Fun-Lugha

Your ever reliable language services provider in Tanzania

LESSON #76: If Ever You’re In a Pickle…

If you are ever in trouble and need help, here’s a coupe of things to assist you:

  • Mwizi! –thief! (ensure that final I is elongated as much as possible for the full effect, something like mwiziiiiiiiiiii…

  • Nisaidieni nakufa- help me, am dying! (I pray to God you never have to say this…actually wait, maybe you should say this, people tend to respond faster to this!)…

  • Moto!- fire!

  • Naomba msaada- am asking for help (please help me)

And here’s a general one. Say you need to ask something, anything, here’s what you say:

Samahani, naomba kuuliza……..-excuse me, I’d like to ask…..

Eg:……….Kituo cha polisi kiko wapi?- where is the police station?

…………..Unaifahamu barabara ya Nyerere?– do you know Nyerere Road?

…………….Nauli ni bei gani?- how much is the fare?

And lastly there’s one word we like to use, jamani. I’ve never really looked up its meaning but its something like hey, or guys or something similar, really hard to translate but when asking for help it refers to everybody,  as in you are trying to get everyone’s attention. So for eg. jamami mwizi!, jamani moto!, jamani nakufa!…….something like that, and it’s sure to get people coming to your aid.

(Actually I just looked up jamani and apparently it means ‘friend/s’. But this expression is so much more than that, so much so that am going to do a podcast on it-when time allows that is!)

Jamani usiku mwema!

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