While nobody likes cramming vocabulary, it’s rather essential in the early phases of language learning. Learning a language is like being a panicked alligator, intent on eating as many fish as possible. Any vocabulary word you see — grab it, chomp it, learn it, keep it.
This post has two parts. First, today’s vocabulary list. Second (and this is the fun part), we’re going to review the vocabulary today with GAMES!
Let’s learn some vocab! Here’s the list of the Somali and English words, plus some comparisons with other languages. I find that identifying cognates and similar words across languages I’ve already studied helps make a foreign language immediately less “foreign.” For Somali, that means a lot of comparisons with Arabic.
|tufaax||apple||Similar to the Arabic word for apple, تفاح|
|muus||banana||Similar to the Amharic word for banana, ሙዝ (or the Arabic موز)|
|qarre/xabxab||watermelon||Xabxab is very similar to the Amharic word for watermelon, ሐብሐብ.|
|basal||onion||Similar to the Arabic word for onion, بصلة|
|baradho||potato||Not completely similar, but you can see the connection to the sounds of “potato” or البطاطس (Arabic), knowing that Somali (and Arabic) replace /p/ with /b/ sounds.|
|yaanyo/nyaanyo||tomato||Similar to the Swahili word for tomato, nyanya.|
|cananaas||pineapple||Similar to “pineapple” in many languages, such as አናናስ (Amharic), أناناس (Arabic), ananas (French/German), nanasi (Swahili), etc.|
|kaabash||cabbage||Similar to the English word for cabbage… you know, cabbage.|
|rooti||bread||Similar to the Indian bread, commonly written in English as “roti.”|
|caano||milk||Don’t get confused with Arabic on this one — the Arabic word for milk is حليب (“halib”), but hilib in Somali means meat.|
|subag||butter||Can see some connection with the Arabic word for butter, زبدة.|
|qaxwo/bun||coffee||Similar to قهوة (Arabic) or bun/buna (various Ethiopian languages).|
|hilib||meat||Don’t get confused (see the note by caano/milk).|
|digaag||chicken||Similar to the Arabic word for chicken, دجاج (pronounced with the Egyptian /G/).|
For pronunciation, here’s a great video which pronounces a lot of food vocabulary (fruits and vegetables) very clearly (with even more words than I’ve included here)!
As promised… vocabulary review games!
Now, I want to take a moment to warn you: the games aren’t going to exactly match my vocabulary list — and that’s not a bad thing. I think it’s good, when learning a language, to be open to additional vocabulary words (even if they’re not your target words for the day). Sometimes, when you’re studying a list of words a little too closely, you get wrapped up in them, and almost learn them as though they’re just one big word. Throwing in a few random words here and there helps break up the words in your mind. Or my mind, rather (I’m not sure what happens in your mind).
Okay, I may have over-hyped this: there are only two games that I found… but they’re great! If you find any more, let me know! These were great practice, in any case.