Ngakarimojong: Introductory Lesson
Part I: Orthography and Pronunciation
- H, Q, V, X and Z are not used in Ngakarimojong.
- G is always hard.
- C is always pronounced like “ch.”
- S is always pronounced like “th.”
- “Ng” functions as one letter, and represents a nasal sound similar to the ending of the “ing” gerund in English.
- “Ny” also functions as one letter, and is pronounced just as a combination of those two letters would be in English.
- A, E, I, O and U
- Each vowel has an open and a closed tone (except A, which only has an open tone).
Open A: pronounced as in “rather.”
Open E: pronounced as in “fell.”
Closed E: Pronounced as in “bed.”
Open I: pronounced as in “bit.”
Closed I: pronounced as in “meat.”
Open O: pronounced as in “toe.”
Closed O: pronounced as in “thought.”
Part II: Grammar
- Ayong: I/me
- Iyong: You (singular)
- Inges: He/him/she/her/it
- Iwon: We (inclusive, as in, “all of us”)
- Iswa: We (exclusive, as in, “those of us over here”)
- Iyes: You (plural)
- Ikes: They/them
As noted these pronouns can be used as both subjects and objects. For example:
- Emalim inges: He is a teacher (subject)
- Mam nyamina ayong inges: I don’t like him (object)
“To Be”: Present Tense
In Ngakarimojong there are two verbs that each express different aspects of the English verb “to be,” ayakau (to exist or to be present) and arakau (to be).
Ayai: I am
Iyai: you are
Eyai: he/she/it is
Ikiya: we are
Iyakasi: you (pl.) are
Eyakasi: they are
Eyai papa kang lore: My father is at home
Eyakasi ngikaakaitotoi nangolol: My siblings are at the river
Iyai iyong namana: You are in the field
Eyakasi ngibuin namoni: There are hyenas in the bush
Iyakasi iyes Kampala: You are all in Kampala
Arai: I am
Irai: you are
Erai: he/she/it is
Ikirai: we are
Irai: you (pl.) are
Erai: they are
In the present tense, the verb arakau is usually implied and not actually articulated. For example:
Ekasyoman ayong: I am a student
Ngitunga iwon: We are all human beings
Ngikaracuna iyes: You are all young men
Ngikedunyeta ikes: They are neighbors
Part III: Vocabulary
- Ejok-a?: How are you?
- – Ejok: Fine
- Ebalaai?: Any problems?
- – Emam: No problems
- Ikoni ai?: What’s up?
- – Mam ngace: Not much
- Toyakas daadang: Hello everyone
- – Ejok: Fine
- Maata: I greet you
- – Maata a ngaatuk: I greet you in the name of cows
- – Maata a ngiimwa: I greet you in the name of sorghum
- – Maata a akwap: I greet you in the name of the land
- Ngai ekonikiro?: What’s your name?
- – Erai ekaakiro Sam: My name is Sam.
- Ai ibuni iyong-a?: Where are you from?
- – Abuni ayong alo Canada: I’m from Canada.
- Kotere nyo ibunit iyong Najie-a?: Why have you come to Najie?
- – Abunit ayong Najie anerai acamit ayong akisyom ngiemuto ka ngitalio a Ngijie: I’ve come to Najie because I want to learn about the history and culture of the Jie.
- Iyeni iyong Ngakarimojong-a?: Do you know Ngakarimojong?
- – Mam nyayeni ayong Ngarimojong ejok, ayeni wadyo-wadyo. Nait, atemi ayong akisyom: I don’t know Ngakarimojong very well, I only know a little bit. But I’m trying to learn.
- Alakara nooi!: Thank you very much!
- Alakara dang!: Thank you as well!