Settlers of Kisumu

Years ago, after a couple summers in Eastern Europe, where German is a useful trade language, I was trying to learn some Deutsch, and had a goal of playing an entire round of the German board game Settlers of Catan in its Muttersprache (i.e. in German). In fact, it was John Cropsey who taught me the game in the first place (and slaughtered me, but that's another story).

Years later, we still play the game, but it is Swahili, another trade language, upon which we have set our sights. And so tonight, as Jason, Heather and I (Rachel being in Arizona for a wedding) sat down to play a couple games (in which Heather trounced us repeatedly), we endeavored to revive the old tradition, this time in Swahili. None of us knows all that much of the language, but we found the following makeshift phrases useful:

- Ninataka kufanya biashara jiwe.
= I am wanting to trade rock.
- Je una kuwa na kondoo?
= Do you have sheep?
- Sina kondoo.
= I don't have sheep.
- Hakuna matata. Duru yako.
= No problem. Your turn.
- Asante sana.
= Thanks much.

It actually wasn't that smooth at all. Heather kept injecting Spanish words into the conversation, and a couple times a trade was made, only to realize you had been asking for the wrong thing. At any rate, it is a fun way to inject some pre-language learning, and even though I played one of the worst rounds ever, I still got some education out of it.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

What a great idea! You all are too funny.

~Sandy Quinn