Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tomato, Tomoto

The part of Cameroon we are located in speaks English, but their words don't necessarily mean the same thing as ours. The same word or gesture can have totally different meaning here, so we have had to do a lot of learning these first months. We are definitely getting a better ear for their pronunciations and learning some of their expressions. I will share some of them with you.

Our way Their way
I have a stomach ache. My stomach is eating me.
I hurt myself. I have a wound.
He is bothering me. He is looking for trouble.
I will spank you very hard. I will beat you very good.
I am sorry. Asha
Hot peppers Pepe
Avocado Pear

America-The middle finger is a crude gesture. Cameroon- The middle finger is used as a come here gesture bearing no inappropriate meaning. ( I will say that one caught me by surprise when Katie's friend was teaching her the gesture. After clarifying the meaning I explained my surprise and let Katie know that she could leave that gesture out of her African learning except to know she wasn't being insulted :)

Ah, there are more but I will have to add them later as I remember them. I guess the one thing that hits me over and over is that so many things seem to be opposite of our meanings and ways. It is an interesting and fun experience.

1 comment:

Leah said...

This is so interesting...I know I would surely say the wrong thing and get myself in trouble!! :)