Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Killing Tigers

´deene yaaajäntädaawä Wanaadi cönaamode´nai caju, nono mmaja,

The word
'cönaamode´' which reminded some of a commode, is the translation for 'he made/created'.

The proper way to ask "Where is the bathroom?" would be to ask where one would go "to kill a tiger".( A tiger would be a jaguar)

In most tribes they are not accustomed to out houses and one merely goes off into the jungle , "to kill a tiger".

Everyone will know not to follow you if your are "killing a tiger".

So you see, learning the vocabulary is not enough, one must learn the idioms as well. It will save much embarrassment!

I should know!

Oh and, if you ever travel in the Amazon...and happen down a river path in which someone has left an upright machete stuck in the ground int he middle of the path...STOP! Obviously, that means a man would like privacy for his bath. And an empty pot in the path means 'the ladies room is occupied'.

Good things to know! Trust me..

Awa´deene yaaajäntädaawä Wanaadi cönaamode´nai caju, nono mmaja,


In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Gen.1:1

A literal, word for word translation would be,

At first, in the beginning, God created the heaven, earth too


WomanHonorThyself said...

heh thanks for the lesson girl!..and ty for the comment at WHT always!

Z said...

I never thought of grass paths being as fraught with messages as the mean streets of LA!!

VERY important information there, Rita. I'll keep an eye out for machetes!! And TIGERS!!

Seriously, that stuff is VERY neat ... so rich, so fascinating.

See you later..the tiger calls!!

A Note From Theresa said...

lol very funny :)

MightyMom said...

machete...empty pot.

got it, thanks!

Kopatopie said...

Hah! I would have never guessed!

Kepler said...

Fascinating, fascinating.
Ha ha, Brits talk about seeing a man about a dog and Spanish speakers about changing water to the little bird, but Yeqwana talk about killing the
Imagine a curious journalist with a camera asking the wrong questions to that statement.

The structures of native American languages can be completely amazing. It shows us how different one can conceive the whole world. I firstly read a bit about those differences as a teenager with a wonderful book by American linguist Sapir.
It was all the time "wao, wao".
I have some grammars of Pemon and Warao, completely different languages, but when one reads a bit about either of them, not only do Indo-European languages like English and Russian look similar, but even Arabic/Hebrew linguistic structures become closer to home.

I hope those Indian languages get written and documented asap, it is a whole world that can disappear if those languages go away.

~K~ said...

I thought maybe it was John 3:16, but I was close in that it was a verse from the Bible! :-)

See my blog for John 3:16 in Russian!

Jungle Mom said...

Their world view and outlook is completely different. Not wrong, just different.
I takes years to learn a language and culture to the point of being able to actually document and understand correctly what ones is observing in these cultures. The best work is usually done by the children of the linguist (If they were raised in the culture which is rare these days). My son can speak and understand Ye'kwana so much better than I ever will be able to.
Too bad the Chavistas allow him, a Venezuelan, no contact.

Anonymous said...

If I lived there I'd have a nice collection of machetes. Seems like people would steal them.

Anonymous said...

See, if you can learn things like that, I'm sure you could fly through the Edward's book I'm reading! :o)

Jungle Mom said...

I wouldn't steal an indians machete!!! Kinda like horses in the old west, necessary for survival!

Betty said...

I admire you for learning such a hard language! I´m sure it will help you to learn Guarani as well.

Brooke said...


Gayle said...

I doubt if I'll run into a machete stuck in the ground out here in Texas, but we have lots of empty pots. LOL!

Some idiot about 15 miles from us (thank goodness!) has surrounded his front yard with old toilets. Can you even imagine??? One can only hope they're empty! I was going to take a picture of it but there are too many loose dogs running around.

Anonymous said...

LOL! That was great. I won't tell you what my office companion of many years used to mean when he would state that he had to go "drop the kids off at the pool..." and disappear for twenty minutes.