Edina lange oSalom. Onda dja kOshikwiyu. Ondi na eedula omilongo mbali na hetatu. Ohandi kala novakulunhu vange. Meme wange edina laye oSaima. Oku na eedula omilongo nhano na nhano. Tate wange edina laye oTangeni. Oku na eedula omilongo hamano na imwe. Ondi na ovamwameme yatatu, omumwamemekadona umwe novamwamememati vavali. Ame onowele. Omumwamemekadona edina laye oTresia. Oku na eedula omilongo nhatu. Ye oshiveli. Oha kala nomushamane waye kOshakati. Omumwamememati edina laye oNangolo. Oku na eedula omilongo mbali nanhano. Oha kala novakulunhu yetu kOshikwiyu. Naye onowele. Onghelo yetu oFrans oku na eedula omilongo mbali nambali. Oha kala kOvenduka kouniveesiti. Meekulu wange oha kala nafye. Oku na eedula omilongo hetatu na imwe. Naave, oove lye?
|Family||Ovaneumbo / Edimo|
|Little brother or sister||Okandenge|
|Child||Okaana (plural: Ounona)|
|Baby||Okaana / Okahanana|
|Middle-born (neither first nor last)||Onowele|
|Visitor||Omweenda / Omutalelipo|
|Husband / Man||Omus(h)amane|
|Wife / Woman||Omukulukadi|
|I am engaged. (woman)||Onda valekwa.|
|Younger person (than you)||Omunini|
|Who’s that?||Olye oo?|
- As you can see, the Oshikwanyama words for “sister” and “brother” are just specialized forms of “sibling”. So to make “his brother”, you would say omumwaina + mati = omumwainamati.
- The words for “mother” and “father” depend on the person to whom you are referring. However, it is acceptable to use meme and tate to speak of any mother or father. For example, to say “his mother”, you can say ina, or you can simply say meme waye (literally, “his 'my mother'”).
OMUKWANYAMA TA TI:
~ Oshififinwa ohashi shikula omhadi. ~ The heel follows the foot. (You follow the behavior of your family.)
Grammar Corner: Noun Classes: Singular and Plural
In English, nouns can be divided into two groups, singular and plural. In Romance languages, nouns can have genders, and adjectives have to agree with nouns in gender and number. In Oshikwanyama, there are many different classes of nouns, which are determined by the prefix that the noun has. Each class makes plurals in a different way, as shown in the chart below.
|Noun class||Prefix of singular nouns||Prefix of plural nouns|
|9||oku-||omaku- / oma -|
* Noun class 1 only contains nouns that refer to people.
** Noun class 1a only contains nouns that refer to people, but that do not begin with omu-, e.g. Tate, Meme, Kuku, as well as people’s names.
*** Noun class 2 has nouns that begin with omu- but do not refer to people.
**** If a noun cannot be a member of any other class, it belongs to noun class 5.
***** Ou- as a singular prefix generally refers to abstract concepts, e.g. oufiku (night) and outalala (cold). The plural form is used rarely.
You will probably begin to notice that certain noun prefixes are used for certain kinds of things. For example, names of trees have the prefix omu- (class 2), and small things start with oka-.
Translate the following Oshikwanyama words into English, then form their plural in Oshikwanyama.
Example: Omumwameme => Sibling => Ovamwameme
|Oshikwanyama Noun||English Meaning||Plural in Oshikwanyama|
Grammar Corner: Questions Listed below are some common question words.
|When? (which day)||Naini?|
|When? (what time)||Efimbo peni?|
|Why?||Omolwashike? / Oshike?|
|How?||(O)ngaipi? / (O)ngahelipi|
Questions are formed in two ways. The first way is to put the question word at the end of the sentence:
|Where are you going?||Oto i peni?|
|What are you doing?||Oto ningi shike?|
|Where is Meme Sylvia?||Meme Sylvia oku li peni?|
The second way is to put the question word at the beginning of the sentence. In this case, the initial o on the subject concord shifts to go in front of the question word:
|Who is singing?||Olye ta imbi?|
|Why are you crying?||Omolwashike to lili?|
Informal questions are often followed by hano, as in oto i peni, hano? There is a tendency to drop the final o, so it is often pronounced ’to i penyan?Translations of "how many" and "which" are given here for your information. Using them is a bit tricky. For more information, see chapter six.
Answer the following questions about Salom’s family.
- Salom oku na ovamwaina vangapi?
- Meekulu waye oku na eedula ngapi?
- Omumwainakadona waye oha kala peni?
- Salom okwa dja peni?
- Frans ota ningi shike kOvenduka?
- Oshike Tresia iha kala na Salom?
OMUKWANYAMA TA TI:
~ Oshi ya twa mumwe noshima. ~
A fish is cooked with a tortoise. (You have to take the bad things with the good.)
Grammar Corner: Noun Classes: Possessives
Take another look at the beginning of this chapter: Edina lange oSalom. Literally, “My name is Salom.” At the end of the same paragraph, we have ovakulunhu vange, “my parents”. You may already see that the words that indicate possession (“my”, “your”, etc.) depend on what is being possessed: “my” can translate as lange, or yange, or even other words. The root of all these words, -ange, denotes “my”. The prefix must agree with the possessed object.
|Noun prefix||Possessive pronoun prefix|
|omu- (not people)||w-|
|o- (anything else - group 5 singular)||y-|
|ee- (group 5 plural)||d-|
To form a possessive pronoun, select the proper prefix from the chart above and combine it with the root of the person you want:
|English||Oshikwanyama person||Possessive Root|
For now, focus on groups 1 and 5 and “my” and “your”. Use w-/v- with people and y-/ d- with things. This is a lot of information right now, so try to break it into the pieces that you will use most often. With enough practice, this will come to you naturally.
|My learner||omulongwa w-ange|
|Your elders||ovakulupe v-oye|
|My pen||opena yange|
|Your pens||eepena doye|
- Draw up your own family tree. Present it to a friend.
- Ask who the members of an Owambo family are and how they relate to each other. Then draw up their family tree. Good lucky!
Match each noun with the correct possessive concord.
- Having many members in the family is regarded as a good thing, because the workload in the household can be divided amongst everyone.
- All my mother’s sisters (aunts) are my mothers.
- All my father’s brothers are my fathers.
- Cousins are sometimes known as brothers and sisters.
- If you can figure out how everyone on a homestead is related, you are a genius. Or, the family speaks very good English.
- If a meme calls you, you should respond Meem’. If you are summoned by your Tate, say Taat’. If it is by an older person, say Mee’ku or Tatee’ku. Otherwise, say ee.
Oshikundu Shetu by Papa François
|Oshikundu shetu Omalodu etu Omaongo etu Oikulya yo moNamibia||Oshifima shetu Omungome wetu Omahola etu Oikulya yo moNamibia|