Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Some of my favorite Sudanese expressions and the names of places that make me smile:

Somehow -
- Adjective (in Sudan at least)
1. Instead of saying that you are doing well or doing badly, you are always just doing 'somehow'
2. Ie: "How are you? Somehow. "How was your trip to Juba? Somehow.

1. As a way to say can you imagine? but said only as Imagine! (with a certain emphasis that I can't convey in text)
2. Ie:"I was hit by a truck, lost my bag, and then was chased by a crazy goat and ended up not being able to come into work." Response: Imagine!!

Those of **
- Adverb
1. This is used to describe one person or a group of people and who you belong to.
2. Ie: "where are those of John?"- This could mean John himself, John and his family, John and the organization he works for, John and his dog, etc. etc.

1. Usually a greeting to someone in the morning, but in Sudan it's used as a greeting at any time of day. Children will yell "morning" to you after the sun has gone down (this is especially true in Juba)

1. To give up to your enemy. But in Sudan you can surrender to many things
2. ie: Most commonly used when you can't finish your food or drink- you say I 'surrender' as if you your food has won.

Bukra Inshallah-
1. In Arabic this literally translates to "Tomorrow, God willing". It's used basically to say that it will never ever ever happen. But, if God was willing it, then tomorrow it will happen...

Here are some names of places in Sudan which are amusing:
- The towns of Wau and Yei! Wow! Yay!
- The Kuku tribe
- Budi county.
- The town of Isoke. Rumor has it that the first Kawaja came here said of the place-'it's okay' and it stuck!

You have to love the English language and it's many interpretations in other parts of the world. If anyone else has their own favorite Sudan expressions or places- send me a comment.

No comments: