Word for the Travel Wise (04/04/06)

Every time I discover a means to
learning a language many of us probably never heard of and may never use I still feel as if we’ve gotten one step
closer to being better communicators with the planet as a whole. Instead of just conversing with the town folk in lil’
Podunk, Alabama imagine being swept away to lands further east with a knowledge of this Niger-Congo lang years before
arriving. I find dreams like getting out of Podunk to go to Africa lands quite enchanting. For one I’ve never been to
either of the two, but making it a reality would be far cooler.

Today’s phrase is a Mende phrase used in Sierra Leone:

Nya sinjii
– Give me my change

So what if Sierra Leone
isn’t hot on the tourist maps?
By the time things finally simmer down for good in all parts of the land you’ll be one of the few rambling off in
Mende. With this phrase you’ll even be one of the smarter few making sure you’re getting your change instead of getting
ripped off. I am sure you can say this one a number of ways to be either demanding or polite. In most cases always
request your change in a polite tone. The knowledge you hold will be perplexing enough.

Mende is going to
be yet another toughie to learn online. For now I suggest going through this Mende Phrasebook published by the Bumumbu Press during
colonial times to help Mende speakers learn English. In turn it can help you learn Mende in modern times.