Freetown, Baby!


So much trouble by jc2010sl
July 6, 2010, 11:12 pm
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Krio is a lot of fun as a language, but it’s not the richest when it comes to vocabulary. I guess this is hardly surprising when it’s essentially a pared down version of English. Any time you want to describe something positively you reach for the same adjective. How do I say a view is beautiful? “I fayn”; How can I say my dinner is tasty? “I fayn”; how do say this car is quick, well, you can guess the answer.

Language is framed by experience, so I guess the words a people have developed tell us something about it’s history and circumstances. The Inuit have 40-odd different words for snow, or so we’re told.

Given the troubled beginnings of the Krios – most of them were former slaves who’d endured a terrifying passage across the Atlantic to a land riddled with disease, it’s not surprising that the language has so many words for “trouble.”

The least worrying kind is “Wahala” – trouble that can be dealt with. Then there is “Tranga” – your common or garden trouble, or even “troubles”. There are also different troubles according to its origins; “Bombosoro” is trouble created by an external source, natural or human; and “Dombolo” something from within – the family, the country, or any other association.  Finally, there’s “Plaba”; trouble that manifests in heated disagreements. Possibly over what kind of trouble you’re in…

NS

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