"sema tena"...say that again...

English Convo hour has been great. When we first started it was difficult thinking of topics to discuss every week and some days I just feel crazy busy and frazzled with leaving the kids and rushing over there but I must say I have really grown to love it. The students that come each week are very eager to learn and we have become friends. Laughing at each other's mistakes can do that quickly. Now that we are taking a month off for lakizo (break) to prepare for the next round of classes I will miss my weekly dose of language misadventures (both for me and them)!

A couple of funnies I do not want to forget: Each week the students always have a chance to ask questions about language; words, usuage, phrases, whatever. Usually they hear things on the radio or TV they do not understand and write it down. One male student asked me "Mama Annikah, what does "Hasta la vista?" mean in English? " Hilarious. Poor guy had tried to look up every word in the Kiswahili-English dictionary and had no luck. I never thought Arnold Schwarzenegger would come up in Tanzania. Add that to the list.

Then this last week a female student asked me "why do wazungus say 'God is sick?"

This took me a good ten minutes to figure out. Can you guess what this student heard and was trying to repeat?

...answer later (if we have power :) c'mon take a guess.....

Comments

J said…
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Roxanne said…
I removed the 1st 2 guesses so not to sway others :) keep guessing...there is after all a lot on the line :)
alisa said…
oh my god, that's sick!

btw, just to introduce myself... i stumbled across your blog (it used to be linked on chloe's "zest for life today" blog) two years ago when i was doing refugee resettlement. i identified with some of the cultural experiences and have been lurking ever since :)
Got a sec?
But now I'm thinking I'm wrong, since you didn't say anything about my comment in your email to me.
Laura S said…
No idea (I suck at languages, while we are there I am sure I will only be able to say sifahamu Kiswahili). Maybe godzilla?
Annie said…
our guess - "got a sec?"
Kers said…
Gotta sec?
Kers said…
Gotta sec?
misskatiez said…
is it perhaps a reaction to gesundheit?
Emily Joy Lee said…
I am totally stumped. I thought, well, "Jesus loves you" sounds sort of like a "Jesus ACHOOOOO!" sneeze. Or maybe "God is merciful/gentle" translates more like weak, which might be like sick. Both those guesses are pretty dumb, though...

Anyway, enjoying your blog as always - You inspire me to actually post more often on my own...
Gma Rho said…
Okay . . . the only thing I can think of is "go to sleep." At least I tried! Can't wait for the big reveal!!
Erin said…
Got a sec?

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