Sunday, August 30, 2015

Culture | Homonyms (2)

We are continuing with our series on homonyms, or what some people call homophones.

In Chinyanja (Malawi/Zambia), the verb “Kugona” means “To sleep”, while in Runyankole/Rukiga (Western Uganda) it refers to “To snore”.

In Swahili, the verb “Kucheza” is “to play/joke”. In Chichewa, it may also be used to mean “gossip”.

In Kinyarwanda, the noun “ubuzima” refers to health. In Runyankole/Rukiga(Western Uganda) a similar word – “obuzima” actually means honesty.

In runyoro-rutooro (Western Uganda), the word Ekitabu may mean a bed, while the same is strictly used to refer to a bed in the rest of the Bantu languages (It has its origins in Arabic: Kitab for book).

In lusoga, “ndala/mulala” means one/lone/sole, while it means “another” in Luganda (central Uganda). For example, the sentence: Yali muntu mulala may mean:  He was one person. In Luganda, it may mean: He was a different person.

Dan A.