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Tigrinya Speakers’ Anguish: Shallowing Their Mother-Tongue

An Eritrean devoted eleven pages and over 7,000 words on a 2010 article that appeared on Asmarino. The author bemoans the lack of diaspora born Eritreans’ mastery of their “mother tongue”. He cites wads of embarrassing anecdotes to support what he called diaspora crisis in the mother tongue. The article gets into trouble from its onset because the author mendaciously assumes that Tigrinya is the mother tongue of Eritreans born in diaspora to Tigrinya speaking parents. It is not. One’s mother tongue is not the language that his mother spoke when the child was born, it is the language that the child spoke when growing up, but it is not the goal of this piece to rebut every argument that the said article has made six years ago. Instead my goal is to initiate the discussion about the real crisis that the Tigrinya language is facing at the tongues of its native speakers, the onslaught of the shallowing, the hyper desire to destroy it with what seems to be an anguished need for “coolness”.

Do not get me wrong; languages change, languages borrow, languages infuse and languages loan to others. Take English, it started as small Germanic dialect and now about 400 million speak it, most of them naively. The American travel writer, Bill Bryson quoting an eminent Oxford scholar calls English one of the great growth industries (The Mother Tongue English and how it got that way). Thirty years ago there were more English students in China than there were people in the United State of America. Yet, it is hard to believe that this rich language, the language that has become the common tongue has originated from a local Germanic dialect when people crossed the North Sea to Britain displacing the local Celtics. Languages change when tribes are swallowed and or assimilated. This is a big subject beyond the scope of this article. Unlike the author of the above mentioned article who agonizes about the diaspora born children’s lack of fluency in their parent’s mother tongue, my angst is about how Tigrinya is being treated by its own speakers and custodians in what I call an anguished desire for coolness (Harrif). My friend Saleh Younis has written and commented prolifically about the shallowing of the language by literalism. The Language of Authoritarians, No Problem Any Time are among the memorable articles. In them, Saleh vivisects the corruption of the mother tongue under literalism. Yosief Ghebrihewt in his controversial treaties of de-Romanticizing Ghedli, rightly or wrongly, has asserted that Eritreans and their armed struggle were hell-bent on creating a brand new identity. I will argue that Tigrinya is changing and it is getting shallower as its speakers are aguishly searching for a “sexier”, more “modern”, more hip language and its rapid change is not due to the natural phenomenon that other languages like English has undergone as part of the process that humanity has undergone. One evidence of the torment of search of a hip language can be found in the quest of Amharic by most people born after independence, who were never exposed to language.

All the anguished desire to abandon Tigrinya did not start with PFDJ, it did not even start with the advent of the armed struggle, when the kids in Ghedli wanted to cut the umbilical cord that connected them to the “Feudal gebar”, but it all started with what I call the “fare bagno/doccia” phenomena. Eritreans never used to take a shower, they used to wash their bodies, so literalism started way before Ghedli, when just like their search for the cool, the hip, just like they dropped the names such as Mehari and Mihret and Weletebrhan in favor of Henos, Helen and Esrom, they ditched washing your body (nebsey yhtseb…) and replaced it with “fare doccia”, I am doing a bath.

Tigrinya has a rich side to it, for example unlike Italian which does not distinguish between a niece and granddaughter, or a nephew and grandson, or unlike English, which does not differentiate between the sister of your mother or the sister of your father, Tigrinya has “habti-ennoy”, “akkoy” and “ammoy”. Also Tigrinya offers “emba”, “gobo”, “kurba”, “kujjot”, to denote mountain, hill, etc, but the boys in Ghedli ditched all these and came up with “tabba”, an Arabic for a hill.

But to be fair, Tigrinya also has silly expressions and sayings long before Ghedli, (e’dan endiddan, … adgi zey msil abdi), our version of alliteration and rhyming. No one knows why humans love sentences that begin with the same sound, and phrases that rhyme, but we do adore them. Remember the Tigrinya proverb: “misla kab himaqq, mai kab ammaq”, in the Tigrinya culture those who have deep knowledge of proverbs are esteemed members of the community and the rich adages are prevalently used in village politics and social gatherings with amazing recall; they are rarely documented but verbally passed for generations. But then they have a proverb that decries deep knowledge of the proves and their excessive use, ‘proverbs spring from the weak as water springs from depth,’ goes the translations.

To be fair to the mother tongue, other languages have silly expressions that do not make sense, like “cool as cucumber”, it alliterates, but makes no sense, cucumber is not cooler in a hot day than a tomato, or a banana. Curiosity killed the cat is another silly expression. Exception proves the rule is something that does not make sense either. The English linguist and blogger, Mark Forsyth say this about the expression “It Takes Two To Tango”: its alliteration makes it memorable, while it still takes two To waltz, the lack of alliteration in the later makes it less memorable. I paraphrase! So it could be the same in Tigrinya that the “abdi” is just there for its sound and not substance.

Even, Amanuel Eyasu of Assenna, cannot find a Tigrinya equivalent for the term “Foundation” as in Assenna Foundation. We commonly use the Arabic “marra” or the Italian “troppo”, just to sound hip and learned, and in tune with modernity.

I always wondered why is that when a Tigrinya speaker gets drank, speaks in English or Italian, or why a Muslim Eritrean when drank recites classical Arabic from antiquity. When you are intoxicated the things you master must come easy.

The singer Feven Tsegay in her song, My Love Call Me, opted for the Arabic Habibiy/Hubbi not for the lack of a word in her mother tongue, but in anguished search of that coolness that is destroying Tigrinya. Not to be outdone, Solome Meharay crooned, Chocolate, Chocolate ditching the perfect Tigrinya,”woynney”, never mind the fact that most Eritreans do not know the word chocolate, never mind that most Eritreans have definitely never tasted chocolate.

If two men are married to two sisters, the English speaker has to go through the hoops… whereas Tigrnga speakers married to two sisters can deftly say, we are “hannotat”, not “n’klette yehwat wessidna”. Whereas the English speakers talks about brother in law or sister in law, Tigrinya offers the facility of “zomma”, “niElti”, not “bhgi habtey” or “bhgi hawey”, But the way it is going, brace for it, just like I am bracing for (tahtewhy kelbi nerna…, we were the underdogs, but now….) when the Eritrean Airline out flies the Ethiopian Airlines one of these days.

As the examples from Italian and English languages suggest, one can safely conjecture that most languages have their own limitations and silliness, Tigrinya is not an exception, but it seems that in our case the many limitations and silliness are self-inflicted, a tormented need to dissociate, to create a brand new, cool vernacular that will supplant Tigrinya as we know it.

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  • iSem

    ዝኸበርካ ተስፋልደት ባህልቢ

    ፈላማ ንሰዋሱ ክእለተይ ክትግምግም ስል ዝነበረ እቲ መባእታ ሕቶኻ ብትግርኛ ጌረ መሊሰልካ፡ እምበር ከምቲ ዘበልካዮ (ኣቦይ ፍቃዱ……..ይናኣዱ) አይኮነን፡ ፡ ግን ንዘረባ ዘረባ፡ ንሓመድ ድማ ድግሪ ይምጽኦ ክም ዝብሃል፡ እዛ ምስላ ናይ አቦአይ ፍቃዱ ዝበሃሉ ሰበአይ ቀደም ዘበን ንንብሶም ስለዝንአዱ አይኮነትን ንወልዶታት ትሰጋገር ዘላ፣ እንታይ ድኣ ክምቲ

    (cool as cucumber) ንእዝኒ ስለ እትማርኽ ጥራይ ፡ እዚ ድማ ትግርኛ ጥራይ ከም ዝይሐመ ንምግላጽ ነበር፡ ሓድ ካብቲ ዝሓቅኖ ዘነብርኩ ድቒ ሓሳብ: እምበር እቶም ዘበን እኒእኒ ሕንባሻ ኸሎ እምኒ ንነብሶም ዘንኣዱ አቦይ ተስፋስልሰ ክኾኑ ይኽሉ እዮም

    ብዛዕባ ቋንቋ እንግሊዝ ካባይ ክም ዝመጸ ዝጽወኹ ቋንቃ ክም ዝዋሰብን ዝቅየርን ስለዚ ድማ ናትናወን ክሙእ ክምዝኾነ ከም ዝስወጠኒ ንምፍኣም የኢ ዘነበር፡ ግን ፍልጠ ብዛዕባ ሓደ ነገር ንዋናታት ዘተሓጽረ አይኮነና፣

    እቲ ቀንዲ ናይታ ድርሰተይ ልኻይ() ዘስተብሃልካሉ አይምሰለንን፡ እቲ ሓደ ግዜ ሓደ ሰብ ምስ ብዓልቲ እንድኡ አብ ዕድመ ምስተራኽብኩም ኸበር ዘይገበርለይ፡ ፍልጠና ብማዕዶ ብዝዕባ እርትራ ክትሃብብ ከልኻ እዩ፡ ገጊጋኺ ድኻ ዋላ ሓፉርካ ዝብለካዮ ብእንክሮን ተሃኒኑን ይከተታለና ከም ዘለኦ እፈልጥ እየ እም ምናልባሽ ነቲ እታ ድርሰተይ ዝሓቆነቶ ልኻይ ክብርሃልካ ይኸል ይኽወን፡ ጎረብትካ ስልዝኾ ተወክሶ፡ እንተ ድኣ ኽበር ዘይገብርልካ ዓርክትካ ሰመረአብ ዓንዶም ኢዩ ሊኢኹኒ ብሎ

    ብዛዕባ ትግርኛ ብትግርኛ ዝበልካዮ ገል ሓቅነት አለዎ ግን ብትግርኛ ጥራይ ክኽዉን ግን ይብሉን፡ ግን ክም ኡ እዩ ትብል እንትኾናክ አይናይ ምጽሓፍ ክም ዝበሎ ነገርና

    ብዝዕባ ስቅ ይምሕረለካ ዝበአክዪ ግን፡ ጋጋ እዩ ምኽንያቱ ብዘን ቁንጣሮ ሌላና ክም ዝስተባህልክሉ እቲ “ሓቂ ጸዊኻ ኣብ መገዲ ባቡር ድቅስ” ዝብል ብሂል ብጎቦ ዓይንኻ ኢኻ ትሪኦ፡ አይፋልካን ተስፋ-ልደት ልቢ እታ ትግርኛ ባህ ክብሎ ነዚ ናይ ቀዳሞት ምስላ ዕሽሽ አይትበሎ፡

    • Tesfaldet Bahlibi

      Mr. Semere, Sorry for my late response.

      ናትካ ነገር፡ ብኾቦሮ ኣብየንሲ ፡ ብሕምብጥጥ ከም ማለት ኮይኑ። ኣነ ደኣ፡ ምናልባሽ ሓልዮት ናይ ትግርኛ ፡ ዘሎኳ ከም ምኻንካ ስለ ዝሸተተኒ እየ፡ ንኽነቕፈካ ኢለ ዘይ ኮንኩስ ፡ ንኽምዕደካ ርእይቶይ ኣካፊለካ። ኣይ ተሰቆረካን። ስለዚ፡ በቲ ንስኻ ትመልኮ ቋንቋ ኢንግሊዝ፡ ኣነ ንባዕለይ፡ ኣብ ኣጠቓቕማ ኢንግሊዝ፡ ማዕሬኻ ምናልባሽ እውን፤ ዝያዳኻ ኣፍጦ ክህልወኒ ስለ ዝኽእል፡ ብእንግሊዝ ወስ እንተ በልኩዃ፡ ከይ ትጁርቕ።

      ነዚ ዛዕባ’ዚ ዝምልከት፡ ከም ሓደ በሶሮ፡ ከይ ተፈለጠካ፡ ልዕሊ ቁመትካ ተመጣጢርካ፡ ብሀተው ቀጠው ስለ ዘመራሳሕካዮ፡ ብጻይ ሳልሕ ቃዲ፡ ዘይ በዓል ለይተይ ብምዃኑ ደኣ ኮይኑ እበር፤ እንተ ደኣ ” መዓለሽ ” ዝብለኒ ኮይኑ፡ ድግ ዝበለ ዓንቀጽ፡ ምስ ኢንጥሾይ ከብል ዝኽእል ሰናፍጭ ኣቃሚመ፡ ከቕርብ ይኽእል እየ። እንተ ደኣ . . . እንተ ደኣ . . ኣብ ግምባር ገጽ /front page/ ናይ ወብሳይቱ ከተ ኣናግደልይ ዝኽእል ኮንዩ? ኣይ መስለንን ግን። እዝግሄር ደኣ ጸሊ ኡልና እምበር፡ ንሱን ኣነን፡ ካብ መዓሰከርር ሞጎራይብ ኣትሒዝና፡ ምስ ሽዳና እንከሎና፡ እኳ ኢና ንፋለጥ ዝነበርና። ክሳብ ሽዑ ግን፡ ብሕጽር ዝበለ – Here I am for your rescue Semerino.

      Mr. Semere, please do not tamper on subjects that you have no master on it. I am sorry, but you don’t get it what I have said to you. Regardless, what your orientation might be all in politics, stop scrambling our language as you would scramble eggs in the oven. And most seriously, stop connecting Higdif as your necessary tool to make your point across on language. That is xxxx, means xxxx ከም ኣዘራርብና።

      Key note፡ you ought to know language has no barriers. If not, go back to school. Do you get it? For instance, some words in Tigrigna, if we utter them as they sound, they could invoke offensively serious troubles. In that case, if we say them using Tigre, Arabic, Kunama, English, Amharic, Italian, Germania, Spanish – you would find them inoffensive. For instance, if I say to you in Tigrigna /xxxx/ it would open a gate to hell. But If I say “xxxx” you in English or “xxxx” in Arabic it is almost nothing. Have you heard people saying “ኢነዓል ዲነክ” in Arabic? It is just like a joke. If you say it in Tigrigna, the message is not the same. That’s why; Tigrigna shrewdly uses none of its own to make a point. Do you get it Mr Semere. I doubt all about your intelligence. Leaving aside all about your ingenuousness, but let me share with the potential respected readers to this issue what have invoked me to raise this issue again. I was shocked.

      This morning today around 9 AM, I bumped with a young beautiful Ethiopian girl in her early twenties. Advancing her hand towards me she said “ሰለም/selem”. Happily, I said “ሰላም” to her. We shake hands of each other. “ኣበሻ ነህ/are you Habesha/ she asked. I said, ኣዎ/yes/. ኣማርኛ ታ’ቃለህ/do you know Amharic/ she asked. I say ትንሽ ትንሽ/not much/ I replied. How come “ትንሽ ትንሽ” she asked jokingly? I gave her my reasons.

      To my surprise experience, she made me melt down like a chocolate at 1oo0f. . This is how she said it in Amharic. My translation in English goes like this: “To our language, she said, “ GeEz is the father, Tigrigna is the son, and Amharic is the grandson.” I was in disbelief to hear from a young girl, my daughter as we say, to teach me in simple words unlike Mr. Semere. I was stunned and my eyes shed waters. She was perfectly correct. That’s how language works: no borders. Check: http://biblehub.com/genesis/11-6.htm

      Mr. Semere, do you get it? If I am not wrong, you should be dejected out from Awate’s domain with the same decree applied to me by the Website, but for different reason.

      • iSem

        ቶ ተስፋልደት፡

        ሕጂ ‘ውም ነቲ ቀንዲ ላህመት ድርሰተይ አይሓዝካዮን፡ ቋንቋ ዠቀይር አይነበረካን

        ቀልጢፍካ ጋእ ኢልካ ዘይ ተመለስካ አስደሚሙኒ ነበረ ግን እቲ ዝያዳ ዘስደመመኒ ግን እቲ ጉዳይ ሾማል-ሾምል ትብሎ አልኻ፡

        እቲ ምሳይ ዘካየድካዮ ትርኽ እምበር ልዝብ ከምዝይኮ አስተብሂልሉ አለኹ ግን እታ ኣብ መዓስከር ሞጎራይብ ዝወድኻያ ጥላም ሽዳ ኸቢዳትኒ እምበር ብሰሮ ምስ ብልካኒ ሃእ ተመንክል ክብለካ ትንዕ በልኩ፡ ልበይን የ እምሮይን ተማቲን ተዛትይን ግን፡ አይፋሉን ነያይ ተስፋልደት ዋላ ሕማቅ እንተዋዓለ ማዕሪ ኡ አይዝንጥልሎን በላኒ መነሃርያ ደመይ ግን ባህታ አይሰፈናን ወዲ ቦይ ባህልቢ

        ሽዳኻ ወዲኻ፡ አውረርይ ከይበልካ፡ ስል ህዝብኻ ብረት ክም ዝተሓንገጥካ ነጊርካኒ፡ ሃብሮም ድማ እብለካ፡ ነቲ ዝንኻን ነቲ ጥላም ሽዳን ዝወደየ ስለ ዝል ዝለ ዘይይዝንጠል እምብር፡ እዝ ሕጁ ዝበልካዮ መግሩዕ እምበር መልሲ አይኮነን፡

        ስለዚ አያ ተስፋልደት ሽምካ ከምርሓልካ ጥወፍካ ከብርሃልካ ነቲ ዝብልካዮ ዘልፋ ብጓጉድ ጻልጣ ጻባ አውሕጦ፡ ግን እታ ሓምራ ላምካ ነጺፋ እንተኾይና፡ ድንጎላ ትሰኪምካ አብ እግረይ ወዲቕካ እቅረ ሕተት፡ ግን ከም ጓል በርኻ ካብ ጫሌዳ ናብ ጫሌዳ አይትስገር፡
        But for your info:
        You do not scramble eggs in over,your eyes get misty or your get watery eyes, or you shed tears, you do not she waters
        This morning today is redundant, when you said this morning the readers know it was today
        You do not bumb with someone you bump into someone

  • Haile S.

    Greetings,

    Semere’s choices and ability in bringing social and
    political issues of great interest into the open is remarkable and admirable.
    He is one of the few visible social critics in this forum. But his latest piece suffers
    from either a need for just an outburst; need for expression of bitterness whatever
    the situation or at least is a hasty release of incomplete or un-revisited draft
    article. I think the ‘silly expressions’ “e’dan endiddan” or “zeymsl abdi
    zyeKomsA adgi” (if that is what Semere wants to say), deliver their message easily
    and clearly. The former means both “E’da” and “Endidda” are sticky things you
    cannot get rid off so easily. The other expression may not be seen as politically
    correct, but it makes a point, an idiot cannot make an argument like a donkey can’t
    chew-cud. Not digging and knowing the origin, source and significance of a word
    or an expression doesn’t make it random, silly, senseless or meaningless. On
    the contrary, these expressions are proverbial with well thought easily comprehensible
    meaning.

    And what has PFDJ to do inside that article? There are a lot
    of things that one can denounce EPLF/PFDJ for, in this case with regards to its
    official or non-official proclamations regarding languages, at least to Tigrigna
    that I know of. But just putting it on the title without context in the body of
    the article is like “zHmKo aleni betrey’ habuni”. Making PFDJ a punching bag at
    any conversation at any rate is not going to help; it rather banalizes the true
    issues. It seems to me that whatever the subject of discussion concerning
    Eritrea or Eritreans is, things are presented on both extremities of the spectrum,
    either to admire with proud chest and neck extended or lament with bent neck, in
    either case until torticolis; rarely something in between. One side don’t want
    to write or hear other that the pompous propaganda. The other tends to go to
    negativism, we are this we are that, we are the doomed, there is no one worst
    than us, that out culture is this and that, our struggle was this and that, in
    sum, a collective self-flagellation. It looks as if claiming the victim of your
    own self (self meaning the perceived deficiencies) is the most comfortable situation
    to be in. I am not against criticism, against bringing everything on the table,
    the good, the bad and the ugly. And I am not saying Semere’s article is devoid
    of balance or significance (far from it), but the negativism he endeavored
    to add on the other side of the swing, I am afraid, appears to be reminiscent
    of the later sentiment, the unjustified self-flagellation.

  • Tewelde gebremariam

    Hi Semere,
    Again you are plunging yourself into a subject that you have no clue. I wish you refrain from messing up yourself with thing above your capacity. Find your own level to deal with. Tigrigna language has a badge of honor on her chest for defeating those who came to do away with her once and for all. They all left in shame and defeat and your empty bravado won’t be different.

    By the way, do not be deceived into premature joy by the recent fleeing of the Tigrigna people. Ask king Haile Selase, Mengistu HaileMariam etc.

  • iSem

    Dear ተስፋልደት ባህልቢ
    ግዲ የብልካን፡ አይትሰከፍ!

    ግን ዘረባን መሸላን ርእሱ ርእሱ ከም ዝብሃል ካብ ንኹላ እታ ድርሰት ዝትርጉማ፡ መልሰይ ብትግርኛ እንትኾነ ብዛዕባ ዘለኒ ሰዋሱ ክእለት ክእትእምት ትኸል ዝብል እምነት አለኒ

    ግን ድርሰተይ ብዛዕባ ሰዋሱ ጥራይ አይነበረን፡ መብዛሕተኡ ብዛዕባ ምጅላሕ ቋንቋ ትግርኛ ኢዩ ዝነበረ፡ ዝተጀልሓ ነገር ድማ ላዛ-አልቦ ከም ዝኸዉን ትዝንግዕ አይመስለንን

    ትግርኛ መዛረቢ ናውቲ ጥራይ አይኮነን፡ ቀለበትን መሳልልን ባህላን ወግዕን ሕብረተስብና ‘ውን ኢዩ

    አታ ድርሰተይ ግን ምል እቲ አይኮነትን፡ እዚ ማለት ሸራፍን ሃጓፍን አለዋ፡ ስለዚ ሸራፍ ስኒ መንፈጺ ጽዋ፡ ሸራፍ ስራማ መንፈሲ ስዋ ክይከውን፡ ይሕዋት ነቲ ሸራፍ ክምለኡ እላቦ:-)
    What do you think?

    • ተስፋልደት ባህልቢ

      ዝኸበርካ ሰመረኣብ
      ድርሰትካ ደኣ፡ ብዛዕባ ምጅላሕ ቋንቋ ትግርኛ፡ ከም ምዃኑ መኣስ ዘንጊዔዮ። ዝተሰከፍኩ ስለ ዝመሰለካ ድማ፡ ንባዕልኻ ተሰኪፍካ፡፡ ንኽንወሓሓጥ ኢለ እየ፡ ሕቶ ሓቲተካ ደኣ እምበር፡ ደሰክፍ ኣይ ነበረንን። ሕጂ እውን ክደግመልካ። እዛ ትሕዝቶ ናይ እንግሊዝ ድርሰትካ፡ ከም ዘላታ፡ ብትግርኛ እንተ ደኣ ተርጉምካያ፡ ኣበርክቶኻ ንምዕብልና ትግርኛ፡ ምናልባሽ ክሕግዝ ምኸኣለ በሃላይ እየ። ደሓር ከኣ፡ ንምሕየሻ ትግርኛ ዝግደስ ኣምር፡ ብትግርኛ ምስ ዝኸውን ደኣ ክኸውን ይሓይሸ እምበር፡ ብእንግሊዝ ደኣሞ ንመነመን እዩ ከረድእ?

      ብዛዕባ ምጅላሕ ድማ፡ ካብታ ዝፈራሕካያ ከይ ወጻእካ፡ ንባዕልኻ ብግስ ከይ በልካ ጀሊሕካ። “Dear ተስፋልደት ባህልቢ” እንክትብል ጀሚርካ። ዝከበርካ፤ ኩቡር ወይ ድማ ሓው እገለ ደኣ እዩ ወግዓዊ ትግርኛ እምበር፤ Dear ተስፋልደት ማለት፡ ጅሉሕ ትግርኛ ከም ምዃኑ እዩ ዘመልክት ዘሎ። እታ “ኩቡር” ትብል ቃልሲ ስለ ምንታይ ትበቀለይ? ናይ “Dear” ትርጉም ማለትዶ ኣይ ኮነትን እያ?

      • iSem

        ክቡር ተስፋልደት ባህልቢ

        አየ እወ ብስብ ካህናታይ ጌርካ ምስ ጽወዕካኒ ዝተሰመዓኒ ፍስሃ! ኣመስጊነ ንኣመስጋኒ ድማ ሂበካ.

        እቲ አይትሰክፍ ዝበልኩኻ ድማ ነቲ ድፍረት አይመስለንን ዝበልካዮ፣ ብዛዕበኡ አይትሰክፍ ንምባል እዩ.፡ ግን ካብ እግርስ አፍ ይልዝዕንቅፍ ኮይኑ

        አብታ ቀዳመይቲ መል እኽቲ ናተይ ሰዋሱ ንምግምጋም ኢኻ ዝበልካ እምበር፡ ክምዚ ሕጂ ዝብልካዮ ንምምዕባል ትግርኛ እንኾይኑ እማንካ እብልካ፤-)

        እታ dear ምጥቕማይ ዋል ጌጋ እንተኾነ ምጅላጅ ግን አይኮነነ፡ ምሕንፋጽ እዩ፡ ግን ገንዘብ ዕዳን ልቢ ምኽርን ናብ ዋንኡ ክምዝብሃል ምልቅሕ አየድልን :ግን አመል ምስ ምግንዝ ክምዝብሃል ብእንግሊጅ ጀሚረ ከይድምስሶ ተብተብ እለ ረሲዐዮ፡ እምበር አማን ብኣምን ትግርኛ ሰናፍ አይኮነን

      • Kokhob Selam

        ክቡር ተስፋልደት :-

        ይበል !!! እዚኣስ ዋዛ ምስ ቁምነገር እያ :: ንምዃኑ እታ ርእሲ ዓንቀጽ ካብ ርእሳ ክሳብ እግራ ንደቂ ዓደ እንግሊዝ ዝተዳለወት ድኣ እምበር ነቶም ቋንቋና ከምቲ ኩሉ ባህልን መነባብሮናን ኣብ ሓደጋ ዝወደቆም ደቂ ኤረ ትምልከተና ኣይትመስልን :: እዋእ ሓቁ ድማ ! መንእሰያትናን ህጻናትናን ኣንስትናን ሰብኡትናን ኣብ ውቅያኖሳት ድራር ዓሳ ክኾኑ እንከለው :- ደቂ ወጻእ እንደኣሎም ኡይ ዝብሉ ዘለው :: ወረ ጽቡቕ ብኢጣልያዊ ቛንቛ ዘይጸሓፋ ! ላምባዱሳ ኮ ትርህርሃልና ካብ ኮምፒሽታቶ ኣስመራ ::

        ፍሽኽ ዶ በልካ ! ሰመረ ሓወይ ነዚ ድሕሪ ምንባቡ ብርዑ ካብ ቀለም ጠሚዑ ከም ሰጋር ፈረስ ጋላቢ – ከምዝውንጨፍ ዘጠራጥር ኣይኮነን ::

  • Abi

    Hi Ayneta
    Whatever that “dumu dumu” means, we need a whole lot of it. This place can be boring without the likes of Saay7 ( that is seven intelligent people in one ). Where is he? He must be busy advising Mr Trump.

  • Berhe Y

    Hi Abi,

    I don’t know the Haile hawariya but that sounds like a song to praise the king.

    So are you telling me that your grand mother / great grand mother who may not had no chance to go to school didn’t sing nursery songs for her children.

    I am sure your mother had sang for you, like any mother would.

    It seems to me that, the more we went to school, the more we seem to forget / never learn our heritages. And our learned instead of writing the things that we have, they seem to focus on translating / borrowing from others. (Although, there is nothing wrong with that).

    But most of the English or other nursery songs, they origin many, many years ago when they were farmers and peasants like out people, but they seem to continue to pass the tradition, write it down and record it for the next generation to make it better, rather than unlike us to completely forget.

    Berhe

    • Abi

      Hi Berhe
      If you insist I got one original song for you.

      Addis Memhir meTa kab Asmara
      Mastemarun tito tiwlid yemiyaTara.

      Memhir: Anta simike manyu?
      Berhe: Ane Berhe ebahal.
      Memhir: Hasot!
      Berhe: Eway wurdet!!
      Memhir: Suq bel, gnay!

      Berhe never returned to school. He moved to Toronto.

  • Berhe Y

    Dear Beach Bum,

    Thank you but I know the song. I was saying that’s the only song I remember. I was asking if you know more songs.

    So far, everyone seems on the same boat as me. I would hope saay takes some time and respond as he is the authority as far as anything Eritrean.

    Let’s see and test Abi / Horizon and other Ethiopians.

    What children nursery songs you know and remember and you are able to sing. You don’t have to write the whole song but the title is enough.

    Berhe

    • Kaddis

      Selam Berhe –

      I have never lived anywhere but in Ethiopia – but don’t remember family singing together or my mom …but maybe during festive, buhe, Enkutatash and more…About kids songs, including the festives, people and prominent poets like Tagel Seifu critic the messages as so depressing and decided to change the lyrics….some were degrading and some even not appropriate for kids …so look on YouTube ( maybe ) the latest versions …a lot of songs being produced and sold on a cd here in Addis…

      My general advise to all living outside – I don’t think there is enough excuses not to teach your kids your native language …imagine if one Swedish or Dutch stationed in Ethiopia for 5 years ( having kids of 5 years or below ) tells you they don’t speak Dutch or Swedish. It does not happen ..I am not judging anyone here …( there are even kids who were born and raised in Addis who pretend or struggle to some extent ) not speaking Amharic or other local language …Imagine again ….if a Japanese raising his kid in Tokyo and give an excuse to another Japanese his kid does not speak Japanese …..makes me sick..

      • Siraj Steven

        Eritrean living in Ethiopia…I wonder what you are still doing..?….if I were you I would pack up and leave……

  • Berhe Y

    Dear Memhir,

    Here is a problem, I asked you to elaborate and you start to question if am Eritrean or not. Being Eritrean or not is that something that happens by ch anyone choice but by pure lack. Everyone is proud from where they are and that’s no different for Eritreans.

    Now back to the important point which is, I asked you if you know know or remember any nursery songs. You haven’t failed me, you are no better than I.

    I didn’t include Isaq Hawey, which I know the song, because it’s translated song and is not original. Its origin is French “Frère Jacques”, in case you think it is original tigrina.

    I didn’t know the second song because you alluded it’s political and may be not known as a children song by everyone and thus, I don’t think it’s qualified. As you said it doesn’t qualify.

    You see, you are no better than me, now I challenge you to come think hard and come up with more songs.

    Berhe

  • halewa

    Hi joe (GI joe)

    This guy, Mehari, wears his inferiority complex on his sleeves. I can’t think of any other reason why he would claim Eritreans for Tigray. As you mentioned, joe, Tigray people never even claim those guys. But it’s pretty easy to make a diagnosis on this guy.

    • Mehari the ferrari

      Dearest Joe and & Halewa ,

      I think you missed my point ,I was being sarcastic and making a mini satire ,of course invented Hizbe Tigrinya identity has never been known until secessionist bandits created it under Arqkobkobai tree, We are all Tegaru We on singapor side baHre negash tigrawot and on the Ethiopian side tegaru of tigray child and parent respectively….Do not be too literal.

      እምባሕ ጥራይ ንበል ደቂ ዓደይ

  • Abi

    Hi Memihir
    Berhe is Tigrayan.
    This is how I offend Berhe the Eritrean by calling him Tigrian!! Just like that…
    Thanks Memhir. That was a great lesson.

  • des

    This article is good in other academic plat form not in Awate. Eritrean seem to drift issues just one from the other, last time was Redio Bilen, Now it is Tigrigna…what is going on. The main agenda should have been to have practical solutions to main Eritrean problem, Take out the bloody Shaebia. Ideas are always there and they will be always be there for the rest of our life. They can be debated changed perspectives from time to time. What is so urgent is how to solve current main challenge of Eritrea. To practically show Eritreans change is possible through this and that and how to achieve and move forward. That is where we missing, rounding around small problem and issues lose the plot of tackling the bigger picture. Becoming opinionated in matters that does not matter at all is the weakness that make you show no progress. As Eritreans we are so weak in knowledge and power and poverty. Making simple debate issues does not matter make no solution at all.

    • Peace!

      Dear Des,

      I completely agree, and what’s really sad is that our politicians, writers, activists, and professionals don’t seem to have the sense of urgency to bring an immediate relief for the destitute people. Bashing PFDJ and defending our useless opposition groups have not produced anything good other than more divisions and groups.

      Peace!

      • des

        Peace,

        I believe for every problem there is a solution, at least we should try to the end. I am sure we cannot run out of a solution. It consistent pressure and strength we can make it. Any thing can be defeated. But it should be first defeated in the brain.

        One guy, Ayneta, said we need “Dumu Dumu” that is the least I need at the moment. I really do not need it. What we lacking is practical solutions. We all know the problem, it is Shabia system, that need to be destroyed completely. How do we destroy this by arguing endless about Tigrigna use and its moderation. This should have different plat form which I am interested to know as well but not where practical solution would be the priority for political problem .

      • Saleh Johar

        Dear Peace,
        You seem to not agre with bashing the PFDJ, do you mean the regime with ll its cruelties doesn’t deserve to be bashed? We have a social conflict: voices of the oppressed expressing itself against the PFDJ. In suc a duel we only have two positions (unless one sees himself as a neutral referee). If you are for the people, you are naturally in the “opposition” and it doesn’t make sense to keep “bashing”the opposition. 1) the opposition owes you nothing, and 2) the regime owes you everything.

        Also, would you stop stepping on the toes of people who have not wronged you for no reason? Specify those you are criticizing but your blanket insults and sneers are not wise. In fact your comments are more of an expression of your dislike for the criticism of the PFDJ while you never stop your blanket bash. Wouldn’t it be nice if you addressed your target directly, just like those you attack endlessly are addressing the PFDJ directly? “Bashing PFDJ and defending our useless opposition groups…”…is a strange way of putting up an argument. Please stop your tirade and disrespect, we had enough of the situation to be endless victims of friendly fire. Have mercy.

        • des

          I think I understand how Saleh feels in a sense such people like him need support. I personally admire him, not that he needs a praise from me. PFDJ should be destroyed and there is no a question about it. It does not need any support or comparison. The question is how do we make it so urgent and more tight to make the time shorter. Can we do better in some aspects and bring practical solutions to it. That is what I complain about, not blaming anybody but to all of us sense of urgency is needed. I have great respect for opposition and for their efforts and contribution in shaping the Eritrean struggle inside and outside the country.

        • Peace!

          Hi Salehom

          I just finished listening to a presentation by a man whom I have never heard of him before, his name is Tesfazion, “Why is Isaias AfewerKi a dictator?” Although I admire him for being boldly honest, “specific” and straightforward, unlike those who hide their true colors, his presentation left me with enormous frustration and disappointment. I calmed myself down and flipped the channel only to find out here you are giving me a pop quiz to test me if I have PFDJ cells in my DNA which is further exacerbating, not because your judgmental tone which I really do not care but the huge gap within the camp in terms of where other are heading leaving the rest guarding the camp, so the answer for your fifteen years old question is very simple: I am with those who moved on long time ago from bashing to where we at, where are we heading, and what are the goods and bads ahead of us. I have made myself clear many times that I usually try to frame my comments or replies from strategy point of view as I strongly believe the job making PFDJ’s lies and conspiracies naked for Eritreans and international community is done successfully, I thank you and your team for that. Now we are in a totally different and challenging stage, and obviously it requires people to see things from different angle.

          As for criticizing the opposition groups, this is not the first time you asked me to be more specific and blaming for being disrespectful which by the way I was not raised to disrespect others. I really wish to be as specific as I can, but as you know it is hard, to keep up as new groups and members are mushrooming overnight. I think it would be easier for you, an insider, to be specific as whom are you defending, or help us identify the good ones and the bad ones so we can’t tell them if you can’t handle the heat get out of the kitchen; otherwise, anyone who wears the camp’s uniform, same as YG’s, Tesfazions, and others who are promoting islamophobia and ethnic politics, is subjected to criticism regardless to what extent.

          Peace!

          • Saleh Johar

            Peace,
            When you see people like that Tesfazion bigot you should not direct your rage towards those who consider you an ally and their defenses are down. You still think that Tesfazion is part of the opposition! Which opposition is he part of. I am in the opposition and that dirty mouth bigot is not in any camp that I am in, or will be in. See! You are insulting me and others bjumla. Just refrain from doing that. I beg you because it is not cool at all. If you do not know who you are insulting, then don’t. Ayni’blei sn’blei is neither wise nor fair.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Peace,
            Here is to link to the “honorable” activities of the man:

            http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/hm-revenue-customs-hmrc/pressreleases/essex-charity-conman-sentenced-1067000

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hello Peace,

            Your response to Saleh sounds ” if you do not tell me who is who in the opposition camp I will give a blanket criticism.” My friend if you can not do your homework to identify yourself who is who in the opposition camp, you can’t engage in the Eritrean politics. And if you engage without knowing the actors, you will not be a catalyst for a change. So please either do your homework to identify who is who and criticise accordingly, or restrain from blanket criticism.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

  • WEDI JOMO

    Semere, you article is good but it would have been better had you indicated where does the standard Tigrinya lies?. As we know we have different accents of Tigrinya (both in Eritrea and Tigray, Ethiopia) but the question is where is our measurement of the language ” shallowness” . For example the Queen’s English and Classical Arabic are the standards of both of the languages where the shallowness of the languages different accents measured. Thanks

  • WEDI JOMO

    The writer is saying Tigrinya speakers. It means he is addressing the speakers of the language both in Eritrea and Tigray, Ethiopia. What he is missing in his analysis is thought any indication if we have standard Tigrinya, where we can measure the issue of “shallowness”. The writer is speaking about one type of accent of Tigryinya, and as result it is difficult to generalize his observation to Tigrinya. There is no any linguist approach to in his article because language is a science with its theories, comparative studies and approaches. The English have the queen’s English and the Arabs have the classical Arabic , as a result the issue of the different accent of English and Arabic are measured by referring to the standards. In our case we need to have a linguist body not only to have the standard Tigrinya but also to develop the language.

  • Abi

    Selam Memhir
    Obviously I need to catch up with many things when it comes to the two Tigrewoch.
    Let me start by asking why it is offensive if I tell Eritrean he is a Tigrayan? Do you think it will get me a testa from the Eritrean?

    • jordan

      Hey Abi.

      Aren’t you eritrean? You should know this then. It’s offensive for the matter of fact because Tigrinya people have literally fought for decades for that division, separation between these two people. Why would they want to be confused with someone they have been fighting for decades? It’s actually kind of silly and I don’t really get mad about it but older people might.

      • Abi

        Hi Jordan
        Thanks for the info. As you can see I’m a slow learner. So you are saying the Tigrigna people fought for 30 years to separate from Tigry people?
        It is definitely offensive for Tigry people to be called Tigrigna. I’m glad to know that you are not offended if I call you Tigrigna. I hope I got the message.
        Thanks again. I love this website.

        • jordan

          Hi Abi.
          I don’t know if it’s offensive to call Tigray people Tigrinya but the opposite sure is.
          I wouldn’t be offended by being called Tigrinya because I am Biher-Tigrinya. But I wouldn’t get mad at being called Tigray either. I think you mixed them up. 😛

          • A.Osman

            Hi jordan,

            Abi is playing with you, the main thing is that you know a racist attitude and you don’t buy into an outrage when you see from narrow minded people. I am pretty sure Abi will not to trip you moving on as he knows now that you are a youngest person in the hood.

            Abi,

            Shall I say welcome to Disqus, man I realised you are a stubborn person when you disappeared for a simple reason, insisting you comment as a guest only. By the way, do you have an Eritrean gene?

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Abi

            A .Osman the Greatest!
            I really felt bad once I knew his age.
            Yes, I insisted commenting as guest. Hey ,
            “ቤት ለእንግዳ” ነበር የምናውቀው እኛ
            በሩን ጠረቀመው አሮጌው ዘበኛ::
            Do I have an Eritrean gene? Nooooo!!!!!!!
            Similar sides repel.
            It is great to see you. Hope Kokobe will follow.
            Happy New Year.

          • Saleh Johar

            Dear Abi,
            Lucky are those who do not understand Amharic, and your combative jabs. Slow down a little, if you plase.

          • Abi

            Selamat Ato Saleh
            Actually I’m in a holiday mood. No combativeness on my side. Really.
            እርስዎ ደግሞ እንደ ዘበኛ ቶሎ ይቆጣሉ
            አንታ ጠጠው በል!!!
            Happy New Year

          • Abi

            Hi Jordan
            Please accept my up vote for your honesty.
            Happy New Year.

          • jordan

            Hey Abi
            I’m confused, you were playing along all the time? Come on, no hints or anything? I still don’t understand how Osman figured out you were just playing. Rhus haddish amet to you too.

          • Abi

            Hi Jordan
            Yeqenyeley Wedey.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Thank you semere.

    your choice please a title for new Tigrinya poem.

  • Mehari the ferrari

    Dearest Awates ,

    Tigrinya is language of Tigray ,We just adopted it 3000 years ago so we could not accept it as our language .WE ;the special breed newly baptized “Hizbe Tigrinya” ,as we invented our biher why could we not invent our language too ,and ,give the tigrawot back the language and the History of Zerai Deres ,Awalom berhe ,bahta segeneyti ,Ras tesema ..back to Tigray were we borrowed it from ,and stick to our pride of Tactical withdrawal ( ሜላዊ ምዝላቕ) and hinderance ( መኻልፍ)heroism !!!

    Down Down Tigrinya !
    Long live new to be invented Hizbe Tigrinya language !

  • Berhe Y

    Dear Semere,

    Thank you for your critical observation and the crisis that our society including our language going through.

    I made the following observation, when I become a father I started to learn all the English nursery songs, I can’t say I knew them all but learn at least few of the most popular. The songs are all over and they repeat in all kinds of forms, books, DVDs, cd, movies etc.

    When I tried to remember any Tigrina nursery song, the only thing I remembered was Semira Semira. And I learned it’s common with most other Eritreans of my generation or a bit before. The other song that I remembered was, I think gaul ankere with her husband, in the vidio “hinTit himTit gualey”, I haven’t heard the song or saw the video maybe it’s over 20 years now, but I wish I could see it again. It’s with the classic wedi shawel video back in the 80s.

    When I asked my sisters and other mothers what nursery songs they remember and I think for the most part is Semira Semira. I remember when my grad mother use to visit us, and she use to sing to my little baby sister and it’s sad that I don’t remember any of them, but she had plenty.

    Just think about my daughter grows up and imagine if she forgets to sing Twinkle Twinke or old McDonald if she becomes a mother. Unthinkable, but why is that for Tigrina?

    Why is that most of us struggle to speak to our kids in Tigrina or our native language. To be honest I try but I couldn’t keep up, I fail after few minutes of trying and even if I wanted to? What type of bed time story books can I read to her? What type of story can I tell? I ask my self, why, why should this be so difficult?

    I really don’t know the answer but I think in my case at least, may be because I never had any formal training in the Tigrina other than the primary school, even that we stopped at Ha Hu. All the Tigrina that I know is, mainly from spoken and some from reading that I did out of interest, some Tigrina novels / translated work, newspaper and mainly the bible (even that was long, long time ago when I attended a catholic school), but all our formal language training was in Amharic and English after words.

    The difference from people of my father generation, those who grew up ab adi, and ventured to cities and ended up working and learning Italian was, they spoke Tigrina only and those that learned it they studied in geez / Tigrina at the church schools. And the same for the women and in doing so they learned the language and all the cultural association that goes with it. But we never had any form of training so it’s natural with time it gets bastardized and lose its true meaning.

    I don’t necessary think that people like to use bastardized version because it’s cool compared to the traditional ways. I think it’s because of the lack of knowledge and missing formal training where a considerable time / efforts are spend to shape the culture / language. I think for the most part of our history, I think the country is pre-occupied with lots of things, things of survival but in due time, I think this will be an agenda that should be worth venturing.

    Berhe

    • Memhir

      Dear Berhe,
      I think you totally missed the point. “Semira Semira gual Asmera, Gezana Axiyato Nabey Keyda? Tebelku Tebelku S’eineya.” In English, “Semira child of Asmara, she locked our house and went somewhere. Where did she go? I can’t find her?” Obviously, in that song, Semira is a Muslim girl from Asmara. So it’s an Eritrean children’s song that is sang by both Christian and Muslim kids and parents who use it as a lullaby to their kids sometimes. I imagine they only sing it in Eritrea.
      What Semere Andom seems to be lamenting is the fact that Tigrigna spoken by Eritreans is diverging linguistically and culturally at a rapid pace from that of the Tigrigna spoken by Tigrayans in Ethiopia. Tigrigna language spoken by Eritreans has evolved a great deal since the armed struggle for independence. I never heard of words like biddho, mekhete, hafash, mihjam (ambush), ts’at (energy)…etc…etc. I could go on and on. These are words that are part of the Eritrean lexicon now but were never before the EPLF liberated Asmara and Eritrea became independent. I doubt Tigrayans in Ethiopia use those words such as Mekhete, biddho…etc that have political connotation within Eritrea. So you can see how dissimilar Tigrigna spoken by Eritrean vs Ethiopians already are but also will continue to be going forward. In another 25 to 50 years, Tigrigna in Eritrea vs Ethiopia will be like the German language spoken by Austrians vs Germans.
      Austrians and Germans both speak German but they can’t understand each other because their language have evolved so much over the years and are now two separate and somewhat distinct people. That’s what Semere Andom and Tigrayans are afraid of. The divergence started with the armed struggle for independence and is continuing now. You can see where it will be in another 50 years. That’s why many Tigrayans desperately try to link themselves to Eritrean culture because they are afraid they will not recognize Eritrean Tigrigina and culture in the future, That’s also why they keep lamenting about Eritrea’s armed struggle for independence because that is what accelerated the divergence. So that is the linguistic part.
      Culturally too there is divergence. Look at how Eritreans celebrated the jubilee concerts in Israel and Hessen, Gerrmany. It was almost like a Western rock concerts with the band on stage and the audience facing the band and participating in a back and forth on songs like “zemestie yimtsae werari ab bari’e sewra harari” with Said Berhanu on stage in Hessen vs the traditional “kuda” Tigrayans still do going in circles when dancing and celebrating Woyane events. Obviously, Tigrayans don’t have those songs because they are related to Ghedli.
      So you see, Mr. Berhe, that is what Semere Andom and Tigrayans are lamenting. The divergence of the cultures and languages and national experiences. They are afraid of the Tigrigna divergence ending up like Austria vs. Germany. And that is why their obsessed with Ghedli, which started and accelerated this divergence.

      • Abi

        Selam Memhir
        You are saying the Tigrians in Eritrea are lamenting about Eritreans struggle for independence because it accelerated the divergence. Weren’t they the major force for the independence struggle?
        Teach me more.
        Memhir, in case you don’t know me, I’m an Ethiopian, a former unionist changed independence supporter.
        Can we safely conclude this is ( language) the first casualty in the struggle for self extinction?
        What I failed to understand is why worry about the language when the people are dispersed all over the world?

      • Berhe Y

        Selam Memhir,

        Thank you for the reply. May be you misunderstand me, but I thought I was adding the language suffering from transferring knowledge such as elementary and basic nursery songs. I was saying the only song that I remember to sing in Tigrina is Semira Semira.

        Do you know any other songs? If you do please share but if you don’t like me and many others I am asking why do think that is?

        Berhe

  • Dear All,

    Semere Andom has written a very interesting article pointing out the abandoning of the Tigrinya language and gradually turning it into a shallow language by the diaspora Eritrean; a language derived from the ancient Gee’z as are the other languages of Ethiopia. Here, one can add culture as well. The danger of being weakened and lost in the near future to the diaspora Eritrean, replaced by the new language and culture, seems to be real. This is a topic of interest not only to Eritreans, but also to the Ethiopian diaspora man and woman, and to any diaspora society for that matter.

    Is it difficult to keep one’s language and culture, while at the same time assimilate the language and culture of the host country? Is it possible to be a citizen of two countries and two cultures? I think that it is not impossible.

    Last time I was watching a video which showed Ethiopian children in the US reciting a piece in Gee’z during a religious ceremony. It was beautiful to watch these small children, because Gee’z was/is a foreign language at least to me, even though I enjoy the church liturgies. These children are Ethiopians and Americans of the future, who are able to live in two worlds, proud of the language and culture of their parents and of the language and culture to which they were born. I think that religious fathers and Ethiopian communities are doing a great job, at least as much as I can conclude from the videos I have watched. I stand to be corrected.

    In one of his articles, YG was lamenting that Kebessa Eritrean names have lost their Habesha-Abyssinian roots and have become Hebrew names from the old Testament. He characterized this phenomenon as a disappointing development. Ethiopians and Eritreans have languages that go deep into history, and have a common root. So does their culture. Therefore, they have the responsibility to keep their language and culture alive, wherever they might be. Somebody (I can’t remember exactly who), was lamenting that if allowed, Ethiopia will dilute and finally swallow the Kebessa identity and culture, as if this identity and culture is not Habesha and Abyssinian. One can see why things are going in the wrong direction.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Horizon,

      you have noted well. we are busy in small things than those importance once. our language and culture is in danger and we are not feeling the danger. the worst will be when the power full globalization in this techno era force as to use words and explanations of new industrial development. The case should be handled as urgent and important. in a nation where there is no development of all sorts and where there is no freedom of press the death of languages is inevitable – without even knowing it. for those who are awaken the struggle against PFDJ for example is not just a matter of simple politics.. it is for survival of cultures and languages too.

  • Semere, thanks for an enjoyable article. If it is any solace, I think the “cool” Tigrigna spoken nowadays is far less “bastardized” – at least compared to what we, as teenagers in Asmara, use to say before independence. Here is how one might describe an event, back then: ሓንቲ ቤላ ሑርማ በዚ ትሓልፍ ኔራስ ሓደ ዒደር መጺኡ ትሮፖ ሰፈይፈይ ምስ ኣብዝሓላ ብቴስታን እዝጋምቤትን ሕኛ ኣምሲልናዮ። I bet today’s teenagers are a little more articulate with the Tigrigna language, but probably not as cool as the old Asmarinos 🙂

  • Hope

    Well said Nitrric!
    He also knows the fact that it was and is the PFDJ,who/which has done well in developing the Tigrinya Languages and that the HGDEF and its Leadership speak the BEST Tigrinya ever and his Cousin testified that.
    For good or HGDEF is winning in all aspects including over his favorite Dedebit Grads!
    Desperation?
    Good luck to him!

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