Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September 14, 2011 7:00 AM--Ugandan Speak

The way people here speak can be an adjustment in and of itself sometimes.  And I’m not just talking about the words they may use (because they do speak in British English), but actually the way they phrase certain things.  One thing that many of them do that I can’t seem to understand a reason for is they ask and answer their own questions.  Instead of just stating a fact, they will pose it in a question and then answer the question themselves.  For example, they may be talking about going to Gulu and in the conversation they might say “Gulu is what?  It is far.”  It can be a very confusing mannerism at first, because they usually hesitate in between the question and the answer.  So you may have a tendency to respond to their question before they answer it themselves.  Another example might be if they are talking about lunch they might say “For lunch we are having what?  Matooke.”  You may have noticed that their questions are kind of phrased backwards, with the inquisitive word at the end.  And that I think I can actually explain.  In the local languages, the question word (or the “what”) always comes at the end of the sentence.  But why they ask and answer their own question, I can’t really explain.  I can only think that maybe they do it for emphasis.  But it can seem strange if you aren’t used to it.

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