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Angie’s Afrikaans/ English & KhoeKhoeGowabb/English Dictionary (A Quick Guide) - Angie's Peace Corps (Namibia) Adventure

Feb. 23rd, 2006

07:38 pm - Angie’s Afrikaans/ English & KhoeKhoeGowabb/English Dictionary (A Quick Guide)

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And now… some cross-cultural exchange. Afrikaans & KKG are both used in Gibeon. Afrikaans is the language that pretty much most people in Namibia can understand. However, there are many different cultural groups and so the primary language spoken depends on where in Namibia you are. This part of the South mostly speaks KhoeKhoeGowab (Also known as Damara-Nama because those are the groups that speak it). However, the great majority of people here speak both KKG & Afrikaans and use both languages interchangeably in speaking (it's worse than Span-glish!). In one conversation they'll go back & forth between both languages. I'm understanding Afrikaans pretty well. It's not that difficult a language to learn & there are a lot of similarities to English & a bit to Spanish as well. KKG on the other hand is kicking my behind. But my ears are getting used to the sounds, so hopefully by the end of my 2 years here I will be quatri-lingual (is that how you say it? Quatri?). Or atleast fully tri-lingual :)

First off, my favorite sayings thus far. I’ve internalized almost all of these & often find myself using them. (All of these are in Afrikaans)

• “Is it?”- Translates to something along the lines of “really?”, “is that so?”, or “say it ain’t so!”

• “Etse”- Translates to “whoah”, “wow”, or “no kidding”

• “And what and what and what”- Absolutely one of my favorites. It seems to be used in place of where we would say “etc, etc” , “and so on”, or “or whatever”.

• “Ahhhta ta ta ta ta”- said all in one breath, rather quickly. Used where we would say “oh boy”, or “oh jeez”, or more specifically- it’s almost equivalent to when we say “Tsk tsk tsk”. It’s usually used in response to hearing something negative.

• “Ai tog!”- My favorite of them all. Used in place of “damn”, “oh dear”, “oh f*ck”, “for f*ck’s sake”, or “oh for the love of…!” It’s got many uses and that’s why I love it.

More Afrikaans…

• “Verstaan jy?” (Ver-stan Yee)- ‘do you understand?’
• “Baie warm” (Ba-ye varm)- ‘very hot’
• “Hou op!” (ho op)- ‘stop’, ‘quit’
• “Pasop” (pas-op)- ‘be careful’, ‘watch out’
• “Moenie” (moo- ni)- ‘don’t’, ‘quit it’
• “More” (mo- reh)- ‘good morning’, and also means ‘tomorrow’ (which makes it tricky)
• “Hoe haan dit?” (who hand it)- ‘how goes it?’
• “Dankie” (dank-y)- ‘thank you’
• “Middagh” (mi- dagh)- ‘good afternoon’
• “Vinnig” (vi- nigh)- ‘fast’
• “Bietjie” (bit- jie)- ‘little bit’, ‘a little’
• “Genoeg” (ha- new)- ‘enough’
• “Praat” (prat)- ‘speak’
• “Engels”- ‘English’
• “Es var”- ‘it’s true’
• “Babalas”- ‘hungover’
• “los”- ‘let go’
• “Totsiens” (tot- sins)- ‘goodbye’
• “Maak gou” (mak hoe)- ‘hurry up’
• “Ek is”- ‘I am’
• “Luister” (Lay-ster)- ‘listen’
• “Ekskuus” (ek- skees)- ‘excuse me?’, ‘pardon?’
• “Aangenama kenis”- ‘nice to meet you’
• “Speel”- ‘play’
• “Kos”(Kohs)- ‘food’
• “Tyd” (tayd)- ‘time’
• “Moeg” (moogh)- ‘tired’
• “Vandag”- ‘today’
• “Lekker”- ‘good’, ‘sweet’, ‘pleasant’, ‘nice’
• “Ons haan”- ‘let’s go’

So…. Praat jou Afrikaans?

Moving on to the most difficult language to learn EVER. Okay, it’s probably not the most difficult language to learn out there, but it’s pretty high up there on the list of “most difficult”. Too many of the words sound alike, and the grammar is totally different from ours. (Next time I journal, I will post how exactly to make the different clicks. There are 4: /, //, !, and ≠.) Here is some KKG for you…

• “Toxopa” (toe-ho-pa)- “please”
• “≠u-i”- “food”
• “mari-i”- “money”
• “gan gans”- “thank you”
• “//om”- “sleep”
• “≠u”- “eat”
• “tsau”- “tired”
• “//gam-i”- “thirsty”
• “!a”- “hungry”
• “arib”- “dog”
• “tsuadanab” (sua-da-nab)- “headache”
• “mati?”- “how?”
• “mapa?”- “where?”
• “tare- e?”- “what?”
• “Amerikaba”- “America”
• “Tita ge a Peace Corps masenxa sisenao” – “I am a Peace Corps Volunteer worker”
• “!gai //goas”- “good morning”
• “!gai tses”- “good day”, “good afternoon”
• “!gai ≠angus”- “good to meet you”
• “≠khaits du go”- “did you sleep well”
• “ Matisa?” (ma- tee- sa)- “how are you?”, “how goes it?”
• “!Gai a” (ga-ee- ya)- “good”
• “!Gaise ha re”- “stay well”
• “!Gaise gu re”- “go well”
• “//khawa mugus” (kaba moo-gos)- “see you later”
• “Mati (t)s /on ha?”- “what is your name?” (**The t is used when speaking to males only**)
• “Ti ons ge a Angie”- “My name is Angie”
• “Mapa xu (t)s ra ha?” (mop-a whose ra ha) – “where are you from?”
• “Tita ge a Amerikaba di”- “I am from America”
• “Mapa (t)s ra ha?” – “where do you live/stay?”
• “Tita ge //Oaseb hostel !na ra ha” – “I stay at //Oaseb hostel”
• “Tare e (t)s ra nepa di?”- “what do you do here?”
• “Matiko //aeba (t) s nepa ni ha?”- “how long will you stay here?”
• “Tita ge nepa //gam kurina ni ha”- “I will be here for 2 years.”
(The direct translation is really “I here 2 years will be”…. See what I mean?)

1- /gui
2- /gam
3- !nona
4- haka
5- koro
6- !nani
7- hu
8- /khaisa
9- khoese
10- disi

I’m done for now… :) Lekker slaap! (Sleep well...)It's 7:35pm here. I just looked out the window- there is still a beautiful sunset showing its face. I wish you all could see it :)

Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: Widespread Panic- Til the Medicine Takes


Date:February 23rd, 2006 07:50 pm (UTC)



Ang, Widespread, and an African sunset? Yeah, that my friend is awesome stuff!

It'll be funny to see how much of the languages stay with you once you get back to the States.

Enjoy/hope you enjoyed the weekend travels. ;)

Stay safe, stay sweet.


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Date:February 24th, 2006 07:48 am (UTC)

Re: Etse!

Ok, first i saw that you closed off w "totsiens" and i thought that was adorable! Now i just realized you titled it "etse!". hahahahah That is awesome, Grizz!! I will retain plenty of the languages if I can find someone who will praat it with me ;) ::hint::

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