Thursday, October 24, 2013

Learnt how to say "Yes" (& no) in 23 African languages

I was inspired to do this through a conversation with my Senegalese buddy +Oumoul Khaïry Sow while watching a music video by "yeah you guessed it" by +Viviane Chidid called Fans Yi. :-) Yes, that means "My Fans". Talking about Yes, Viviane also has a music video called Waaw. Which means "Yes" in Wolof, which is (yes) a Senegalese language. Waw! With some help from my African friends, we have a list of 23 to work with. Choose your pick and say Waaw like a Champion wrestler from Senegal!
  1. Akan: Aane & Daabi. 2 many syllables for what should be an easy word. Not the stress on the double vowel. Yes is Yes and No is No :-) Bonus in Fante - Inyɔ & Anha :-)
  2. Ga: ɛɛɛ & Daabi. Akan Twi and Ga are bedfellows when it comes to language. We know how Ga and Twi have similar words. So I should have seen this coming. Thanks to +Seyram Freddy Ahiabor for 'reminding' me. 
  3. Ewe: Yoo & Aawo / Megbe. +Doris Anson-Yevu who is a part of the +kasahorow team and also works on +Nyaseto taught me this one. I'm gonna be in Ho this weekend for +Barcamp Ho so.... :-)
  4. Dagbani: Ayi & Ayi. "I" has the same pronunciation in Dagbani as in English? Ayi. It's like "In" but you won't pronounce it fully. I, +Jemila Abdulai taught me this one. 
  5. Hausa: Tɔ & Aah-ah. NLike Aah-ah with a 'no' nodding sign for emphasis o! Cos it could look like yes. Na gode +Ali Bukari Maiga.
  6. Swahili: Ndio & Hapana. Learnt this quite early, one of the first and easiest things to learn in Kiswahili. Hapana is kinda long though. 
  7. Siswati: Yebo! Here's the kicker, there is no no in Siswati. Am cool with that. If you're not, ask +Phelele Fakudze
  8. Zulu: Yebo & Ca. I learnt the 'no' from a fellow Global Shaper +Thulani Fakude. I've known Yebo for a long time. It's one of my favorite ways to say Yes.
  9. Setswana: Ee & Nnyaa+Manteba S'rurubele aka Ms Tebby added more - Often as a sign of respect when you speak to an elder, this is followed by mma for a lady or rra for a man. I remember these latter ones from No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.
  10. Yoruba: Beeni & Beeko. I learnt this from my friend Mimi as well. 2 many syllables. Can't we say Ni & Ko for short? +Olasupo Johnson +Olayemi Oyebode?
  11. Igbo: Ee & Mba. Sounds like "aye" right? +Chioma Ileagu taught me this. She might be hearing some bride saying that this weekend. She could also say "Eye (aayay)". She better not say 'mba'. 
  12. Luganda: Ye & Neda. Very simple ways for the affirmative and the opposite of it. I kindly like "Neda", I'd use it in English. Or is the Luglish? +Terry Karungi ?
  13. Kinyarwanda: Yego & Oya. Okay, Oya is a rather strange word for no, no? Yego! Thanks to +Matilda Mutanguha who taught me this one. 
  14. Amharic: Awo & Ayedelm. I learnt this recently from +beza tesfaye too. It seems the Amhara  
  15. Bambara: Aawo & Aayi. I learnt this from my fellow Global Shaper, Aminata, who's also based in Bamako. Those Global Shapers say yes to more positive things and no to many negative things. 
  16. Bemba: Ee-ee & Awe. As in Ee-ee (ever sounding like) & Awe (ah-wee). You can be even more polite and say ee-mukwayi. Thanks to +Mwana Ba Afrika for teaching me this.
  17. Nyanja : Ee-ee & Awe. Thanks to Mwana, my Stanford buddy who taught me this too.
  18. Xhosa: Ewe & Hayi. Learnt this from my South African buddy who doesn't really do social media. So what do you want her name for? :-)
  19. Ewondo: Owe & Tage. Pronunciations are Oway & Tageu. Learnt this courtesy of my MIT friend +Julie Laure Maison & +Fawah Akwo too. Ewondo is a language & a dialect from Cameroun. Fawah even shared a spreadsheet with me that has other things in Camerounian languages! Sweet!
  20. Etoh: Owe & Ayaha. Still in Mboa aka Cameroun aka Cameroon. +cedric Atangana who I know from being at Google taught me this. He knows Ewondo too.
  21. Ndebele: Yebo & Hayi/ Hachi / Qha. Very similar to Zulu. Next time, I wanna be born in South Africa, or near Zimbabwe. Thanks to +Sipho Ngwenya for teaching me this one.
  22. Sesotho: Ee & Tjhee. Sipho taught me this too. 
  23. Wolof: Waaw & dėt / dédét. Oumoul taught me this but it turns out I could have learnt this in my MIghTy days while this Rambax drummer, Lamine Toure, kept on saying Waw and Waaa waw! 
This follows the "Thank You", "Let's Go, "Money", and "I Love You" posts in this series. Also learn how to say How are You and I'm Fine. Share how to say "Yes & No" 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. Michael Jordan is money too, right? $$$$.
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