Ecolinguistic expeditions: Discovering Anyuak in Minnesota

The first step of my discovery--what do you see in your town?
The first step of my discovery–what do you see in your town?

In light of (yesterday’s) UNESCO Mother Language Day, I want to write in my Mother Language about a new language that I discovered this month.  (My readers should understand that when I say “discover,” I mean this in the same way as Christopher Columbus “discovered” America, namely, that I discovered something for myself. These people functioned fully as a community before any Western “discovery.”) Driving down the road in my own suburb of the Twin Cities, Minnesota, I saw the word “Anyuak” on a sign. What did this word even mean?

Read about my discovery

Week 2 of loving Somali: Time and greetings

How do you greet people in Somali? At what time?
How do you greet people in Somali? At what time?

This week I noticed some cool facts about time in Somali, namely, how they tell time, name the days, and greet each other. I also found some parallels with other languages I know. I think the latter might help some of my readers. Since I’ve studied a lot of languages, I’m able to see some interesting parallels that may help others to skip some steps in trying to learn these facets of Somali. I find it fascinating when I find some peculiar construction in a language, and then stumble upon it unexpectedly in a totally unrelated language. “This looks familiar!” always gets me excited.
Continue reading “Week 2 of loving Somali: Time and greetings”