Good wishes


Dec 23rd, 2004, 07:16 AM
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Good wishes

To all my Fodor's Africa friends,

Merry Christmas, and may your Africa dreams come true in the New Year!

Celia is offline  
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Dec 23rd, 2004, 09:57 AM
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Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you and all our fellow Fodorites and Africaphiles.

Let's hope the New Year brings great news for the wonderful continent and it's people, culture and wildlife, all of which hold a special place in all our hearts.
divewop is offline  
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Dec 23rd, 2004, 11:23 AM
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Season's Greetings from me too.
I wish everyone health and happiness and sweet dreams of Africa!
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Dec 23rd, 2004, 01:15 PM
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To All:

Happy, Happy and Healthy, Healthy!

May we all be lucky to get non-stop flights to our African destinations - I can dream can't I?
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Dec 23rd, 2004, 05:36 PM
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Now that would be something!!! Nonstop from Los Angeles to Mfuwe, Zambia...a 20 hour flight, I imagine!

For now, however, I will have to settle for Los Angeles - London - Johannesburg - Lusaka - Mfuwe, adding, oh...about 15 hours to the flight!!!

Anyway, it's a nice thought (non-stop travel).

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
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Dec 24th, 2004, 07:34 AM
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Many wishes for happy and safe trips to our beloved continent of Africa to all. Liz
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Dec 24th, 2004, 07:40 AM
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Milad Majid (Arabic)

Krismas Njema (Kiswahili)

Heri ya Krismasi (Swahili)

Sinifesela Ukhisimusi Omuhle Nonyaka Omusha Onempumelelo (isiZulu)

Geseënde Kersfees (Afrikaans)
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Dec 26th, 2004, 12:03 AM
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Judy, I'm confused! I thought Kiswahili and Swahili were the same.
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Dec 26th, 2004, 12:35 PM
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April, you think you're confused? Now I'm confused too.

Well, some Googling reveals that you are right that Swahili and Kiswahili are the same language. If you want the whole long shaggy dog story, my explanation of how I found the response to your implied question follows:

Of the languages I quoted, the only two that I myself speak are Afrikaans and isiZulu. Well, I don't actually speak isiZulu. I speak siSwati. However, isiZulu, isiXhosa, isiNdebele and siSwati belong to the Nguni group of languages. The languages are similar, and a speaker of one of them can understand speakers of the others. The Nguni group of languages is a smaller subset that belongs to the larger Bantu group of African languages.

I don't speak Swahili or Kiswahili (be they the same language or different ones) or Arabic. Actually I've never been to North Africa, West Africa or East Africa (other than to refuel at airports such as Accra and Nairobi en route to Southern Africa).

I just thought it would be nice to quote some holidays greetings in the languages of the African countries that Fodorites most commonly visit. So I did a quick Google search, and found this website, which I took at face value and from which I quoted. I would have liked to have included greetings from Botswana and Zambia, but the website wasn't helpful with respect to those two countries:

As you will see, the site quotes Krismas Njema as the greeting in Kiswahili, which it lists as one of the possibilities for Kenya. When it comes to Tanzania, the site offers two possibilities : Krismas Njema in what it calls Kiswahili and Heri ya Krismasi in what it calls Swahili.

When I now Google these greetings, Heri ya Krismasi comes up on many websites as a greeting in Swahili or Kiswhili, which does indeed appear to be one and the same language.

A Google search for Krismas Njema seems to suggest that it's a greeting in Abagussi, the language of the Kissi or Gussi people, one of Kenya's several tribes.

The CIA World Factbook on Kenya states that Kenya's ethnic composition is as follows:

Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, other African 15%, non-African (Asian, European, and Arab) 1%

It lists Kenya's languages as follows:

English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages

What puzzles me about the above is that there is no Kenyan tribe called "Swahili." So if there is not a tribe of people called the Swahili, I ask myself which people speak Swahili. Do the Kikuyu, for example, speak Swahili? A Google search suggests that the language of the Kikuyu people is Gikuyu.

The CIA World Factbook for Tanzania lists that country's ethnic groups as follows:

mainland - native African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other 1% (consisting of Asian, European, and Arab); Zanzibar - Arab, native African, mixed Arab and native African

The CIA World Factbook for Tanzania lists the country's languages as follows:

Kiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiunguju (name for Swahili in Zanzibar), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), many local languages

Then the CIA World Factbook for Tanzania carries this additional note, which appears to clear up the mystery:

Kiswahili (Swahili) is the mother tongue of the Bantu people living in Zanzibar and nearby coastal Tanzania; although Kiswahili is Bantu in structure and origin, its vocabulary draws on a variety of sources, including Arabic and English, and it has become the lingua franca of central and eastern Africa; the first language of most people is one of the local languages.

So I take that to mean that a member of the Kikuyu tribe, for example, would speak Gikuyu within his own clan, but would use Swahili in his communications with members of other tribes in his own and neighbouring countries.

Another website on the history of Swahili says that the first reference to it is in the Greek writings of a 2nd century resident of Alexandria, Egypt who travelled to the east coast of Africa. It was trade in all directions from the East African coast that initially spread Swahili as a lingua franca. The utility of Swahili was further reinforced when English missionaries found it more feasible to learn a single African language with which to spread the Gospel.

Oh well, I've just learned a lot about Swahili that I didn't know before. I don't know why I like following these kinds of leads, but I do.
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Dec 26th, 2004, 01:53 PM
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Whew! Thanks, Judy. I was a little dismayed to find, when I got to Tanzania, that the Masai (at least the ones I met) didn't speak Swahili. I wonder where one can learn a few words in whatever language they speak?

I seem to remember Kikuyu speaking Swahili in some show - The Flames Trees of Thika or Out of Africa, but don't know if that was true to life.
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Dec 26th, 2004, 06:29 PM
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Hi April,

Wow, there isn't much about Masai vocabulary on the Internet. Here are my meager findings:

Hello = Sopa

Goodbye = Olé séré

Thank you = Aske
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Dec 26th, 2004, 08:54 PM
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Well that is something. Thanks again.
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