Saturday, September 18, 2021

Language & Phrasebook in Comoros

AfricaComorosLanguage & Phrasebook in Comoros

French and Arabic are the official languages. The majority of Comorians speak Shikomor (Comorian), a collection of Swahili dialects, as their first language and French as a second. Some people are also fluent in Arabic.

Each island has its own language. The greetings below are not always literal translations.

Greetings almost usually follow the same pattern:

Grand Comore

  • Yedje? (How are you?), response: Ndjema (good)
  • Bariza? (News?), response: Ndjema
  • Mahabari (News?), response: Salimina (peaceful)
  • Hufanyiha dje? (How are you?), response: Ndjema
  • Na kozazidi? (And problems?), response: Raha (Not yet)
  • E ngawe mnono? (Your health?), response: Alhamdulilah (Thanks to Allah)

Moheli

  • Jeje? (how are you?)
  • Ndjema (good)
  • Gushindu? (your health is good?)
  • Ewa (yes)
  • Kumnono? (you feel good?)
  • Ewa (yes)
  • Habari (you are well?)
  • Salaama (at peace)

Any sequence of words including the term habari necessitates a salaama answer. Shikomor uses habarizaho or habarizasobwuhi as expansions of the habari greeting to denote the time of day.

Other necessary words:

  • Ewa (yes)
  • A-a (no)
  • Marahaba (thank you)
  • Marahaba menji (thank you very much)
  • Swamahani (Sorry/pardon me)
  • Pvapvo (there; used to tell a taxi driver where you want them to stop)
  • Pvano (here; same as above, but the driver will likely slam on the brakes)