the usefulness of Luganda

Though this week was not my best week for studying, it was one in which Luganda came in handy multiple times, in multiple circumstances. It was a great reminder of the reason why I am studying Luganda and the sometimes surprising degree to which it is useful to me, even here in Madison.

First, our Africa at Noon speaker, Dr. Aaron Mushengyezi, focused his presentation on the various meanings of songs in Uganda. He works in several different languages, but his presentation contained mostly Luganda songs. It was so much fun to be able to read the Luganda lyrics and get meaning (without relying on the translation); I felt like I had a real advantage as an audience member because I could understand so much -- including words with multiple meanings! Not only did my Luganda skills come in handy during the presentation, they also offered me a nice connection to the speaker. He even referred to me in his presentation, as the Muganda in the room who could understand the songs!

Second, I spent Thursday through Sunday at the African Studies Association meeting in Chicago. In addition to using my Luganda with a handful of people I met, my language skills also came in handy during a couple of panels that I attended. Two panels that I went to included a paper on Uganda, and both of those relied in some part on some Luganda words. It was great to have a bit more insight to the presentations because of my Luganda skills, and to be able to learn some new vocabulary words by listening to the presentation.

Both of these events were great for reminding me just how useful learning this language really is. Even when I'm not in Uganda! Knowing Luganda gives me access to learning communities which exist here in the US as well as insights into other pieces of research about Uganda.

So, though last week I didn't meet my Omuzannyo goal (due to ASA and a lot of time spent on the logistics of dealing with my purse theft), it still felt like a useful and productive week.

Here is what I did spend my time on:
Monday: 1 hour session with Simon, texting with friends
Tuesday: 1 hour background listening and 15 minutes deep listening to Akaboozi, 100 Quizlet Long-Term Learning words, Read 1 Bukedde article
Wednesday: Africa at Noon presentation, chat with presenter in Luganda, read 1 chapter of a book on the Luganda accent, texting with friends,
Thursday: Read 2 Bukedde articles
Friday: Read 2 Bukedde articles, 50 Quizlet Long-Term Learning words, attended a presentation with Luganda, chat in Luganda
Saturday: 150 Long-Term Learning words, chat in Luganda
Sunday: 150 Long-Term Learning words, 15 minutes listening to Akaboozi

With Thanksgiving this week, my main goal is just to do some Luganda every day.  I had a very productive session with Simon this morning, and I feel it kicked off the week well. I am looking forward to continuing my daily studies while on a generally less-intense schedule because of the holiday!


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