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Even Try To Learn Local Languages?

Discussion in 'Africa' started by Valentino, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. Valentino

    Valentino Member

    In Africa, there are over 1,000 languages spoken. And most of these you can't learn on the internet. So supposing you are traveling to Africa do you even attempt to learn any of the local languages taking into account the fact that not everyone you'll be meeting may speak the language you learned?
     
  2. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    Our country has a lot of dialects which are scattered in provinces particularly in the rural areas. Whenever we would travel to those provinces, we try to find someone who is good in speaking Filipino (the main dialect) or English because it is difficult to understand the dialects that we do not know. And we never bother to learn those dialects because we have no intention of coming back often. In other countries, we used to study a conversational style of speaking but we gave up especially with the Chinese in Hongkong, it is too difficult to learn. Until now, the only Chinese word we know is Nihaw which means hello or greeting.
     
  3. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Oh gosh, that's tough - I never knew there were so many dialects there!

    I guess I would try and learn a few phrases. I'm of the mindset that something is always better than nothing when it comes to knowing a language - and if I can say something and perhaps even be slightly understood, then it could be helpful. I like knowing things like hello, please, thank you, where is _____? (especially handy if you need to find a restroom, for instance!) and things like that.
     
  4. Well, why not? When I travel, I want to try new things. A language is the result of the history and culture of the people using it. To learn a language is to get an understanding of how the native speakers think. True, there may be a lot of different dialects in use in Africa. If I were ever to travel to Africa, it would be interesting to find out how the different dialects say a certain word.

    The first word that comes to my mind would be 'hello'. This is just about the very first word we use when we meet someone. When Muslims meet, they say 'As salaam mualaikum'. When Thais meet, they say 'Sawasdee krap' or 'sawasdee ka' (the 'krap' is used by males and the 'ka' is used by females). As @Corzhens mentioned earlier, the Chinese greet each other with 'Ni hao' which means 'How are you?' Very often the Chinese would follow that up with 'Jie guo fan ler ma' which means 'have you eaten?' The Chinese, maybe because of historical famines, are rather concerned about eating.
     
  5. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    @Aree Wongwanlee, I remember my nephew and nieces with that phrase sawasdee krap but it is pronounced klap and not krap. From what I remember, it is a form of appreciation so they also taught me to say sawasdee ka because I am a female. Maybe I have a low aptitude when it comes to learning language that's why I am not much interested. But one of my nieces is a tourism student and part of her learning is to speak conversational language of countries that she would visit. She had been to Korea and we brought her to Bangkok last March and the other year we were in Hongkong with her. She is our unofficial translator.
     
  6. Well, if you look at the spelling in Thai, it is actually 'krap'. However, the Thais do not roll their tongues very well. So they don't pronounce the 'r' very clearly. There is actually the letter 'r' in Thai. It's just not pronounced prominently. Another example is the word for 'sing'. You can hear Thais saying 'long pleng' meaning 'sing song'. Actually the word is spelled 'rong' with an 'r'. Again the 'r' is not emphasized and it ended up sounding like an 'l' instead.
     
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