I read this blog some time ago and it had me in stitches, being a visitor to Kenya who is often puzzled by the local "English". So, for those who missed it the first time around, I reproduce it below for your delight .
A Kenyan's Guide To Kenya, Vol. I
by Kenyanchick on Sunday, July 23, 2006
I’ve often been terribly disappointed by the tourist guidebooks written about Kenya. Most of the time they tell you stuff you already know, like “you can go on safari and see some lions.” That’s probably why you wanted to come here in the first place, so that’s not helpful. Other times they give you all manner of useless information. For example: what’s the point of telling you how to ask for directions in Kiswahili if you’re not going to understand the answer? (Sometimes they seem to be written by a malicious Kenyan who hates tourists. One time I was lying on the beach and was accosted by an earnest American who said, “Jambo. Nyinyi muna kula viazi?” First of all, no Kenyan says “Jambo.” Secondly, I was lying on the beach, I was alone and I definitely wasn’t eating potatoes.)These books never tell you about all the amazing people you can meet in Kenya, or how to understand what they’re saying. Determined to correct this horrible wrong, I’m issuing the first of many useful, practical tips for our many visitors. Herewith Volume I of “A Kenyan’s guide to Kenya.” (Disclaimer: this is written from a Nairobi perspective. Other parts of the country are a whole other story and will cost you extra.)
Here’s what you should know:
When we want you to pass us something – the salt, say – we’ll point with our mouths. Example: We’ll catch your eye then say, “Nani.” Then we’ll use our mouths to point at the desired object. This is achieved by a slight upward nod followed by an abrupt thrusting out of the lower lip, which is pointed in the object’s general direction. There’s no explanation for this. (“Nani” can be roughly translated as, oh I don’t know, “Whats-your-face,” “You,” or “Thingie.” We’re unfailingly polite.)
Frequently, and for no reason whatsoever, we’ll refer to a person as “another guy.” However, this MUST be pronounced/slurred thus: An-aa guy. This also applies to “the other day,” which is when some momentous event in our lives always took place. We do the same thing with Kiswahili words like ‘bwana’, which is pronounced ‘bana.’
Correct usage: “Sasa?” “Ah, fit.” It confuses us that Tanzanians don’t understand this.
Preacher: And then Jesus said…
Sidekick: Alafu Yesu akasema…