Friday, March 02, 2007

Yet Tafesh?


**Yet Tafesh means "where have you been?" in Amharic

Life has been pretty busy lately, and I haven't had very much time to blog...

I started a new job at a coffee shop near my house. Despite missing my FIRST day (don't ask!), it's been going pretty well.

I've also started learning Amharic! A friend in my sixth hour class has been tutoring me. He speaks 4 languages--Amharic, Oromo, Swahili, and English. Other students who speak Amharic have offered to help too, so I have a lot of "teachers". I feel like I'm making progress... I can read the script(slowly), and I've learned greetings, numbers (up to 100), and a bunch of "small talk" phrases. Ha, and I can sing "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" :)
I'm starting to understand sentence structure, but it will probably be awhile before I can consistently form sentences. It's definitely challenging, but since I have a pretty easy schedule at school (gotta love senior year), my brain welcomes the stimulation.

Tekle has suddenly become interested in Amharic again. The other day he was rewinding an Ethiopian movie over and over again in an effort to memorize the words.Even though he can't understand it anymore, I can tell it's comforting for him to hear the language. Up until this point he would always insist "I can only talk like that in Ethiopia! I talk like you now.".

I gave him a little quiz the in the car yesterday:

"What does Mekina mean?"
"Car"
"What does bandira mean?"
"flag"
"What does mastika mean?"
"gum"
"What does mooz mean?"
"Deer!"

I started cracking up because "mooz" means banana. I can definitely see the relationship though. Mooz sounds like Moose, which basically means deer.
Ah language...




***pic credit:
www.nmr.mgh.harvard.edu

1 comment:

momteacherfriend said...

My translations-
Mekina-family
Bandira-bandanna/headwear
mastika-eye make-up
mooz-moose/large deer like animal.

I am with him on the last one.
How fun that you can banter with him about his native language. I am sure his sudden interest in it is related to your desire to learn it as well.

Have a great day!