Sunday, February 18, 2018

Two Pancocojams African Language Quizzes (with links to information about these languages)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post presents two African language quizzes. The words that are featured in these quizzes are from the following traditional African languages (given in alphabetical order) Akan, Chichewa (Chewa, Nyanja), Igbo, Kinyarwanda, KiSwahili (Swahili), Lingala, Wolof, Yoruba, and Zulu.

This post also includes statements about the country/countries where these languages originate and links to online information about these languages.

The content of this post is presented for to increase information in the United States and in other non-African nations about traditional African languages.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.
Click "Five Name Quizzes From My No Longer Active "Alafia Names" Website" for another pancocojams post on Black culture quizzes.

Instructions: Select the best answer that completes these statements.

The answer code is given below.

Pancocojams African Quiz #001 Words from traditional African languages
1. "Ase (ashe)" is a Yoruba word that means
a) aches and pains
b) ashes
c) Africa
d) spiritual force that flows through everything/power

2. "Harambe" is a Swahili language word that means
b) All pull together
c) hello
d) celebrate

3. “Waaw” is a Wolof word that means
a) wait
b) yes
c) where
d) when

4. "Kente" is an Akan language word that refers to
a) the name Kenneth
b) a man's religious hat or cap
c) type of silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips
d) ancient African writing

5. In the Igbo language, “chi” means
a) birth
b) teeth
c) long life
d) a guardian angel

Pancocojams African Quiz #002 Words from traditional African languages

1. "Indaba" is a Zulu word that means
a) beauty
b) Come in
c) a gathering (meeting), business/matter
d) home

2. "Sankofa" is an Akan word that means
a) Come and sing with me
b) it’s never to late to go back and claim it
c) Eat healthy food.
d) Love is the most important thing in life

3. “Ndimakukonda” is a Chichewa word that means
a) I love you
b) What is your name?
c) This is my country
d) Help me please.

4. “Imana” is a Kinyarwanda word that means
a) I’m not
b). God
c) a girl's name that means "faith"
d) food

5. "Tokomonana" is a Lingala word that means
a) You’re welcome
b) tomorrow
c) grandother
d) good bye

1. d
2. b.
3. b.
4. c
5. d

1. c
2. b
3. a
4. b
5. d

{Pancocojams Editor: Unless otherwise noted, the pronunciations that are given are how I believe these words are pronounced. Corrections are appreciated.

"Yoruba (Èdè Yorùbá)
Yoruba is a member of the Volta-Niger branch of the Niger-Congo family of languages. It is spoken by about 28 million people in southwest Nigeria, Benin, Togo, the UK, Brazil and the USA. It is one of the four official languages of Nigeria, along with English, Hausa and Igbo."... for information about the Yoruba word "ase". "Ase" is often written as "ashe" in the United States and is pronounced "ah-SHAY". Among afrocentric Black people in the United States, ashe is an exclamation that has a similar meaning as "Amen!" For example, the words "ashe ashe" are part of the lyrics for the African American originated "African" song "Funga Alafia". CLick for a pancocojams post entitled "The Funga Alafia (Fanga) Song - Part 1"

"Swahili, also known as Kiswahili (translation: coast language[7]), is a Bantu language and the first language of the Swahili people. It is a lingua franca of the African Great Lakes region and other parts of eastern and south-eastern Africa, including Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).[8] Comorian, spoken in the Comoros Islands is sometimes considered to be a dialect of Swahili, though other authorities consider it a distinct language.[9]"..

Click for information about the Swahili word "harambe".

Also, click for more information. Note that the correct Swahili spelling for this word is "harambe".[pronunciation hah-RAHM-bay]

3. From
"Wolof is a language of Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania, and the native language of the Wolof people. Like the neighbouring languages Serer and Fula, it belongs to the Senegambian branch of the Niger–Congo language family. Unlike most other languages of the Niger-Congo family, Wolof is not a tonal language."...

Also, click for a list of English words that originated in Niger-Congo languages or other African languages.

Here's information about the Wolof word "waaw" from
"Yes. [English]
Waaw. / Oui. [Wolof/French]
[pronounciation] wow / wee"
Note: I added the words in brackets to this quote.

"Akan is a Central Tano language that is the principal native language of the Akan people of Ghana, spoken over much of the southern half of that country, by about 58% of the population, and among 30% of the population of Ivory Coast....

Three dialects have been developed as literary standards with distinct orthographies: Asante, Akuapem (together called Twi), and Fante, which, despite being mutually intelligible, were inaccessible in written form to speakers of the other standards....

The language came to the Caribbean and South America, notably in Suriname spoken by the Ndyuka and in Jamaica by the Jamaican Maroons known as Coromantee, with enslaved people from the region. The descendants of escaped slaves in the interior of Suriname and the Maroons in Jamaica still use a form of this language, including Akan names: children are named after the day of the week on which they are born, e.g. Akwasi/Kwasi (for a boy) or Akosua (girl) born on a Sunday. In Jamaica and Suriname the Anansi spider stories are well known."...

Also, click for information about "Kente". Here's a brief excerpt from that website:
""Kente, known as nwentom in Akan, is a type of silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips and is native to the Akan ethnic group of South Ghana. Kente is made in Akan lands such as Ashanti Kingdom, (Bonwire, Adanwomase, Sakora Wonoo, Ntonso in the Kwabre areas of the Ashanti Region) It is also worn by many other groups who have been influenced by Akans. Kente comes from the word kenten, which means basket in Akan dialect Asante. Akans refer to kente as nwentoma, meaning woven cloth. It is an Akan royal and sacred cloth worn only in times of extreme importance and was the cloth of kings. Over time, the use of kente became more widespread. However, its importance has remained and it is held in high esteem with Akans. The Ewe people especially those from Agortime-Kpetoe of Ghana also claim that, Kente which they also refer to as Agbamevor has always been their traditional cloth."...

5. From
Igbo (Asụsụ Igbo), or Ibo , one of the largest languages of West Africa, is spoken by 18 million people in Nigeria. It belongs to the Benue-Congo group of the Niger-Congo language family. The language is thought to have originated around the 9th century AD in the area near the confluence of the Niger and Benue rivers, and then spread over a wide area of southeastern Nigeria.

Igbo is one of the official languages of Nigeria. It is spoken in the Southern Delta states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo, as well as in the northeast of the Delta state and in the southeast of the Rivers state. In the states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo, Igbo is the main language of trade and commerce. It is used in mass media communication such as radio and television in the southern Delta region.

Although Igbo is taught at all levels in eastern Nigerian schools, English remains the principal literary language of the country while remains a spoken and colloquial language. Reading and writing in Igbo is not very widespread. In many urban areas, Igbo is often replaced by Nigerian Pidgin English. Igbo speakers are typically bilingual in English."...
Click "What Does The Igbo Notion Of "Your Personal CHI" Represent? - Culture - Nairaland" for a Nigerian discussion thread about the Igbo philosophical concept "chi".
Note: I believe that the Igbo word "chi" is pronounced the same as or very similar to the English word "she".

{Pancocojams Editor: Unless otherwise noted, the pronunciations that are given are how I believe these words are pronounced. Corrections are appreciated.

1. From
"Zulu (Zulu: isiZulu) is the language of the Zulu people, with about 10 million speakers, the vast majority (over 95%) of whom live in South Africa. Zulu is the most widely spoken home language in South Africa (24% of the population), and it is understood by over 50% of its population.[5] It became one of South Africa's 11 official languages in 1994.

According to Ethnologue,[6][not in citation given (See discussion.)] it is the second most widely spoken of the Bantu languages, after Shona. Like many other Bantu languages, it is written with the Latin alphabet.

In South African English, the language is often referred to by using its native form, isiZulu."...
Click [#234] for the definition for the Zulu word "indaba".
Here's information about the Zulu word "indaba":
"An indaba (pronounced in-dah-bah[missing stress][1]) is an important conference held by the izinDuna (principal men) of the Zulu or Xhosa peoples of South Africa.[2] (Such meetings are also practiced by the Swazi, who refer to them using the close cognate indzaba.) Indabas may include only the izinDuna of a particular community, or they may be held with representatives of other communities.[2]

The term comes from a Zulu language word meaning "business" or "matter".[3]

Current usage
The term has found widespread use throughout Southern Africa and often simply means gathering or meeting. It is also used in the Scouting movement. The World Scout Indaba was a gathering of Scout leaders."...
I think "indaba" is pronounced in-DAH-bah.

2. "Sankofa" [san-KOH-fah] is an Akan word. Read #4 in the Information links section for #001 for information about the Akan language.

Here's information about Sankofa from
"Sankofa is a word in the Twi language of Ghana that translates to "Go back and get it" (san - to return; ko - to go; fa - to fetch, to seek and take) and also refers to the Asante Adinkra symbol represented either with a stylized heart shape or by a bird with its head turned backwards carrying a precious egg in its mouth. Sankofa is often associated with the proverb, “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi," which translates as: "It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten."[1]

In addition to being used on adinkra cloth in Ghana, the Sankofa heart is a common design on gates in the United States, particularly New York City. In Brooklyn, the Sankofa heart is commonly upside down on gates to Brownstone residential buildings.

The sankofa bird appears frequently in traditional Akan art, and has also been adopted as an important symbol in an African-American and African Diaspora context to represent the need to reflect on the past to build a successful future. It is one of the most widely dispersed adinkra symbols, appearing in modern jewelry, tattoos, and clothing."...

3. Here's information about the Chichewa language:
"Chewa, also known as Nyanja, is a language of the Bantu language family. The noun class prefix chi- is used for languages,[4] so the language is usually called Chichewa and Chinyanja (spelled Cinyanja in Zambia, and Cinianja in Mozambique). In Malawi, the name was officially changed from Chinyanja to Chichewa in 1968 at the insistence of President Hastings Kamuzu Banda (himself of the Chewa tribe), and this is still the name most commonly used in Malawi today.[5] In Zambia, Chewa is spoken by other people like the Ngoni and the Kunda, so a more neutral name, Chinyanja '(language) of the lake' (referring to Lake Malawi), is used instead of Chichewa."...
Click for the meaning of the Chichewa word “Ndimakukonda”.
I don't know how "Ndimakukonda" is pronounced.

4. Here's information about the Kinyarwanda langauge:
"Kinyarwanda is one of the four official languages of Rwanda (along with English, French and Kiswahili) and is spoken by almost all of the native population. That contrasts with most modern African states, whose borders were drawn by colonial powers and do not correspond to ethnic boundaries or precolonial kingdoms.[5]....
Also, click for a list of Kinyarwanda words including the word "Imana".
I believe that "Imana" is pronounced E-MAN-ah.

5. Here's information about the Lingala:
"Lingala (Ngala) is a Bantu language spoken throughout the northwestern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a large part of the Republic of the Congo, as well as to some degree in Angola and the Central African Republic. It has over 10 million speakers."...
Click for a list of Lingala words including
I'm not sure how "tokomonana" is pronounced, but if you use the most common way that words are pronounced in English (with the stress on the next to the last syllable), that Lingala word be pronounced "toh-koh-moh-NAH-nah".

Note that the Lingala word "tokomonana" is very similar to the Swahili word "tutaonana" which also means "goodbye".

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