Category Archives: Language

What’s in a name?

Names are a fascinating part of culture everywhere. Here, kids are traditionally named according to the circumstances of their birth, usually their mother’s circumstances. As you can imagine given that pregnancy and birth is quite tough at the best of … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Language | 6 Comments

New beginnings

This is the poster I drew for the very first meeting of our new group at our little local church in Lacor: Every Saturday afternoon we throw open the church’s shutters to let the light in, dust off long wooden … Continue reading

Posted in community organizing, Language, Update | 8 Comments

How weird is New Zealand Christmas?

I was a bit stuck for what to do in language class today, until the obvious dawned on me. Why not describe (in Acoli of course) what happens at Christmas in New Zealand, and compare it to what happens in … Continue reading

Aside | Posted on by | 3 Comments

So Acholi is easy, huh? – with audio!

When people ask me what I do, I tell them that right now I’m learning Acholi. This answer usually proves pretty popular, and is greeted with smiles, praise, and more conversation. Its also common for people to respond: 1. Just … Continue reading

Posted in Language | 3 Comments

Nick Laing = Jean Claude Van Damme?

I was the last man standing in the torrential rain on the main street, but the rain decided to go to the next level and forced me into one of many tiny roadside shops, which manage to sell everything you … Continue reading

Posted in Conversations, Frivolity, Language | 4 Comments

Our favorite word is…

Goyo! We have discovered a language goldmine. In Acholi…. You ‘goyo’ (iron) your clothes You ‘goyo’ (pump) water at the borehole You ‘goyo’ (play) pool…or a stringed musical instrument (but not cards or football) You ‘goyo’ (hit) the dog You ‘goyo’ … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Language | 15 Comments

‘Rabbit’ doesn’t mean ‘Thank you’

  We discovered that the meaning of the acholi word for thank you, “afoyo”, changes if there a subtle upward inflection on the ‘oyo’. I don’t think its too important though as the meaning changes only slightly to ‘rabbit’… I’ll … Continue reading

Posted in Frivolity, Language | 6 Comments