Posted by: zdy1 | 31 May, 2011

Definite indenfinites.

OK, in my last post I mentioned how I was still learning (and will be indefinitely). One thing is learning what words mean here. Yes it is English but it is different from English English or American English (if you can call that English!!!) – here I am learning Ugandan English.

I’ve mentioned before about how “let me come” means I will come in a bit but for the moment I am heading in the other direction. There are lots more and if you are interested then wikipedia has a whole article devoted to Ugandan English here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugandan_english.

The one that I am trying hard to get in my head is “May” and “Knew”. Now I am happy for any Ugandans to correct me on this, but from what I have seen so far… If someone says “I may” it means “I am not” (i.e. if someone says “I may not come” that means “I am not going to come”) and if someone says “I knew” it means “I thought” (i.e. if you have a meeting and someone doesn’t come to it, they may say to you “I knew you were not meeting” meaning “I thought you were not meeting”).

Now who is to say one is the right way and one is the wrong way. In fact when I am in Uganda, it surely should be the Ugandan English that is correct. However my head does hurt when I hear someone say something that my brain interprets as an indefinite and try to convince myself it is a definite and vice versa.

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