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I teach abroad and continue to pursue the life I was given as if it was my last. Many people think it is. In my spare time, I enjoy lapping up ice cream, reading spy novels, and euthanizing manta rays.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ugandan Speak

Ugandan Phraseology 101

"Nice day!"

People don't use "Have a...." or "I hope you have a..." in front of their wishes.'Have a nice morning' and 'Have a good time' are just "Nice Morning" or "Nice time!"

"Can I give you a push?"

When somebody asks to walk you to the street or show you the way home or the way out, they use this phrase. Took me a while to figure out what they meant.

"Where do you stay?"

I don't live on campus. I stay on campus.

Directional Ambiguity

People never use the words left, right, or straight when giving directions. It's always, "you pass there or steer down or move up...or go around...shift there..." Body language and gestures are a big part of giving directions. It's the one troublesome thing I've found about the language use here.

"I'm shifting houses this weekend."

People don't move to a new apartment or move across town. They shift.

Passing well

People don't do well on exams. They pass well.

"Are you sure?!"

To express surprise or disbelief, Ugandans say "Are you sure?" instead of "Really?" or "Are you kidding me?"  or "No way!!!"

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