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Showing posts from December, 2016

mangu mangu

Mangu mangu: Luganda for fast or quickly. (For some reason this pair of corresponding words feels improbable to me; maybe it’s because it’s not a very speedy word to say.)
I learned the word this summer while in language school, relatively late in my Luganda learning for such a basic and frequently used word. While reflecting on it at the time, I realized that it was sort of apropos that I had learned the word for slow (mpola mpola, similar to Swahili’s pole pole) so much earlier than mangu mangu. While life in Kampala is certainly a lot of hustle and bustle, I find that the overall pace of things is a bit slower than here in the US. While I’ve certainly had a lot of reasons to ask for someone to do something mangu mangu while living in Kampala, I never have, and instead I’d learned to go with the flow and be patient with the pace of things. Indeed, asking a boda boda driver to drive mpola mpola was a much more useful word to have in my vocabulary than anything to encourage speed.
But…

obuwanguzi (success)!

The word of the week is obuwanguzi - success! I'm happy to report that I experienced success on several different levels this week.

In terms of time and effort, it was a very good week. I met with my language mentor twice, both of which were productive conversations. I watched a number of news segments in Luganda, read the newspaper regularly, and kept up with my long-term learning on Quizlet. I did some writing practice, and I did my monthly test of vocabulary. I listened to the radio and to Luganda music. And, as has become usual, I kept up a whatsapp conversation with a friend (it was fun to show him a photo of the snow today!).

But success showed itself to me in other ways, too.

One evening, I was listening to the radio in the background while I did some other work. As the hosts came on to discuss the news, I turned the volume up, hoping that I would catch some words here and there. When they began to talk, I realized that I was actually understanding them. They gave updates o…