Monday, 28 June 2010

Basic First Words (And Phrases)

I know, I'm so sorry! It's been ages since I've posted, and I have no justifiable reasons for not doing so. But I'm back now!

Okay don't shoot me. I will list some basic words and phrases that are of general use, but unfortunately I do not have the use of Yoruba keys on this computer so the tonation marks are absent. However, the list is of good preliminary use for anyone who'd like to read it, and perhaps an audio recording (like the 'TalkNow! Yoruba' software or the CD's that come with 'Colloquial Yoruba') will be of additional use. Any comments or corrections are more than welcome. One thing you should keep in mind is that (as with many languages), there is more than one way to say something. You'll see me talk about this as time goes along in my blog. Here goes:

Bee ni=Yes
Rara, OR, Bee ko=No
E kaaro=Good morning
E kaasan=Good afternoon
E kuurole=Good evening
E jowo=Please
E se=Thank you
E se gan=Thank you very much
Bawo ni=How are
Bawo ni nnkan=How are things
O dabo=Goodbye

I must also note that some phrases in Yoruba differ depending on who you are speaking to. For example, the 'E' at the beginning of phrases such as 'Good morning', 'Good afternoon', 'Good evening', and 'Please' are when referring to an older person or someone in authority as a sign of respect. If referring to someone who is your age or younger, you would not use the 'E', in these cases. So, 'E kaaro' may be used when referring to someone in authority or older, and 'Kaaro' would be used when referring to someone your age or younger. Similarly, 'E' is also used in the plural, when speaking to more than one person, regardless of their age of position of authority. So you would need to say 'E Kaaro', for example, when speaking to two or more people.

There are many other cases of when phrases change depending on who you are speaking to, which I will outline later. This may seem difficult but books like 'Colloquial Yoruba' by Anthonia Schleicher really help simplify such rules, making it easier to digest, with the help of exercises to complete that help to assimilate these grammatical rules.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Every cloud has a silver lining

So today was a bit of a disappointment. But I believe everything happens for a reason! Well anyway, so I start my daily lesson today and my computer was freezing here, there and everywhere. But to me, it's a blessing. Why? Because it's given me the opportunity to stop going on about how good the software is and start making good use of the sharing WHAT I've learnt, including vocabulary, grammar, and anything else that follows from that.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

It's arrived! ('Colloquial Yoruba')

As we speak, I am staring at my copy of 'Colloquial Yoruba: The Complete Course for Beginners' by Antonia Yetunde Folarin Schleicher. It's arrived in the post...yay! Words cannot express the excitement and joy I felt when this arrived today. I took photos and everything (to be uploaded at a later date). Call me sad...I don't care.

It's got the two CD'S as promised and the book, all for just £27.76 from Amazon. Moreover, the book includes various exercises, grammar sections, and a Yoruba-English and English-Yoruba glossary. Amazing for a good start! I will let you know as time passes how resourceful it is, but I'm sure I won't be disappointed.

I think for now I will complete my 'TalkNow! Yoruba' software before moving on to the more comprehensive 'Colloquial Yoruba'. But who knows? My approach my change. I will keep you all updated.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

New obstacles

Today is not the first day I've thought about learning Yoruba, or taken actions into doing so. I've wanted to for the past few years, and actually began to do so about a year ago. Excuses will never be a true justification, but time was indeed my restriction which led me to stop learning it, intending to resume later.

This is my later. June 2010. And a blog, well, a blog was never intended to be part of the learning process. I wanted to learn Yoruba this summer, and I also wanted to write a blog. That is how the two formed a union. And well...why not? I can share my thoughts and experiences of learning the language, help others, and gain their assistance in return. And I can record my learning process, and be motivated at times of distraction through the need to update my blog.

Last year, I set out to learn through a book I happened to pick up in the library...'Colloquial Yoruba'‎ by Dr. Antonia Folarin Schleicher. VERY GOOD. It's accompanied by two CD's, includes everyday situations with tones, variations depending on the age of the person you are speaking to, and cultural context. About a year on, I've bought the book and CD, along with 'TalkNow! Yoruba'. This is a software with fun and games that helps you gain a basic understanding of Yoruba.

So far only 'TalkNow!' has arrived in the post, and although it has its limitations (tones, and differences in speaking depending on the age of the person you're referring or speaking to)...IT'S FUN! Games and points scoring, and you can record your voice, play it back, and compare it to a native speaker. Very rewarding.

So far, I've noticed that I struggle on pronounication of shorter words, and find pronouncing longer sentences easier. I speak Twi (a language of the Asante in Ghana), and, Twi being a nasal language, I often use nasal pronounication when practicing Yoruba in places where I shouldn't.

An obstacle I've come across in writing this blog is how to type Yoruba words on here with the tonal accents, which I cannot seem to find on Microsoft Word. I have looked for websites that provide this in the past, but to no avail. I will keep looking, and any ideas from anyone of where I can find a virtual Yoruba keyboard would be more than appreciated. :)


Hello and welcome to my blog! Allow me to introduce myself...

I am a British-born Ghanaian girl who is very much immersed in my Asante culture, and proud too! However, I've always been a firm believer in learning about different cultures across the world.

Language is very much a part of this. I grew up well-versed in English and Twi (a language of the Asante in Ghana), and have dabbled in French and Spanish here and there. My particular interest in learning the Yoruba language was stimulated from a relationship I am in, but driven by my interest in learning foreign languages.

One thing I'd like to note is that I strongly believe that culture and language are not rigid bodies but change constantly, and moreover, are extremely complex. Yoruba is no exception, since it is spoken in many varieties, and in many parts of the world: West Africa, South America and the Caribbean to name but a few.

I am very much a beginner in learning Yoruba, and I'm not afraid to admit it. Therefore, my journey will be a lengthy one, but one I look forward to! I would like to record this journey through my blog and share the knowledge that I gain from learning it, especially for others that are doing the same, or even those who are fluent in the language. Posting any tips, ideas, or interesting things to note are more than welcome, as are discussions, all of which I will also be doing in my writing of this blog. You can do this by leaving a comment or emailing me.

Now all that's to say is...enjoy!