Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Kinyarwanda is VERY difficult

I thought that some of you might be interested in the language that I am learning. Here is a little bit of info on kinyarwanda.

1. Kinyarwanda is tonal meaning that the way you pronounce things or use inflection can change the meaning of the word entirely. For example, the word gusura can mean both to fart and to visit. The only difference is that if you prolong the second “u” it means to visit but if you say it fast, it is to fart.
2. There are 16 noun classes. Each class of nouns has a different plural form and just about everything in the sentence will change according to the noun. Which means that there are many ways to say the same word. For example, ni byiza (it’s good), ijoro ryiza (good night), uri mwiza (you are good looking).
3. In kinyarwanda, there tends to be new verbs for every behavior. For instance, in English we can “sprinkle” about anything. You can sprinkle spices, dust, water etc…
Well, in kinyarwanda there are completely different verbs for sprinkling spices versus salt etc…

Anyway, this is just a taste of its complexity. I hope it interests you because it just frustrates me!

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