Day 339: Linguistics

by claire a. williams,

The children at Tumaini are all trilingual. Amazingly, they are not this way just to make Claire and Lara feel inferior, but rather as a product of their upbringing. Specifically, Kikuyu is their first language, Kiswahili is their second, and English is their third. School is in English, their libraries are in English, and English is the language use to communicate with all Mzungus (white people) like me and Lara, who are struggling to learn even a few basic Kiswahili phrases like "Let's Go Running" and "Please Slow Down."

But the English the Tumaini kids speak is an entertaining one. A bizarre, high class accented mix of colonial England and pidgin Sesame Street. They are big on the passive voice, as they are on over explaining, and regularly use "this one" and "that one" to refer to people.

Here are a few good ones overheard this morning:

That one is calling me.
I am going to remove my dresses.
I will wash my body.
She is wanting me to come.
I am being called.
The shoes of Milka have much water.
That one is wanting me.

No comments:

Real Time Web Analytics