Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Swahili and I.T.

Last term I was fairly busy, getting used to being here, keeping up with people back home, but pretty much with classes. This term I decided that I really should not spend all my time doing that, so I've been trying to spend more time doing other things. I worked in the I.T. office last term as well, but I've been a more consistent about going in to work this term. What I do is very flexible, basically I show up on my own time and do whatever there is to do. It's best when I have projects to work on, like last term I documented the network (as far as I could). This term it looks like I might be helping out with the website, so we've been getting familiar with the software we'll be using. I would love to be proficient enough to design a website, that would be sweet.

I have also started studying Swahili. We started an informal class that meets twice a week for an hour, and I also arranged for 2 hours of tutoring a week (one hour of tutoring costs more than twice as much as the entire month of class). So I have Swahili for an hour a day Monday - Thursday. If I'm intentional about using it, I could use it all the time: my hallmates speak Swahili, the guys I eat with speak Swahili, when I buy bread at the Tuck shop on-campus, checking out books from the library, most of my friends in class, at church, maybe half the songs we sing in chapel, when I go shopping outside NEGST, in the matatu, basically all the time. I'm familiar with most greetings now, some basic verb construction, and a little vocabulary. Here's a brief lesson:

Ninasoma Swahili.
I am studying Swahili.

You attach prefixes to the verb to indicate person and tense. Ni means I, na means present tense, soma means study. Nilisoma means I studied. Nitasoma means I will study. Unasoma means you study. Mimi is the first person singular pronoun, so to emphasize that I'm doing it, I could say, "Mimi ninasoma Swahili" (I myself am studying Swahili). Just like Greek, where the verb includes the person but you can also add a pronoun. I would love to actually be conversational in another language. If I work hard, it is definitely possible. Until next time. Kwa heri (good bye)!

1 comment:

Andrew in Japan said...

がんばって!hahaha i hope u get good at swahili too, that would be sweet. do most foreigners in kenya bother to learn it or does everyone just speak english only?