Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ghana? It's very nice :)

I forgot to note in the previous entry that while in Togo I only got one marriage proposal, which is pretty good since I was averaging much more than that a day when I first arrived in Ghana ;).

I thought I would let you know some language funnies that I have encountered in my two months in this country.
Rubber - a plastic bag, often used to carry food. I was passing food out at a conference at my internship and a man kept asking me for a rubber. Now...in the U.S. this means a condom and I was really confused until he pointed at the bag holding the boxes of food...whoops. People were really adament about getting these "rubbers" to carry their take-out trays...I didn't really understand why they needed a bag, but everything here in Ghana is placed in a bag (sometimes two bags, I have to stop the egg sandwich lady everytime before she gives me two, seemingly pointless bags).
Dust bin - trash can. The photographer at the conference kept asking me for a dust bin, which i thought meant dust pan, which I didnt know where that was so I just said no, I don't think we have one.
Balance - change, often used to get the "mate" (he is the one that yells out the window where the tro-tro is going and the one who you tell where to drop you off) to give you back your change.
Salad - cole slaw, typically with a ton of mayonaise, and often with ketchup.
Fast Food - fried rice, fried chicken, french fries, and anything else essentially fried.

"I have to urinate" - Indicates, please tell me where the toilet is. Only men have said this to me; the women asked where is the bathroom. I wasn't really sure what to say to the men who announced their need to relieve themselves.
"I'm coming" - used to indicate that the person is hurrying or getting close to something, like if they are looking for your folder or if they see you are in a rush and need to get your change.
"It's finished." - example: "Do you have fried rice? No, it's finished. "
"small, small" - means I only have a little or done a little; example "I have studied small, small french."
"How did you see it? How did you take it?" - Did you like it? How does it taste?
"fine, okay, nice." - All synonyms for good (although good is used much less often than those three). Women selling plantain chips say "nice chips." If you think someone is cute you might say "he is okay." When something is really good, they will say "it is very nice." How did you see it? it was fine. etc.

I love it. Not only are the accents great, but so are the great things they say and the way it is said. I am trying to imitate, because I was told I look like a Ghanaian until I open my mouth.

1 comment:

anna davis said...

Very, very interesting choice of words for the Ghanaians. Words/phrases that make you say hmmmmmm!? :^)