Friday, July 22, 2011

A Turn of Phrase

I love laughing at all the wonderful funny Ugandan sayings around here! I thought I would share a few of them with you so you could share my laughs!

-Excuse me while I ease myself-- for going to the bathroom

-Are you satisfied? --- have you eaten enough, are you full? (so much more descriptive than 'I'm fine,' or 'I'm good'!)

-Well done--- no apparent association, as it's simply used as a greeting. Can be said whether or not they're working or doing a job. At first I couldn't figure out why in the world I would tell someone who was just sitting there 'well done'!!

-Extend! -- scoot or move in a certain direction

-Have you taken tea? -- did you eat breakfast? (this morning as I was walking from Namatala a small boy called out to me, 'Muzungu, muzungu! You want to take tea with me?" and he offered me his bread!! sooo precious!!!)

-You have such a small leg! -- apparently my feet are very small and in Luganda there is only one word for the leg and foot.

-Are you hearing? -- did you understand? Often especially with the kids, you'll hear Owulide? (oh-lee-day) or Muwulide? (moo-lee-day) which means have you heard?

-It is so sweet! -- it tastes delicious (can be used for everything from 'sweets' to chicken bones! I cracked up the first time someone told me that the juice inside a chicken bone was 'so sweet'! I now make them laugh by telling them that I'm so sweet to the mosquitoes! Those mosquitoes see me and think 'oh, that one's too sweet! I'll eat her for dinner!)

-You are lost! -- for when you haven't seen someone in a long (or 'long' ;) ) time.

-You are going where? or You are eating what? -- most of the time the question word follows instead of beginning the sentence like we do in America

It's been so much fun to see some of the correlations between these funny 'English' sayings and common phrases in Luganda. The more I discover about Luganda, the more the way Ugandans speak English makes sense, and the more I can laugh and enjoy understanding how they think. While language learning is a challenge I couldn't have begun to anticipate, it also brings so much joy and laughter!

No comments:

Post a Comment