How well do you know the languages spoken in COCO’s project areas?

By Valtteri Nurminen, COCO Volunteer

This is the final blog of our series celebrating the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The series included a total of seven blogs introducing various different languages and cultures in the areas where COCO works.

The main goal of this blog series has been to raise awareness of different indigenous languages. This is very important because the vast majority of the world’s indigenous languages are in danger of dying within the next 80 years.

Preserving indigenous languages is very important because languages are our main ways of communicating with one another. But languages are much more than that. Languages are the way how we think, cherish our memories and express identities. For cultural groups, language is the way to pass down cultural identity – shared history, customs and traditions.

Urgent action is needed because every second week one indigenous language disappears. This means that essentially every second week one whole culture dies. And this means that we lose cultural diversity, as we lose entire chunks of history, generations of memories and unique ways of expressing oneself.

The world simply cannot afford this. We need cultural and linguistic diversity to ensure that each individual and culture group can live to the fullest and truly express oneself.

As promised to you last time, there will be a quiz in this blog… So now would be a perfect time to look back to the previous blogs and do some last minute rehearsing! Give a few minutes for each language – Luhya, Luo, Maa, Luganda, Ngoni, Kalenjin and Swahili – and you should do well!

Are you prepared? You should be… because now your language skills will be tested!

Connect the number with the right letter:

  1. Hello (in Ngoni)                                  A. Kaaji
  2. Goodbye (in Maa)                               B. Mirembeh
  3. Thank you very much (in Swahili) C. Nedda
  4. Great (in Kalenjin)                              D. Erokamano
  5. How are you (in Luo)             E. Mie
  6. Hope (in Luhya)                                  F. Tutaonana
  7. No (in Luganda)                                 G. Idhi nade
  8. Great (in Ngoni)                                  H. Olesere
  9. My name is (in Maa)               I. Kikureno
  10. See you (in Swahili)                J. Asante sana
  11. My name is (in Kalenjin)                   K. Bwina
  12. Thanks (in Luo)                                   L. Niaver
  13. Hello (in Luhya)                                  M. Oli otya
  14. How are you (in Luganda)                N. Jovai

Finally, many thanks for our project partners: Bernard, Epa, Isaac, Oswin, Pelua and Phaustine for providing translations to the words and sayings in local languages. Without you, this project would not have been possible.

Thanks for reading this blog series! As the last thing, I would like to encourage you to challenge your friends and family to see who knows East African languages the best!

And lastly, the right answers but DO NOT cheat though…

1 N, 2 H, 3 J, 4 E, 5 G, 6 L, 7 C, 8 K, 9 A, 10 F, 11 I, 12 D, 13 B, 14 M

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