All posts by Sophia Weinstein

Dagbani Vocab: Family Members

Here are some words for family members I found. Hope it is useful

Grandfather-Yɛb’doo

Grandmother-Yɛb’paɣa

Father-M’ba

Mom-M’ma

Brother-Tizodoo

Sister-Tizopaɣa

Father’s elder brother(uncle)-Bakpema

Father’s junior brother(uncle)-Bapira

Father’s sister (aunt)-Piriba

Mother’s elder sister(aunt)-Mapkema

Mother’s junior sister(aunt)-Mapira

Mother’s brother(uncle)-ŋahiba

Son-Dapala

Daughter-Bipuhinga

Cousins-Dachiya

Grandchild-Yaanga

Great grandchild-Yaantib’che

Inlaws-Deenima

Nephew /Niece-ŋahiŋga

Ancestor-Siɣli lana

Bachelor-Dakↄli

Children-Bihi

Descendant-Zuliya

Ex husband-Yidan kuro

Ex wife-Pa kuro

Family-Daŋa

Fiancée-Mam

Heir-Zuu

Heiress-Pakpang

Husband-Yidana

Infancy-Bilimni

Inheritance-Fali

Marriage-Paɣ’ kpuɤbo

Orphan-Kpibga

Parent-Laamba

Stepfather-Mba

Stepmother-Mma yintah

Spinster-Paɤ’ zinli

Twin-Jabila

Lesson Six

Positives and Negative forms of Verbs:

Verbs                                      Positive                        Negative                 Means

Feel/ touch                           tabsibu                          bi ku tabsi        > they will not feel.

Speak/ say                          yelima                           bi ku yeli           > they will not spank

Have                                  mali                               bi ku mali         > they will not have.

Eat                                    dima                              bi ku di             > they will not eat.

Be good                      be venyelnga                    bi ku be              > they will not be good.

Sleep                           gbihima                           bi ku gbihi          > they will not sleep.

Give                                  tima                            bi ku ti              > they will not give.

Learn                          bohima                          bi ku bohim        > they will not learn etc.

 

MORE COMON BASIC VERBS:

Verbs                                Positive                                    Negative

Ask                                   bohi                                         ku/ bi bohi

Bath                                 suma                                        ku/ bi suma

Beg                                  suhima                                    ku/ bi suhima

Buy                                 dama                                        ku/ bi dama

Call                                bolma                                        ku/ bi bolma

Clean                             yibu                                          ku/ bi yibu

Come                            kamna                                       ku/ bi kamna

Count                          kalbu                                          ku/ bi kalbu

 

Some Commending Words:

‘’Lama’’ (Laugh):

Lam; wuhi Farouk.                  > laugh for Farouk to see

Di lar maa.                             > don’t laugh at me

Lam’ ka sokam wum          > laugh loud so that everyone can hear

 

‘’Kuhima’’ (Cry):

Di kuhi , a wumiya                 > don’t cry, have you heard?

Cheli kuhigu, bia                      > stop crying, child

 

‘’Tahigu’’ (Shout):

Bihimaa tahiri pampam hali.       > The children are shouting very loudly

Tahimi be zugu                > shout at them

Tahimi Mia zugu ka o fo’         > shout at Mia to be quiet

 

‘’Dima’’ (Eat)

Dimi sagam           > eat TZ

Dimi di zaa           > eat it all

Dimi sagam maa zaa        >eat all the TZ

 

‘’Nyuma’’ (Drink):

Nyumi di zaa           > drink all

Nyum’ li yomyom ka tic hag      > drink it quietly and we will go

 

‘’Karimma’’ (Read):

Karimmi buku maa ti maa            > read the book for me

Karimmi buku maa yomyom          > read the book fast/ quickly

 

‘’ Guuimini’’/ ‘’Zomna’’ (Run/ speed up):

Guuimina nti nya o’       >run and come and see him

Zomi yomyom                > run quickly

Guuimi ti boli karimba maa          >run and call the teacher

 

N.B: bi is used to negate the present and past; and the word ku negates the future.

 

PAST PERFECT: PUN, DAA, DAA PUN:

N daa bi tum tumaa maa                       > I had not done the work.

A daa na bi tum tumaa maa                 > you had not yet done the work.

O daa na bi tum tumaa maa               > he had not yet done the work.

Ti daa na bi tum tumaa maa                 > we had not yet done the work.

Yi daa na bi tum tumaa maa                  . You have not yet done the work.

Be daa na bi tum tumaa maa                  > they had not yet done the work.

 

POEMS (YETOGATALMALSI):

JILMA (RESPECT):

bia timi a ba naa ama jilma,       > child, respect your father and mother.

naawuni ni bori sheli m-bala,     > that is what God wants.

yumi a ba naa ama.                   > love your father and mother.

dama be nyela a laamba.           > Because they are your parents.

 

FARA (POVERTY):

fara deei zaa.                     > Poverty is now rampant.

bihi kuhirila fara.                > Children are crying out of poverty.

ninkura kuhirila fara.          > Elders are crying out of poverty.

ban tumdi kuhirila fara.       > Those working are crying.

ban bi tumdi kuhirila fara.    > Those who don’t work are even waste off.

ligiri mi zo n-nye fara.           > Riches is the friend of poverty.

ligiri yi bi chag fara ku chag.    > If money doesn’t go, poverty will surely not go.

din zugu, bagmi ligiri dibu.      > Therefore let’s spend money wisely.

 

ASSIGNMENT:

Dimi di zaa

Dimi sagam maa zaa

Yi daa na bi tum tumaa maa

Be daa na bi tum tumaa maa

N daa bi tum tumaa maa

A daa na bi tum tumaa maa

O daa na bi tum tumaa maa

Lam; wuhi Farouk.

Di lar maa.

Lam’ ka sokam wum

ANSWERS PROVIDERED BY ISABELLA:
Part 3:

Dimi di zaa- Eat it all.

Dimi sagam maa zaa – Eat all the TZ (?)

Yi daa na bi tum tumaa maa – You have not yet done the work.

Be daa na bi tum tumaa maa – They have not yet done the work.

N daa bi tum tumaa maa -I have not yet done the work.

A daa na bi tum tumaa maa -You have not yet done the work.

O daa na bi tum tumaa maa -He/she has not yet done the work.

Lam; wuhi Farouk – Laugh; for Farouk to see.

Di lar maa. – Don’t laugh at me

Lam’ ka sokam wum -Laugh so loud that everyone can hear!

 

Great work keep it up.

Lesson Five

PASS AND PERFECT TENSES:

N chagya.                             > I have gone.

A chagya.                             > You have gone.

O chagya.                            > He/ she has gone.

Di chagya.                      >it has gone

Ti chagya.                         > We have gone.

Yi chagya.                        > You have gone (plural).

Be chagya                       > they have gone.

Ti bohimya                       > we have learned.

Be bohimya.                  >the have learned.

Isabella di chag Tamale asiba maa..         > Isabella went to Tamale in the morning.

Isabella di bi chag Tamale asiba maa.                > Isabella didn’t go to Tamale this morning.

O di bohi nyuli.              > He ask of my name.

Ti bohammi ka di wum ti.                 > We studied and became tired.

 

Non-Future Past and Present:

O chagya.           > He has gone.

O chagya zugo    > he went today.

Di barigiya.           > It has lost.

Di barigiya asiba la.    > It lost this morning.

Farouk yuuya.          > Farouk has kept long.

Be yuuya pam wuntag maa ni.              > They kept long in this afternoon.

Paga maa kpeya.                    > The woman has entered.

N naaiya pumpogo      > I have now finished.

O bohiya.            > He/ she has asked.

Farouk di sabiya.                  > Farouk has written.

PROGRESSIVE TENSE: (Verbs + Objectives):

N dirila sakoro.                 > am eating Fufu.

A dirila sakoro.           > You are eating Fufu.

O dirila sakoro.      > He/ she is eating fufu.

Ti dirila Banku.          > We are eating Banku.

Yi dirila Banku.            > You are eating Banku.

Be dirila sagam.                    > They are eating TZ.

 

PROGRESSIVE TENSE: (Verb without Object):

N dirimi.                           > I’ m eating.

N dirila sagam.               > am eating TZ.

A dirila koru.                   > You are eating Banana.

O dirila shiri.                        > She’s eating honey.

Ti dirila sagam.                     > We are eating TZ.

Yi dirila Pizza.                    > You are eating Pizza.

Be dirila Salad.                  > They are eating Salad.

NOTE: the word used for drinking soup is not nyu but piebbu. Practice the use of both words. Example:

Alice nyurila leemu.                     . Alice is drinking orange.

O pirbrila zeri.                > She is eating/ drinking soup.

Mba pirbri zeri pam.                       > My father eats/ drinks a lot of soup.

COMMON COLOURS:

Singular                           Plural                                 Means.

Zeea                               ziehi                                        Red.

Bluu                              bluuu’                                      Blue.

Bankom                        bankoma                                  Green.

Dozim                          dozima                                     Yellow.

Sabinli                       sablar                                        Black.

Pielli                         pielar                                         White.

 

Noo maa nyela no zeea.      > the hen is a red one.

Liiga maa sabigimi.                > The shirt is black.

Loorima nyela loori bluuu’.         > The car is blue.

Di mohimi ka dozim.                  > It is yellowish.

Pensile maa nyela zag zeea.   > the pencil is red.

O nanda maa nyela zag’ dozim.       > His sandals is red.

 

Non-Color Adjectives:

Singular                                  Plural:

Titali                                     titaga/ Kara                              >Big

Bila                                      bihi/ bihibihi                              > small

Pora                                   porapora                                      > is another name for small.

Waga                                 wagala                                          > tall

Jia                                     jihi                                                 > short

Bara                                 baribara                                         > fat

Viela                               vieliviela                                           > beautiful

Biegau                            bieri                                                > ugly

Kpema                            kpemkpema                                    > hard etc

You could also say: Titali/ karili (Big), waganli (Tall), jia (short), viela (beautiful), biegau (ugly), kpema (hard), bila/ biela, pora (small) etc.

Practical sentences:

Buku titali mbogo.              > This is a bi book.

Paga titali la mbogo.            > This is the fat woman.

Teebuli bila mbala.                > That’s a small table.

Liiga bila mbala.                    > This is a small shirt.

A mali bibila?                      > do you have a small child?

Teebuli bila maa viela.             > The small table looks nice

Buku maa pora.                        > The book is small.

Wahu maa bara.                      > The horse is big.

Paga maa bara.                       > The woman is fat.

Tee maa waga.                 > The tree is tall.

Isabella viela.                       > Isabella is beautiful.

Farouk bie’                         > Farouk is ugly.

Isabella kpem’ ma.         > Isabella is older than me.

Size, Height, Length, Distance:

Buku titali maa do song maa zugu.      > The big book is on the mat.

Leemi bihi be baaji maa ni.           > There are small oranges in the bag.

Doo maa waga.                             > The man is tall.

Niriba maa baribari pam.              > The people are very fat.

Tamale soli waga.                        > The road to tamale is far.

ASSIGNMENT:

  • Di mohimi ka dozim.
  • Pensile maa nyela zag zeea.
  • nanda maa nyela zag’ dozim.
  • Doo maa waga.
  • Niriba maa baribari pam.
  • Tamale soli waga.
  • N chagya.
  • A chagya.
  • chagya.
  • Di chagya.
  • Ti chagya.
  • Yi chagya.

GOOD LUCK.

ANSWERS PROVIDERED BY ISABELLA:
Part 2:

· Di mohimi ka dozim – It is yellowish.

· Pensile maa nyela zag zeea- The pencil is red.

· nanda maa nyela zag’ dozim – The sandals are red.

· Doo maa waga- The man is tall.

· Niriba maa baribari pam – People are very fat.

· Tamale soli waga – The road to Tamale is far.

· N chagya – I have gone.

· A chagya – You have gone.

· chagya- gone

· Di chagya- It has gone.

· Ti chagya- We have gone.

· Yi chagya- You (plural) have gone.

well done my dear keep it up.

Lesson Four

(1). COMMON VERBS:

Chag: example, Amerika, Faranse, Accra etc.    > To go to: America, France, Accra etc.

Kana: example, shikuru, kpe, yiga etc.     > Come: example, to school, here, to the house etc.

Bori: example, bindirigu, yila, waa etc.    > Likes/ wants: Foods, songs, dance etc.

Duhi: loori, ziliji, tiroko etc.             > Drive: car, train, truck etc.

 

(2). ‘’BO?’’ (WHAT):

Bo kan’ dira?         > What am I eating?

A dirila sagam.      > You are eating TZ.

Bo ko’ bora?         > What does he/ she wants?

O borila pensile    > He/ she wants pencil.

Bo ka bi nigda?     > What are they doing?

Be duhirila loori.    > They are driving car.

Bo ka Isabella dira?    > What is Isabella eating?

Isabella dirila sakoro.     > Isabella is eating Fufu.

 

(3). ‘’DI’’ (TO EAT):

Bo kan’ dira?                  > What am I eating?

A dirila sagam.               > You are eating TZ.

Bo ka ti dira?                 >What are we eating?

Ti dirila sagam.             > We are eating TZ.

Bo ka Isabella dira?       > What is Isabella eating?

Isabella dirila sakoro.     > Isabella is eating Fufu.

(4). DAY, WEEKS, MONTH, and YEARS:

Singular:                                                              Plural:

Dabsili       > a day                                               Dabsa             > days

Bakoi/ Dakulo        > week                                   Dakuyi          > weeks

Goli/ chirili           > month                                   Gaya/ Chira       > months

Yuni                    > year                                         Yuma               > years

COUNTING NUMDERS:

Yini                  > one

Ayi                  > two

Ata                 > three

Anahi            > four

Anu               > five

Ayobu         > six

Ayopoi          > seven

Anii              > eight

Awei           > nine

Pia               > ten etc

NOTE: counting numbers are used in counting everything ranging from living to non living things. Example; counting numbers used in counting days.

Dahin’ yini                      > 1 day

Dabsa ayi                       > 2 days

Dabsa ata                        > 3 days

Dabsa anahi                    > 4 days

Dabsa anu                 > 5 days

Dabsa ayobu             > 6 days

Dabsa ayopoi          > 7 days

Dabsa anii               > 8 days

Dabsa awei             > 9 days

Biegwu pia             > 10 days

(5). EXPRESSIONS OF TOME:

Atani dali                                              > om Monday

Dakulo din kanna                            > the following coming week

Bakoi dim be puuni                     > this following week

Daantali                                > two days after tomorrow (3 days time)

Dali                                     > the day after tomorrow (tomorrow next)

Daantali la ni                          > three days ago

Sohala                                > yesterday

Zuno                                  > today

Biegni                              > tomorrow

Wuntag’ ni                       > afternoon

Zaawuni                       > evening

Zaawuni yug                 > night time

Yug                              > night

Bakoi din garila          > the past week (last week)

Bakoi din yoli garila      > the immediate pass week

Yuuni din yoli garila     >the immediate past year

Bihi ban yoli garila            > the children who just passed

 

 

(6). FUTURE TENCE:

Beigni ti san chag daa               > tomorrow we will go to market.

Biegni yi san kuli.                    > Tomorrow you will go home.

Nni boham Dagbani                   > I will learn Dagbani.

O ni boham silimiinsili              > he/ she will learn English.

Be ni chag amerika.                   > They will go to America.

Isabella san kana                      > Isabella will com tomorrow.

Ti dag yig’ labbu na.               > We will come early.

Yini kana yig yomyom.        > You will come home early (plural).

COMMANDING WORDS:

‘’Kam na’’ (come):

Kamna!                              > (come!).

Kamna bia!                         > (come child!).

Kamna kpe!                         > (come here!).

 

‘’Chela’’ (stop):

Nyema, chela!                 > Look, stop it!

Chela Farouk, cheli lala!   >Farouk, its ok, stop that!

Cheli vuri, cheli ma!        >stop the noise leave me!

Cheli yelgu/ yeltoga!       > stop talking!

‘’Chama’’ (Go):

Cham’, nyu ma adam        > go and be drinking your alcohol!

Cham’ tumm’ atuma.         > go and do your work.

 

‘’Ziinima’’ (Sit Down):

Ziinima bia                  > sit down child!

Ziinim’ ndi sagam.     > sit down and eat TZ (tuon zaafii).

Zinim’ ka chea viri!          > sit down and stop making noise.

Ziinim’ yili yila.              > sit down and sing a song.

 

‘’Bolimma’’ (Call me).

Bolimm’ john ti ma.          > call john for me.

Bolii’ o!                      > call him/her.

Bolimm’ ba!              > call them.

Bolimm’ aba!          > call your father.

 

‘’Bomm’’ (Look for).

Bomm’ bia na!             > look for the child and bring him.

Bomm’ taxi ti ma!          > look for a taxi for me.

Bomm’ adam Isabella shee!       > look for Isabella.

 

‘’Zag labi’’ (throw away).

Zagmi nimdi maa labi.           > throw the meat away.

Zagmi bi ma anti o ma.           > give the child to the mother.

Zagmi o bahi!               > leave him or her.

‘’Foma’’ (Be quiet).

Sokam foma!              > Everybody should keep quiet.

Bihi, fomiya!              > Children, be quiet.

Bihi maa foma!      > The children should be quiet.

 

‘’Lihima’’ (Look at).

Lihimi, Adam!                 > look at Adam.

Lihimi kpe!                 > look here!

Lihimi loori zeea’ la!     >look at the red car.

 

‘’Wumma’’ (Listen).

Wumma mba year!       > Listen, my father is talking to you.

Wummi venyelinga!         > listen carefully/ well.

Wummi yila maa!        > listen to the song.

 

‘’Zoma’’ (get away/ go away):

Zomi nimaani!        > get away from there.

Zomi kpe!       > go away from here.

Zomi ka che o!         > go away and leave them.

 

‘’Zanima’’ (Stop):

Zanima Isabella!              > stop Isabella.

Zanim’ nimaani!        > stop there.

Zanimi yim!         > stop at once.

Zanim’ lihi o!        > stop and look at him/ here.

ASSIGNMENT:

Ø  Zaawuni yug

Ø  Yug

Ø  Bakoi din garila

Ø  Bakoi din yoli garila

Ø  Yuuni din yoli garila

Ø  Cham’ tumm’ atuma

Ø  Wummi venyelinga!

Ø  Wummi yila maa!

Ø  Zanima Isabella!

Ø  Zanim’ nimaani!

Ø  Lihimi kpe!

Ø  Sokam foma!

Ø  Bihi, fomiya!

GOOD LUCK.

Here are my answers for the homework! And it was nice talking to all of you guys today, I’m sorry the conversation was stopped short because I would’ve loved to hear more about life in the north.
ANSWERS PROVIDERED BY ISABELLA:

Part 1:

Ø Zaawuni yug- Nighttime

Ø Yug- Night

Ø Bakoi din garila – Last week/past week

Ø Bakoi din yoli garila -Immediate last week

Ø Yuuni din yoli garila – Immediate last year

Ø Cham’ tumm’ atuma – Go and do your work.

Ø Wummi venyelinga!- Listen carefully!

Ø Wummi yila maa! – Listen to that song

Ø Zanima Isabella! – Stop Isabella!

Ø Zanim’ nimaani! – Stop there!

Ø Lihimi kpe! – Look here!

Ø Sokam foma! – Everybody should keep quiet!

Ø Bihi, fomiya! – Children be quiet!

Nice work my dear keep it up.

 

LESSON THREE

(1). ‘’MALI’’ (TO HAVE SOMETHING)

  • M mali ligiri pam.   > I have a lot of money.
  • Ti mali paanuu pam.> We have a lot of bread.

NOTE:  I want you to use ‘’Mali’ (to have something) in creating sentences to finish up the following pronouns:

  1. A mali>
  2. O mali>
  3. Di mali>
  4. Yi mali>
  5. Be mali>

(2). ‘’MI (TO KNOW):

  • M mi o yuli> I know his or her name.
  • M mi be yaa> I know their town.
  • Ti mi be yuya> we know their names.
  • Ti mi be yinsi> we know their houses.
  • Isabella mi bidibillil maa> Isabella knows the boy.
  • Farouk mi tuma maa> Farouk knows how to do the work.
  • O mi sabbu> he/ she knows how to write.
  • Isabella mi karim pam> Isabella knows how to read very well.

Opposite:

  • M bi mi yi yuya.> I don’t know you names.
  • Mma bi mi Accra.> My mother doesn’t know Accra.
  • Noombili maa bi mi kumsi.> The bird doesn’t know how to sing (cry)
  • Farouk bi mi Spanish.      > Farouk doesn’t know Spanish.
  • Isabella be ni Ghana.> Isabella doesn’t know Ghana.
  • N zii yi yuya.> I don’t know your names.
  • Yi mi n yuga?> do you know my house?
  • Aayi, ti zii a yiga.> No, we don’t know your house.
  • O zii ma> he/ she doesn’t know me.
  • Ti zii yila yilibu.> We don’t know how to sing.

(3). OTHER LOCATIVE PREPOSITIONS:

  • Zugu> on.
  • Zugsaa> on top of.
  • Gbinni/ logni> under.
  • Tooni> in front of.
  • Sani/ Yagli/ polo> side, with.
  • Nyaaga> behind.
  • Ni> ni, with.
  • Puuni> inside.
  • Shee/ miri> by, near.
  • Shee/ lugli> near/ beside
  • Shee> near.

NOTE: the reason behind the different word (ie, Sani/ Yagli/ polo, Bookunimaa/ kundinim’ ) in Dagbani which virtually means the same is to equip you to play with diverse words in your sentences and also make you understand numerous words and their meanings whenever is been change in a sentence.

Practical sentences for the preposition:

  • Buku be teebuli maa zugu. > There is a book on the table.
  • Ligri pa teebuli maa zugu. > There is money on the table.
  • Bookunimaa/ kundinim’ pa teebuli maa zugsaa. > There are books on the table.
  • Ligri do teebuli maa gbinni. > There is money lying under the table.
  • Ligri do kug’ maa gbinni. > There is money lying under the chair.
  • Pensili do teebuli maa logni > there is pencil lying under the table.
  • takara gbag do teebuli maa tooni. > There is a sheet of paper in front of the table.
  • Koru do adaka maa tooni. > There is a Banana in front of the Box.
  • Leemu be adaka maa nyaaga > there is an orange behind the Box.
  • Namda be teebuli maa nyaaga. > There are sandals behind the table.
  • Ligri be teebuli maa shee. > There is money near the table.
  • Leemu be adaka maa shee. > There is an orange near the Box.
  • Takari gbag maa be Adam sani. > The paper is with Adam.
  • Koru be Isabella sani. > There is a Banana with Isabella.
  • Buku be adaka maa puuni. > There is a book in the Box.
  • Ligri be adaka maa puuni. > There is money in the Box.
  • Ligri do kugsi maa sunsuuni. > There is some money lying between the chairs.
  • Pensile do m mina sunsuuni. > There is a pencil lying between you and I.

(4). Using of pa, ze, tam, kpe in replace of be, and do.

  • Ligri pa adaka maa zugu. > There is money on the Box.
  • Chinchini pa kug’ maa zugu. > There is cloth in the chair.
  • Daliya/ liiga maa pa duu puuni. > The shirt is in the room.
  • Bindirigu tam teebuli maa zugu. > There is food on the table.
  • Doo maa tam loori maa zugu >The man is on top of the lorry.
  • Bihi maa zii tia maa gbinni. > The children are seating under the tree.
  • Zoo kpe nyee ni > a fly has entered my nose.
  • Dugu maa ze jaara ni.                 > The pot is in the kitchen.
  • Ligri kpe n liiga surigu ni. >the money has falling into my pocket.

(5). PRESENT AND HABITUAL TENSE:

N nyuri Fanta.                       > I drink Fanta.

A nyuri Fanta.                      > You drink Fanta.

O nyuri sitaa.                     > He/ she drinks star.

Ti nyuri kook.                  > We drink coke.

Yi nyuri club.                   > You drink club (plural).

Be nyuri Ginis.                 > They drink Guinness.

N diri sagam.                  > I eat Tuon Zafi (TZ).

A diri shir.                      > You eat honey.

O diri sagam.                  He/ she eat TZ.

Present Continuous Sentence:

Ti dirila Sakoro.                           > We are eating Fufu etc.

(5). NEGATIVE STATEMENTS:

  • M bi nyuri Fanta.> I don’t drink Fanta.
  • A bi nyuri Sitaa.> You don’t drink Star.
  • O bi nyuri sprite.> He/ she doesn’t drink sprite.
  • Man’ bi nyuri fanta.> As for me, I don’t drink fanta.
  • Yinim’ be nyuri kook.> You don’t drink coke (plural).
  • Te bi nyuri kook.> We don’t drink coke.
  • Be bi nyuri sprite.> They don’t drink sprite.
  • Isabella bohandila Dagbani.> Isabella is learning Dagbani.
  • Esteniola bi bohandi Dagbani.> Esteniola doesn’t learn Dagbani.

(6). Mixed Negative and Positive:

  • N dila sagam.> I ate TZ.
  • A di shiri?   > have you eaten honey.
  • O bori karim.> He. She likes to read.
  • Be je karim.> They don’t like reading.
  • Yi diri shiri?> do you eat honey?
  • Mmi loori duhibu.> I know how to drive a car.
  • N ze loori du hibu.> I don’t know how to drive a car.
  • N tuzopaga n-nye a.> You are my sister.
  • Pa nzo n-nye o.> He/ she is not my friend.
  • O milila bihi ayobu.> He/ she have six children.
  • O ka bia.> He/ she has no child.

ASSIGNMENT

Q1: Please give me the English meaning of this preposition:

  • Zugu
  • Zugsaa
  • Gbinni/ logni
  • Tooni
  • Sani/ Yagli/ polo
  • Nyaaga
  • Ni
  • Puuni
  • Shee/ miri
  • Shee/ lugli
  • Shee

Q2:  I want you to use ‘’Mali’ (to have something) in creating sentences to finish up the following pronouns:

  1. A mali>
  2. O mali>
  3. Di mali>
  4. Yi mali>
  5. Be mali>

GOOD LUCK

ANSWERS PROVIDERED BY ISABELLA

Here are my attempts at your assignments, I hope they’re on track:

First Part:

· Zugu -> On

· Zugsaa -> On top of

· Gbinni/ logni -> Under

· Tooni -> In front of

· Sani/ Yagli/ polo -> side/with

· Nyaaga -> behind

· Ni -> with

· Puuni ->inside

· Shee/ miri -> by, near

· Shee/ lugli -> near, beside

· Shee -> near


Second Part:

1. A mali > A mali sinkaafa pam.
You have a lot of rice.

2. O mali > O mali kom pam.
He/she has a lot of rice.

3. Di mali > Di mali noo pam.
It has a lot of fowl.

4. Yi mali > Yi mali bukunim’ pam.
You (pl.) have a lot of books.

5. Be mali > Be mali tihi pam.
They have a lot of trees.

CORRECTIONS MADE BY FAROUK

It is a good attempt my dear; the only mistake seen is in the second part that is on the third point.

Di mali noo pam.                      >It has a lot of fowl.
From the Dagbani translation by Isabella on the sentence Di mali noo pam; is not the best combination. It should have been:

Di mali lagiri pam                      > it is costly

Di mali araha pam                     > it is cheap.

But if you would have wanted to use the word Noo (fowl); it should have been:

Be male noohi pam (they have a lot of fowls) instead of Di mali noo pam (It has a lot of fowl).

Better still, thanks for the attempt and more grace to your elbow Bravoooooooooooooooo.

LESSON ONE

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DAGBANI LANGUAGE

by Isabella Nugent and Iddi Farouk

Dagbani language appeared since time immemorial. But the coming of Tohazie (the red hunter) gave the rebirth of the contemporary Dagbani we speaks today. Dagbani is the language, Dagbon is the kingdom, and Dabombas are the people. After the death of Tohazie, Naa Gbewa succeeded him. But the death of Gbewa brought a riot amongst the children as to who becomes the next king. The children of Gbewa who were spearheading this envy and hatred amongst themselves were: Tohagu, Sitobo, and Zerile.

And after the fight, all of them left their present home and resettled at different place. That is: Tohagu when to mamprugu and found the mamprugu kingdom, Sitobu moved a little beat from the present place and found the Dagbon kingdom and Zerile moved to Bimbila and found the Nanumba kingdom. From this brief history, you could see that Dagombas, Mumprusi and Nanumba are all from the same ancestor and can probably trace their linage to the one and only Naa Gbewa. Also, these three ethnic groups mentioned above understands each other language when spoken due to the common genealogical ties

GREETINGS AND SOME PRONOUNS

(1)   SOME PRONOUNS:

N nyela               (I am)

A nyela               (You {singular} are)

O nyela                (He, She/Is)

Di nyela             (It is)

 

Ti nyela            (We are)

Yi nyela           (You {plural} are)

Be  nyela           (they are)

 

M bia              (My child)

A bia              (Your child)

O  bia               (his/her child)

Ti bia               (Our chili)

Yi bia              (your {plural} child)

Be bia              (their child)

NB: The pronoun ‘O’ (he, she, it) is used for human beings, all animate creatures and rain.

(2)   SENTENCE PRACTICE:

N nyela Ghana nira.                        > I am a Ghanaian.

Ti nyala Ghana niriba.                   > We are Ghanaians.

A nyela Ghana nira.                       > You are a Ghanaian.

Yi nyela Ghana nima.                    > You (plural) are Ghanaians.

O nyela Ghana nira.                       > He/ She is a Ghanaian.

Be nyela Ghana nima.                  > They are Ghanaians.

Ti nyela Germani nima.               > We are Germans.

Yi nyela Nigeria nima                 > You (plural) are Nigerians.

Be nyela Amerika nima               > T hey are Americans.

 

GREETINGS                                                    RESPONCES

(3)   (Gaafara) meaning: excuse me                               (Garima/kpemna). Means: cone in

NOTE: we normally say this before greetings commence. That is if people are seated and you are coming closer or you are entering someone’s room. You say Gaafara and that person or people will say Garima.

 

Dasiba. Menns:good morning.                               Naa (fine)

Antire. Means: good afternoon                              Naa   //

Aniwula. Means: good evening                             Naa  //

 

(4)    GREETINGS CONTINUED

NB:  the use of the greetings in conversation.

(This is in a singular form)

Issabella beni? Meaning: is Isabella there or around?

Mm, m beni.  Means: yes am around.

Garima! / Kpema! Means: come in.

Dasiba: if is in the morning. Response is Naa/ Nnaa.

 

(Let’s see the plural conversation now)

Yi beni? Meaning: are you there. That’s if they are many in a room.

Mm, ti beni. Garima! Means: yes we are there. Come in.

Ti maasim (or) Ni ti maasim? Means: how is the coldness?

Naa (or) diso. Means: fine or is well.

A gbihira? Means: Do you sleep well?

Mm n gbihiya. Means: I slept well.

You Could Also Say.

Ni ti waligu? Means: how is the heat?

Naa………….Yi gbihira? Means: fine…….Did you sleep well (plural).

Mm ti gbihira. Means: yes, we slept well.

Yi mal’ alaafee (or) Gom beni? Means: hope you are well?

Mm, ti mal’ alaafee. Means: yes, we are well.

 

(5)   GREETINGS CONTINUED:

A ningbuna be wula?                                              > alaafee

How is your body or health?                                   > Well.

Jelinsi be wula?                                                       > alaafee.

How is the tiredness                                                > well.

A yidana be wula?                                                  > alaafee.

How is your husband?                                              > Well.

A yig be wula?                                                        > alaafee

How is your house?                                                > Well.

Kawula nyaa behagu?                                        > alaafee.

How is life?                                                       > Well.

 

Di be wula?                                                       > shee alaafee.

How is it?                                                       > Everything if fine.

 

(6). ASKING ABOUT NAMES:

A yuli?                          > What is your name?

N yuli Isabella.            > My name is Isabella.

Wula ka be boon da?       > How do they call you?

Be booni ma la Isabella.     > They call me Isabella.

Wula ka o boon da?           > How do he/ she calls you?

O boono ma la Isabella.     > He/ she call me Isabella.

Wula ka o booni omanya?    > How does he call himself?

O booni la omang Isablla.    > She calls herself Isabella.

ASSIGNMENT

Please make sure you read thoroughly before answering these questions. And please make sure you don’t copy for me okay hahahahahaaaah. GOOK LUCK.

Please give me the meaning of the words in BOLD?

  1. A ningbuna be wula?
  2. Jelinsi be wula?
  3. A yidana be wula?
  4. A yig be wula?
  5. Kawula nyaa behagu?
  6. Ti nyela
  7. Yi nyela
  8. Be nyela          
  9. O nyela              
  10. Di nyela

ANSWERS PROVIDERED BY ISABELLA:

Dear Farouk,

Thank you so much for making me this! This is already amazing! I actually have already been thinking up possible ideas for our project. I was thinking we could prerecord audio books in English and Dagbani for the kids to listen to at home to help them practice their reading. Also, we could also make picture books for Titagya Schools with English words on one side and Dagbani words on the other side. What ideas are you thinking? Would either of those ideas be feasible?

Here are the answers for the practice questions you gave me!

1.      A ningbuna be wula?
Translation: How is your health?
Response: Alaafee -> Fine

2.      Jelinsi be wula?
Translation: How is your tiredness?
Response: Alaafee ->Fine

3.      A yidana be wula?
Translation: How is your husband?
Response: Alaafee ->Fine

4.      A yig be wula?
Translation: How is your house?
Response: Alaafee -> Fine

5.      Kawula nyaa behagu?
Translation: How is life?
Response: Alaafee -> Fine.

6.      Ti nyela.
Translation: We are

7.      Yi nyela .
Translation:You (all) are

8.      Be  nyela.
Translation: They are

9.      O nyela.
Translation: He/ She is

10.  Di nyela.
Translation: It is

Quote From Fred Wilson

 

“Things, for me, don’t exist on their own.  Things exist with other things, always. . . . It starts out as a meandering process . . .  I just let this happen.  Everything in this experience has a bearing on what will happen in the end . . . When the end product happens, I am as surprised as anyone.  I want to be illuminated at the end, I want to learn something at the end that I didn’t know before, that I couldn’t have known unless I’ve gone through this process.”