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The language of the Maasai peoples of Northern Tanzania / South West Kenya (where they are more commonly referred to as Samburu)

Maa goes big on greetings. I once heard two men spend no less than 15 minutes asking each other if they were ok. A typical exchange:

Subai lo moran - hello there young man

(or Subai lo sekolio - hello there boy just before circumcision)

..eba - I'm fine

ira sidan? - are you ok?

..eee - yes

ira supati? - are you ok?

..eee - yes

iserian? - are you ok

..eee - yes

And so on, until the other asks..

..ooo iye, ira sidan? - how about you, are you ok?

Lovely language. Pronounced like an exquisitely lazy Italian.

Other choice phrases:

engiringio kitti - small cow

engiringio kitok - large cow

engiteng - beef

aime - no

Note that every vowel is pronounced, softly and slowly in a slightly nasal fashion.

Maa (?), n. [See New a gull.] (Zoöl.)

The common European gull (Larus canus); -- called also mar. See New, a gull.

 

© Webster 1913

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