Word for the Travel Wise (01/03/06)

align="right" src="http://www.gadling.com/media/2006/1/nigerian-flag.gif" alt="Nigerian Flag" />English is the
official language of Nigeria which means any
traveler should be able to converse and navigate their way from Lagos to Jigawa with ease. Unless you don’t speak
English. Yet, the well versed travel wise trekker knows there lie secret words shouted in the stalls of market places
by sellers saying hello to a passing family member or friend. Words used to insult you without your knowing or to bid
you sweet traditional farewells, all of which exist in the country’s three main languages: Yoruba, Ibo (Igbo), and
Hausa. Each of the three main languages are named after the people they belong to and carry several dialects within
themselves.

Today’s word is a Yoruba word:

Ikun – stomach

It’s pretty easy as that and
may come in handy after eating something your stomach or ‘ikun’ isn’t used to. If a trip to the doctor is necessary I’m
sure saying "stomach" or pointing would work, but to avoid any confusion of having a problem with your belly
button verses a tummy ache you may just want to throw in ‘ikun.’ I’m sure any native speaker will be a little
impressed.

Motherland Nigeria has an
incredible intro to the three languages, Nigerian slang and even a few examples of common Pidgin English spoken. Some
aduio samples are available as well.