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Basic Ngambai Survival Phrases

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Laphia = good morning, good evening

i r w ? = where are you from? =>  the entire phrase: s r w ?

S aw'd r w ? = Where are you going?

M'aw'd rg = I am going (outside) => "aw" is pronounced as "aou"

Am pr m'a'd s = give me a light so I can smoke => "pr" is pronounced as "peur".

Am mn m'a = 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.

S k s kei non w ? = Is your mother at home?

yo (= ouiyo), km s kei non = Yes, my mother is at home.

S *bo ra w ? or S *bo toli w ? = Are you hungry?

Wa , *bo tolm l.   No, I am not hungry.

S *bi ra w ? = Are you sleepy?

Wa, *bi ram l. No, I am not sleepy.

S t bn w ? = How are you?

S ssi bn w ? S ssi kari y w ? = Are you well?  Is all going well?

Uiyo, m'ssi kari y ? M't kari b ya ?   Yes, I am well, all is going well.

S ngkoinje knd w ? = How many brothers and sisters do you have?

Ngkmje jo, mnd, s, m, msn, sir, jinjo, jinkra, dg = I have two, three, four five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten (brothers and sisters).

Ri ngokin g dingm l to n w ? What is your brother's name?

Ngokin g dne l ri to n w ? What is the name of your sister?

S ri to n w ? What is your name?

S l g r *b aw t'd w ? Where are you staying?  With whom are you staying?

Bl nda r ingam m kei'd lm n = Come find me here at my place tomorrow.

Bl g ndo = Tomorrow morning

Bl g kmtg = 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 "bangw" has a normal pronunciation.  The word "dangay" has a normal pronunciation but "*di w ? = 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 Fulb, 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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