Monday, January 28, 2013

siSwati Lesson Two

To start… PRONUNCIATION NOTES: While I think that writing out these lessons is good review for me, and hopefully interesting for you, I feel bad that I cannot add some sort of audio for pronunciation. Mostly, it’s what you could expect, but I’ll add a few notes for “different” letters.
  1. K: pronounced like a hard G, as in good. “kwentani” is pronounced like “gwentani.”
  2. I: In the middle of a word, it’s a short “i” as in “hit.” At the end of a word, it is a long “ee” sound, like “tee-shirt.”
  3. NG: When it starts a word, a lot of times it sounds almost like N. Just try to think of how “ng” sounds in “thing,” and say it like that. It’s hard to wrap your head around.
  4. U: As far as I’ve seen, it’s an “oo” sound, like “food.”
  5. E: At the end of a word, it’s pronounced like “ay” in “day.”
  6. C: This isn't so much a "C" as it is a click. You know when people disapprove of something, they might make that clicking noise? Put the tip of your tongue behind your front two teeth, and then pull it down and back. That's kind of how you make the clicking noise.
Pronunciation practice time! MAKE, meaning mother or ma’am, is pronounced “ma-gay.” KUBHUKUSHA, meaning to swim, is pronounced “goo-boo-goo-sha.”
Wentani? – You are doing what?
Ngiyafundza. – I am studying/reading.
Ngiyabhala. – I am writing.
Ngiyalalela. – I am listening.
Ngiyahamba. – I am walking/going (remember, “hamba kahle” means “go well”).
Ngiyadlala. – I am playing.
Ngiyalala. – I am going to sleep.
Note: While you have probably noticed that verbs start with “ngiya” when it’s of the form “I am…” this changes to “ngi” when an object is added. Example:
Ngiyafundza. – I am studying.
Ngifundza i-IB. – I am studying the IB.
Ngiyalalela. – I am listening.
Ngilalela umculo. – I am listening to music.
Cool? Cool. Moving on.
Utsandza kwentani? – You love to do what?
Ngitsandza kubukela mabonakudze. – I like to watch TV.
Ngitsandza kushaya lugatali. – I like to play guitar (although literally “kushaya” means “to hit”).
Ngitsandza kubhukusha. – I like to swim.
Now, hopefully you’ve figured that “ngitsandza” means “I like.” Also, “ku” at the beginning of the verb makes it of the infinitive form, or in simple terms, “to watch,” or “to swim,” or so on. Knowing this, and the fact that “ngiya” conjugates a verb for “I,” you can change the verbs from the other section to be used in this manner. Example: What does “ngitsandza kulalela umculo” mean?
All right then – that’s all we learned today! Although to be fair, if we learn this much every single day, I’m going to be first of all, overwhelmed, and second of all, really good at siSwati by the end of two years! I’ve got lots of other homework to do now – school is pulling back into full swing! Enjoy the siSwati!

No comments:

Post a Comment