Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hi. Fine.

Language is a funny thing. The same words may mean different things in different cultures, even though they are in the same language.

In Nairobi, when you greet a person with "Hello", you may be answered "Fine." Reason? In Swahili, there are really no mainstream greetings that are not asking, "How are you?" So "Hello" is commonly interpreted as meaning, "How are you?"

I have mentioned in this blog before that most Kenyans in Nairobi know at least three languages: Swahili, a smaller mother tongue language, and English. When you go to the coast, the beach hawkers know enough of most major european languages to complete a sale. (Amazing!)

These guys are David, our staff driver, and Kioko, our staff mechanic. (Great people!)

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home