The views expressed herein are mine and not those of the Peace Corps.



Useful Acronyms

PC Peace Corps
ICT Information & Communications Technology
PCT Peace Corps Trainee (pre-swearing-in)
PCV Peace Corps Volunteer (post-swearing-in)
PST Pre-Service Training
CBT Community-Based Training


Because “ndiyo”, the Swahili equivalent of “yes”, is long and literally means something like “it is so”, Swahili speakers tend not to use it that much. Even after I picked up on this I kept using it, out of laziness and because I liked saying it. But I started to feel weird, not because anyone seemed to judge me for it but because they used it so infrequetly.

They grunt instead. It can be best phoneticized as “eh” (although they write it as “ee”). It’s actually a really useful word, if you want to call it that: it indicates vague confirmation without the certainty of “ndiyo” and can also be used as “uh-huh” or if you can’t figure out what someone’s saying because they’re talking too fast. So I’ve been working on my “eh”. I think it’s getting pretty good, and it’s becoming natural to stick an “eh” in if someone pauses in their monologue or looks at me quizzically. I’m rather enjoying it.


Comment from Chris
Time February 16, 2009 at 9:13 am



Comment from Lisa
Time February 20, 2009 at 9:25 am

(This is actually Daddy on Mommy’s computer): I’m also familiar with this grunt – I hear it a lot in Uganda. Yesterday I was with a Japanese woman, she used a similar device, but it was a ‘mmmmm’ sound instead.

Just be careful that you don’t inadvertently agree to something either with the ‘eh’ or with your body language.

Comment from Ron
Time February 21, 2009 at 4:13 pm

“Eh” all the time? So Tanzanians are actually transplanted Canadians, eh?

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