Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Who's your Baama?

Lower Basic
Originally uploaded by mchughtie.
It shouldn't come as any surprise to me that Mandinka would be sneaking English into its vernacular. I have to say though, that I was taken by surprise when Betembo first stood down the pouring rain from her porch, wooden pestle in hand and proclaimed, "Ah Time Wastah Baake!" Living here, it's easy to see why locals wouldn't have a word for certain concepts. How could one waste time in a place where entire days are devoted to cracking peanuts with your thumb? I like to ponder what drove these words into the language, and how they expand and alter it. This includes countless nouns, like "Telefuno," "Garaaso," and "Moto", but I think the most interesting are the blended phrases. Some top Mandinglish picks I've encountered around my compound:

"Caambano Mang Cibilized" (The boy is not civilized.)

"Ah Kuulta Baake!" (Very Cool)

"Kaana moolu disturb" (Don't disturb people)

"Mbaa try la" (I will try it)

"Africa Mang easy" (Africa is not easy.)

"I buka understand." (You just don't get it.)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Love letter from a man I met once

Omar's restaurant
Originally uploaded by mchughtie.
At Home
No Date
100% Living
Hi Mariama,
It seems to me ages since I first saw you because you are the Diamond of my eyes, the very day heart, the sunshine of my life and without you everything is in a complete darkness and you will spread all my life with happiness and also end it with a sorrowful thing. Your love is like a burning fire Deep down in my soul and it kills me in the middle of the night and give me sleepness night all night long. It's so strong, the feeling of love that I have for you is like a magnet t the steel. I love you above all the ladies or girls I ever met. I love you more than anything else in this world. I love nothing in this world so mwell as you and I am dying of love of you. Hi young girls, your color, I love it. It's like the fifteen (15th) of month when the moon and the stars shine brighter. Oh! The empress didn't make my life to be shame and blame because your love has re-established it empire in my heart and I want to let you know the power of love is stronger than anything. I love you and I want you to give me your love and hope in return for together we live large. I expect you to file me your reply. Your love is pure shine and seal in my heart and I am giving my love in advance to you the empress.
Sign, Yours truely,