Friday, August 21, 2015

...khuluma siSwati.

"I know not all that may be coming, but be what it will, I'll go to it laughing." - Herman Melville

I decided to take a break from studying Siswati to write this blog. If you have to know the truth I have taken many breaks within this study period. Desperate times call for desperate measures, honestly meaning this blog post has no purpose other than to waste some time. I hope something will evolve within the next few minutes that will be worthy of your time. Or, if like me you are avoiding something important than you are welcome, I am glad to be of help. I shall begin with this language called siSwati. Since this blog is intended to avoid my studying of siSwati I can feel your confusion. But who doesn't like a little irony ever now and again? So, siSwati. It is sort of hard. I will not lie and tell you that every day I am thrilled to be learning this language. Many days I am overly frustrated that every noun has a set of rules, that "s's" never make things plural, there is one spelled word meaning many things with unrecognizable pronunciation differences, and to say the color blue you say luhlata sasibhakabhaka. Truthfully, most Swazis speak English in Swaziland and love to do so with Americans. It is bad when your teacher everyday repeats the phrases, "this word is an exception" or "oh Siswati, it doesn't make any sense".

Woe is me right? So what is the point?  The reason is for the joyful laughter you get when we say sawubona make, unjani? The reason is for the complete surprise when you say Ngicela ematamatisi, emazambane, ne banyanisi to the bomake at the market. The reason is for, "You speak Siswati my friend!", "Ah you know Siswati!", "How?!", "You are Swazi!". It is undeniably unbelievable how happy it makes the residences of this beautiful country. We truly know only the slightest bit of their language and culture but it matters deeply. So I continue to pick up my books for only this reason. It might take this many letters- ngiyagcoke libhuluko lelimphunga- to say I wear grey pants or that the month of May is Inkhwekhweti. The verbs to look (buka), to buy on credit (bhuka), to bake (bhaka), and to watch (bukela) all sound the same coming out of a Swazi speaking native. But at the end of the day, after failing conversations over and over again, we take the smiles, laughs, and hugs as major wins. It is important to them, so it is important to us. It is as simple as that.

Niyabonga. Ngitawudadisa siSwati naylo ngobe ngibhale eblog ngingafundza. Angifuni kudadisa kepha ngikhona ngobe eSwatini kuna bantfu labalungile.

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