Basic Ngambai Survival Phrases
Laphia = good morning, good evening
iñ rá wà ? = where are you from? => the entire phrase: sé íñ rá wà ?
Sé aw'd rá wà ? = Where are you going?
M'aw'd rágá = I am going (outside) => "aw" is pronounced as "aou"
Am pèr m'aï'd sà = give me a light so I can smoke => "pèr" is pronounced as "peur".
Am màn m'aï = give me water to dring. =>man is pronounced as "mann" as if there were two [n]. In general all the words end with a tonal consonant, with exceptions.
Note that drinking water is something necessary but elementary in Chad. Water should even be free once water systems are paid for, since it is so hot and dry that we always feel the need to drink.
Sé kóïñ sì kei non wà ? = Is your mother at home?
ùïyo (= ouiyo), kóm sì kei non = Yes, my mother is at home.
Sé *bo raï wà ? or Sé *bo toli wà ? = Are you hungry?
Waà , *bo tolém èl. No, I am not hungry.
Sé *bi raï wà ? = Are you sleepy?
Waà, *bi ram èl. No, I am not sleepy.
Sé tò bán wà ? = How are you?
Sé íssi bàn wà ? Sé íssi kari yá wà ? = Are you well? Is all going well?
Uiyo, m'íssi kari yá ? M'tò kari bá yaá ? Yes, I am well, all is going well.
Sé ngákoinje kándá wà ? = How many brothers and sisters do you have?
Ngákómje joó, mùndá, só, mí, mísán, sirí, jinàïjoó, jinàïkára, dòg = I have two, three, four five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten (brothers and sisters).
Ri ngokóin gé dingàm lé to ná wà ? What is your brother's name?
Ngokóin gé dène lé riá to ná wà ? What is the name of your sister?
Sé rií to ná wà ? What is your name?
Sé lò gé rá *b aw tò'd wà ? Where are you staying? With whom are you staying?
Bèlè ndaà ré ingam mè kei'd lém nè = Come find me here at my place tomorrow.
Bèlè gè ndoó = Tomorrow morning
Bèlè gè kàmàtàg = tomorrow evening
Note : ( * ) The letters marked with an asterisk have a different pronunciation than the same letters. This concerns primarily the letters b and d. It's a light pronunciation. For example, to pronounce the letter [b] in certain words, we do not push hard on the letter [b] as in "butter". This light method of pronouncing the letter b or d is only valid for certain ngambay words. The following word "bangàw" has a normal pronunciation. The word "dangay" has a normal pronunciation but "*di wà ? = what? = What is the matter?" is not pronounced the same way as "dangay". This means we need to know the context for each word. This method of lightly pronouncing the letters, and thus the letters formed with these letters exist also in the north of the country. Travel around the region and listen to their way of speaking, and you will discover that it is so for certain language groups, for example the Fulbé, the Peuls, maybe even the Goranes.The above Ngambay lesson is available courtesy of Mr.Lucien Mbairounga. We thank him for this very important contribution to our website.
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