Communalities between man and animal

The text of this introduction comes from a Songhay text publish by Ducroz and Charles (1982).
The Songhay spoken by the Kaado of the west bank of the Niger River in northwest Niger is very similar to Zarma. The text has been slightly modified and the spelling has been adapted to the one used in this course. Ducroz and Charles also give a French translation of the Songhay text.
The translation of this French text is given first. Thereafter, the transcription and English translation is given.


Communalities between man and animal (translation)

What is common to man and animal, in the first place, an animal is made of flesh, blood, bones and skin, just like a human. Just like him, it is male and female, it eats, drinks and sleeps. The moment, the animal has young, these feed, suckling their mother. They open their bowels and urinate.  Like a human, the animal mate to give birth. It walks, runs, falls, but it knows how to get up. It has a certain intelligence, brains function in its skull. It has ears, teeth and a digestive system. It breath and it nose secretes mucus.

All these examples show us the strong bonds of friendship, that bind humans and animals. See again the confidence of friendship that exists between the storks – these large birds, of which one even doesn’t know where they come from – and us Kaado. At each return of the hot dry season, it are they who return to the compound that they know. They make their nest, put their young on this world, stay with us till the end of the rainy season, and return to where they came from. Nobody goes bird nesting, nobody kills them. If, by accident, a blast blows them out of their nest, one picks them up and put them back in their nest.

This shows again the narrow bonds that unit us. Because people have noticed that because of the return of the storks, it is time to prepare the fields for the coming sowing season, the rainy season is close. The storks are the messengers of this good news, that is why we like to see them return.



Communalities between man and animal (transcription)

Part 1

{..} = unknown
{eat} = uncertain
<uap> = particle of uncompleted action, positive, indicative mood

Zarma English
Hayey kaŋ borey ŋgey nd' dabbey(1) Things that humans they and animals
margan cere ra(2), i jina, no te dabbe(1), unit together, they in the first place, {give do} animal,
a gonda ham, a gonda kuri, it has meat, it has blood,
a gonda biri, a gonda kuuru, it has bone, it has skin,
a gonda way, a gonda aru, it has female, it has male,
a ga ŋwa, a ga haŋ, a ga jirbi. it <uap> eat, it <uap> drink, it <uap> sleep,
Hala a du izey, izo ga naanu, Till it finds young, the young <uap> suckle,
i ga ye-ganda, i ga hari mun. they <uap> open their bowels,
  they <uap> urinate.
I ga hiiji ce ga, They <uap> mate afoot.
borey wone cine, ku ŋgey izey hay. the humans these likeness,
  become big their young to give birth to.
I ga dira, i ga zuru, i ga kaŋ, They <uap> walk, they <uap> run,
  they <uap> fall,
i ga tukey ŋgey boŋ gaa koyne. they <uap> <stand up> their head against again.
I gonda boŋ, londo goy, i wone boŋey ra. They have head, brains work,
  they these skulls in.
I gonda hanga(3), i gonda hinji(4), i gonda teli. They have ear, they have dent,
  they have intestines.
I ga fulanzam(5), i gonda niisi They <uap> breath, they have mucus.

Songhay words
(1) dabbe (singular), dabbey (plural) [remark: alman/almano usually refers to domestic animal, uncertain whether dabbe/dabba is also used in Zarma as word for animal in general
(2) cel la
(3) haŋ
(4) heŋ
(5) hunanzam




Communalities between man and animal (transcription)

Part 2

{..} = unknown
{eat} = uncertain
<cap> = particle of completed action, positive, indicative mood
<uap> = particle of uncompleted action, positive, indicative mood
<uan> = particle of uncompleted action, negative, indicative mood
<uapp> = particles indicating uncompleted action, positive progressive, indicative mood
<sm> = particle of subjunctive mood

Zarma English
To! Wone(1) kulu, hayyaŋ no kaŋ ga cabe, Well ! All these here, things it is that <uap> show,
kaŋ corotarey(2) bambata, marksiney bambata, that friendship huge, communality huge,
a go borey ngey nda almaney(3) game ra. it is the humans their and animals between in.
Araŋ(4) go ga di, waliyey kaŋ fatkoyey no, You <uapp> see, storks that wing owners they are,
kaŋ boro kulu si bay nangu(5) gaa i ga fun(6), that person all <uan> know place against they <uap> come from,
naney bambata kaŋ furo(7) ngey nda Kaadey game ra. trust huge that enter them and (people of) Kaado between in.
Watikulu, hala hayno(8) kaa ka to, Every time, till the hot dry season come and reach,
kala(9) ni ma kaa ka garu, till you <sm> come and meet,
i kaa ka zumbu windo kaŋ i ga bay din da. they come and come to stay compound that they <uap> know that {even}.
Kaa ka ngey fuwey(10) cina, Come <and> their houses built,
kaa ku ngey izey hay, come become fat their young to give birth,
kala i mu ngey wone wato te, till they {..} their that there time do,
kala watikan se kaydiya ban, till when to the rainy season end,
ni ma kaa ka garu, i go ga ye. you <sm> come and meet, they <uap> return.
Boro kulu si i wone izey kaa, Person all <uan> they that there young take away,
boro kulu si wi. person all <uan> kill.
Kala bin dey hawo n’ i doori, Till conversely however the wind <cap> them knock over,
i ma i sambu ka ye bene koyne. they <sm> them take up and return up again
Wone(1) naney bambata no. This here trust huge it is.
Zama borey go ga di, Because humans <uap> see,
watikulu kaŋ se no, always that to it is,
i di waliyey kaa, i ga bay, they see the storks come, they <uap> know,
dey kaŋ, sohoŋ, just that, at once,
boro kulu hima a ma kay ŋga boŋ gaa, person all must he <sm> stop his head against,
ku ŋga goyo soolu, become fat his work make preparations,
ni ma kay ni boŋ gaa ga kay ka goy, you <sm> stop your head against <uap> stop and work,
zama kaydiya a maan. because the rainy season it approach.
Danga(11) labari(12) nokoy(13) no. Like a message giver it is.
Wodin se, ŋgey mo, That one there for, them too,
a ga hima corotarey(2) bambata ka bara ŋgey nda Kaadey game ra. he <uap> must friendship huge and is them and (people of) Kaado between in.

Songhay words
(1) weyyoŋ (8) korselo
(2) cettarey (9) word "kalu" used in text is unknown.
(3) dabbe (singular), dabbey (plural), see remark (1) part 1 (10) hu(w)ey
(4) or, oroŋ (11) daŋga
(5) noŋgori [abbreviation: noŋg]  (12) alhabaaru
(6) hun (13) nookow
(7) hure  



Last updated: 05 februari 2012