Saturday, May 17, 2014

We Say, They Say

These are my host brother's Tsepiso and Katleho. They're very goofy boys, but if I tell them that they're being "silly," they'll get offended. Why? The word here is short for "osili" which means crazy. This is just a small example of how I can say something and it will get lost in translation --or even offend-- a Masotho.

   Sesotho is the language I speak here in Lesotho.
   It was created by French missionaries but is still steeped with British influences.
   Perhaps, it’s because the British colonized Lesotho (then known as Basotoland) many years ago.
   I’ve noticed this British impact during many a conversation. Here are some words that we say versus how the Basotho say it:

-In America, we say pants. In Lesotho, they say trousers.
-We say trash. They say rubbish.
-We say “I will get her from school.” They say “I will collect her from school.”
-We say period. They say full stop.
-We say quotation marks, they say inverted commas.

   And just for kicks, here are some things that I say that my host mother loves:
-"I'm gonna..."
-"I'm gonna figure it out..."
-"Oh my gosh!"
   It took me some time to get used to get used to learning and saying the different British phrases, though.
   For example, I kept saying period instead of full stop during class.
   No one corrected me. I just laughed to myself and said, “It’s OK.”
   That’s “ho lokile” or “sharp sharp” here.

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