Lesson 16. Alfari haalo bare

Content
  1. Intro
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Practical idiomatic winks
  4. Exercises

 



16.A. Intro  

Alfari haalo bare

Alfari nda nga windo almayaalo kulu no ga ziibi. I bankaarey ga ziibi, i tooru-tooru mo. Ganda laabo ra no i go no fa goro, koyne mo ce-koonu no i go ga dira. Alwaati kulu, farga nda jante ra no i go.

Tuuri kambe na Alfari ca maray, biyo fumbu ga te jombo. Ifo no go ga te? Alfari te jombo, zama a si nyumay se. A sinda saafun, a sinda safari fu. Alfari mana nga biyo safar, sohon a te jombo.

Hanfo, lokotoro kwaara, Alfari ma kaη ziibo no go ga a jantandi. Lokotora kwaara, waasi boη no lokotora di Alfari almayaalo haalo. A na Alfari ηwaaray a ma kaa ga hangan baano cawo boη se. Sohon, Alfari faham nda mate kaη nga ga te, a na ba saafun fareje boη day.

Sohon Alfari haalo bare, a go ga cabe nga zankey se mata kaη i ga gaham saajaw nda. Wa guna mata kaη Alfari almayaalo bare. Bankaarey go nyumante, gahamey ga hanan, taamu go cey ga. Waybora go ga farhan.

famrer in Niger near a well

Source: Gaham saajawyaη - Hygine du corps (en langue zarma), SIL Niger (2003).

After answering the questions, you can read the translation here. 

Questions to practice your reading skills

  1. Mate no Alfari na nga ca maray?
  2. Ifo no Alfari go ga cabe nga zankey?

Answers (to see answers, move pointer over xxx)

  1. xxx
  2. xxx
 

16.B. Vocabulary
  1. Verbs
  2. Nouns
  3. Adverbs

Open the Pronunciation Guide in new window

Learn these words by heart.

Extra
Move the mouse to one of the underlined words and a sentence in which the word is used will appear. Click the left mouse button and a photo will appear in a popup.
When you move the pointer on the screen with your mouse over the photo the translation of the Zarma sentence will show.


16.B.1 Verbs
Zarma English Pronunciation
bagu to break, to burst
(as a bag, bottle or dish does)
b / gu
pati
   bina ga pati
to cut, to be torn
    the heart breaks
p / ti
  bna ga p ti
ceri to snap, to break
(as a stick or bone does)
ce / ri
wongu to make war wn / gu
wongu to refuse, to resist, to reject; to hate won / gu
danaw to be blind da / naw
jiji to stutter, to stammer ji ji
jijiri to tremble, to shiver, to shake, to hesitate ji ji / ri
haŋ to drink; by extension: to undergo haŋ
safar to treat medically, to apply medicine s / far
koto [toko1] to cough ko to /
yeri [yeti2]
    sanni yeriyan
to vomit; by extension: to repeat something said
    repetition
y ri
sanni ye / ri yan
luttu to be stopped up, to be deaf lut / tu
jante to be ill, to be sick jan / te
batu
  batu tee
to wait, to wait for, to guard, to lie in wait
  to arrange an assembly
ba / tu
 

Note:
1 Dendi use toko
2 infrequently yeti in stead of yeri

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16.B.2 Nouns
Zarma English Pronunciation
wangu, wango war wan / gu
batu, bato feast, game; assembly ba tu , ba to
foy, foyo sauce, gravy to go on main dish fo y , foy o
mo, moyo eye m , mwa
danaw, danawo blind person dan / aw
simbarko, simbarkwa lame person sim / ber / ko
koma hump k / ma
komakoni hump backer, hunch back person ko ma k ni /
tafarnuwa [H] garlick ta far / nu wa
sab'bize Borassus palm (tall palm from which construction logs come from) [Borassus aethiopum] sab / bi ze
kangaw, kangawa Doum palm (smaller palm with semi-edible nuts [Hyphaene thebaica] kan / gaw
tonko, tonkwa red hot pepper [Capsicum annuum] ton ko
yazi, yazo spicy seasonings in general, some people even apply to garlic, black pepper, anise, cloves, other spices, all more or less 'hot'; each spices also has its individual name y / zi
mafey meat and vegetable stew m / fey
hinni, hinno pus hin / ni
koto, kota cough ko to /
mo-fo-koy one-eyed person m fo koy
beebe, beeba mute person
(generally deaf as well)
bee be
luttu deaf person
(not necessarily mute)
lut tu
jante, janta illness jan / te
pointi [F] nail (tack, spike) poin / ti
kusa hand forged nail, any larger nail ku / s

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16.B.3 Adverbs
Zarma English Pronunciation
nda hiney at an early hour, earlier, soon (sometimes) da hi ney /
za doŋ since long ago, since formerly sa doŋ

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16.C Practical idiomatic winks

The following topics are discussed:

  1. use of koyne
  2. use of jina
  3. use of ba, ha and ga
  4. use of hala
  5. use of du
  6. use of za watifo
  7. use of te
  8. use of yadin

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16.C.1 koyne

To express 'not any more, not more, not again', you join koyne to the negative present.

Examples
Zarma English
A si te koyne. It won't do anymore.
I si kaa ne koyne. They don't come here any more.
Ma si kand' a koyne. Don't bring him again.
Ay si ba r' a koyne. I don't like it any more.

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16.C.2 jina

To express 'not yet', you should use the negative 'past tense' particle (mana) before and jina after the verb.

Examples
Zarma English
A mana kaa jina. He hasn't come as yet.
Ni mana ci ay se jina. You haven't told me yet.
Ay mana koy Agadez jina. I didnt go to Agadez yet.
A mana nga hincino neera jina. He hasn't sold his goat yet.

To express 'already', you should place jina before a verb-link construction, that is ga (ka) plus a verb. 

Examples
Zarma English
A jin ga kaa. He has already come.
Ni jin ga di a. You have already seen it.
A jin ga nga safaro haŋ. He has already drunk his medicine.

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16.C.3 ba, gaa & ha

The next examples all are in first person, they can of course have other subjects.

ba and gaa
If using ba you can either express meddling or indifference. Using gaa you can rebuke someone who is interfering.

Examples
Zarma English
Ay ba fo. It 's none of my business.
literally: my portion is other
Ay ba si. I don't care. I don't give a hoot.
literally: my portion is not
Ay si ni gaa. I wasn't speaking to you.
(to someone interfering in a conversation)


ha
If someone isn't listening to what you are saying you may reprove by using ha and repetition of the things you just said and he or she didn't hear or didn't paid attention to.

Examples
Zarma English
Ay ne ha ...... ! I said .... !
(undertone of exasperation)
Ay si ha, ay si hin. I 'm saying one thing or another (not).
I'm not sticking my oars in.
It makes no odds to me.
Literally: I don't ask, I don't offer.
Ay man' a ha, ay man' a hin. I didn't say a word to him.
That's none of his business.


ba kayna
To express 'not at all' or 'not a bit' in Zarma, you put ba kayna in a negative sentence. This idiom may be used along as a negative to some questions as well.

Examples
Zarma English
I si ba nin, ba kayna. They don't like you at all.
I mana kande hayni, ba kayna. They didn't even bring a bit of millet.
Ay mana maa han kan ni ne, ba kayna. I didn't hear what you said at all.
Ni gonda ham, wala?
Ba kayna.
Do you have meat?
Not at all.


nda Irikoy ba
If God wills, nd' Irikoy ba, is an often used expression. It is usually said after telling of some future action, which one is planning.

Examples
Zarma English
Suba a ga kand' a araŋ do, nda Irikoy ba. Tomorrow he will bring it to you, Lord willing.

 

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16.C.4 hala

hal 'a ma bori
To show that an action is or should be well done, you should add hal' a ma bori or hal ma bori after the main part of the sentence.

Examples
Zarma English
I n' a hanse hal' a ma bori. They fixed it very well.
Monsieur ga wani moteuryan hal' a ma bori. Monsieur knows engines very well.
M' a haw hal ma bori. Tie it up real good.


hala manti moso

To express 'not a little, considerably, quite a lot', you should add hala manti mosso to the verb. Hala manti moso literally means 'till not slowly', thus Zarma say it in a negative, while in English the idea is usually expressed in a positive way.

Examples
Zarma English
A maray hala manti moso He was badly hurt.
literally: He was not a little hurt.
A gonda  nooru hala manti moso He has quite a lot of money.

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16.C.5 du

The Zarma verb du means to get, to obtain, to acquire. In certain word combinations it may have another meaning.

ifo ga du
The combination ifo ga du means 'what is the matter with' or 'what happened to'.
 

Examples
Zarma English
Ifo ga du ni baba? What is the matter with your father?
Ifo ga du Amadou? What happened to Amadou?


du ga

Du with the verb link construction (ga) means 'to get to' or 'to have the opportunity to' or in the same way we use 'can' or 'cannot' as auxiliaries, to the next verb. Not from the physical inability, but from the circumstances. 

Examples
Zarma English
Ay mana du ga koy Niamey. I didn't get a chance to go to Niamey.
Ni du ga lettre hantum ni nya se, wala? Did you get to write a letter to your mother?
Ay du ga di Zarmakoy. I got the change to see Zarmakoy.
Iri mana du g' in dum. We haven't had the opportunity to accompany you.

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6.C.6 za watifo

To convey the idea of 'since a long time ago, since I don't know when', put
za watifo either at the beginning or at the end of the clause.
 
Examples
Zarma English
Ay ga ni batu za watifo. I' ve been waiting for you for a long time.
Za watifo a ne nga ga kaa. A long time ago he said he would come.

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16.C.7 te

The zarma verb te (to make, to do, to happen) in combination with a noun may means 'to be'.
For other combinations with the verb te, see Lesson 13.
 
Examples
Zarma noun Zarma English
bonkano (lucky person) te bonkaney to be lucky
saye (luck) te saye to be lucky
bonfuto (unlucky person) te bonfutey to be unlucky

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16.C.8 yadin

yadin ga

The combination yadin ga expresses 'therefore', 'and so', 'consequently'.
 
Examples
Zarma English
A ne nangu si no moto ra. Yadin ga,ay si du ka koy. He said there is no place in the car, and so I won't get to go.
Wayna ga koron gumo sohon. Yadin ga, iri kulu ga maa fufule gumo. The sun is very hot now; therefore we all feel the heat very much.


kulu nda yadin
The combination kulu nda yadin means 'nevertheless', 'in spite of that', and 'anyhow'. Usually this combination precedes its clause.

Examples
Zarma English
Iri kulu ga ti zunubikoniyan, amma kulu nda yadin Almasihu bu ir se. We are all sinners, but in spite of that Christ died for us.
Nd' a ga ba, nd' a si ba, kulu nda yadin a ma kaa. If he wants to or if he doesn't, let him come anyhow. 

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Last updated: 11 maart 2012