Thursday, August 23, 2012

language learning

There’s nothing like learning another language to realize how bad you are at English. We're learning just how little grammar we were taught at school. What’s an infinitive? Can someone explain the past perfect tense?

Both English and Swahili are national languages in Kenya. We started Swahili lessons as part of our orientation and have been practicing small phrases on our guards, the bus drivers and colleagues. We’re having trouble figuring out how to say ‘This is my wife’ or ‘This is my husband’ and a few times I’ve proudly introduced Will as my wife. Oops.

We’re hoping to find a tutor and start weekly classes with some Aussie friends soon. Sure, we can get by on other people’s English (and they speak it well!), but making the effort speaks volumes about our interest in this culture and its people.

And to be honest, you feel kinda dumb being the only mono-lingual kid in the room.

swahili words for the day 
Mme – 'husband'
Mke - 'wife'


  1. Habari Bibi!! Cool! I learnt to speak english and swahili while in Africa - so bummed I can't speak it anymore... well apart from very small talk and a couple of songs. Glad you are keeping up your blog.

  2. I don't get it..your English sounds as good as mine..and mine is fine :-) ( I teach it) so what's the go?