "Thank You", "Let's Go" "I Love You", "How are You and I'm Fine", and "Money" posts in this series. Share how to say "What is your name" & "My name is" 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. My name is Ato, and mefiri Ghana. :-)
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