Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kinyarwandan euphemistic verb of the day

In Kinyarwanda, one adds “na” to the end of a verb to convey that it is done “together.” Kugenda (Koo-dgen-da, “to leave”) can be made Kugendana (“to leave together”). Kubyina (Koob-jee-na: “to dance”) becomes Kubyinana (“to dance together”). And so forth.

There are some idiomatic exceptions. Gusoma means “to read,” but gusomana means “to kiss.” Let this be a warning to all the parents of teenagers who think their kids are “reading together” during those after-school study sessions.

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