Anna and I originally thought we were in for a heavy dose of French before we came here, and maybe would learn greetings, and basics in an African language. Surprise! We are learning Bambara (Bamanankan) from the deep end of the pool. It is fun, but hard.
Needless to say, there have been some amusing mistakes we have made, let me share a few of those with you:
- Anna introduced herself as my husband to a group of approx. 100 people at the end of a church service- there were hardy chuckles.
- I informed my host family that I recieved a Namasa (similar to the word for bicycle), and wanted to ride it to school. My family said they didn't understand and told me to repeat it. I did; that didn't help. Namasa = Banana
- "Where are you from?" -->becomes--> "Where is your poop?" if you change the order of one word. I don't recommend this as a way to get to know someone.
- There are two words for hand, for some bizarre reason "hand-washing" changes to "circumcision" depending on which one of them you choose... Riddle me this.