There is no ‘standard English’. Australian English is different from British English is different from Indian English. Tanzanian English has its own idiosyncrasies as well and here I offer some that strike me as funny. I hope these are offered in celebration of a unique culture rather than making fun. […]
A few days ago we had an experience that I’m sure will seem funny in hindsight but which was actually quite scary at the time. We were driving back from Iringa on a half-finished road that spanned a flood plain. It had been raining for the last week and the […]
Recently I blogged on how language is about rhythm and flow, not just words and grammar. Another aspect of language learning, and one which seems so distant at the moment, is expression and nuance. When someone raises their voice, are they angry or excited? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. We […]
When I’m having a conversation with someone and I say something, if they understand, most of the time they repeat it. Often if I’ve made a mistake, they correct it which is really useful for me, but I don’t think they’re doing it just to correct me. I think it’s […]
Our tutor left last week to return to Dar es Salaam but learning Swahili is still our main focus. So, is not having ‘class’ every day an excuse to slack off? Hardly! Even before Nicholas left we were brimming with ideas about how to continue our language learning in a […]
Every language has unique idiosyncrasies. One thing about Swahili that seems odd to English speakers is the complexity and breadth you can use when talking about location. Grammatically, there isn’t a simple answer to the question ‘where?’ You use different words to talk about locations that are general (e.g. in […]
A language exercise from last week was to read the story ‘Mfalme Mjinga’ and then complete it. I’ve translated it below. How would you finish it?