“Keke! Ka wî gûkû?”
“I bûû bwega ni. Ûcokete rî? ”
“Nîu nii. Kethania okinya.”
The above paragraph is an example of someone speaking Kimeru to me. Not with me but to me. I have lived on this earth for 22 years and as noticed by those who know the language I am a disaster. An embarrassment to the word Meru. If Kimeru were a subject I would be the class dunce. My grasp of the language is totally shitty from the pronunciation to the formation of sentences.
I normally don’t stammer. Try me in English or Swahili, I won’t stammer and I will look you straight in the face. The epitome of confidence. Try me in the Meru language and I transform into another person. The confidence fades away; my eyes look anywhere just so you don’t get to see my uncertainty with the language. And my words are reduced to mere whispers and one word phrases.
I am not saying that the Meru language is hard. In fact if you know any Bantu language you can hear it. Key word here being hearing. You can hear it and decipher it, but speaking the Meru language is a skill. A talent. If Kenya had a Kenya’s got talent they should include a Meru speaking section. Speaking it is a gift from God, when the Holy Spirit came with speaking in tongues that’s when the Meru language was born. Only a select few master it. And if this were football I would be the Moyes of the Meru language.
There is a saying I grew hearing my cousins say. Once you speak Kimeru, forget all other languages. When you speak Kimeru your tongue and lips move in unnatural ways twisting and turning in the mouth (ahem ladies more reason to say yes to that Meru guy trying to get some). But don’t expect every Meru to have a Kiraitu mouth coz of the way we speak. His twisting and turning of the mouth is a unique case. Politician’s syndrome.
When your lips and tongue learn to coexist in a manner that aids Kimeru speaking your English and Swahili take huge hits. You get unplanned long term visits from the letters n, m, and r in unexpected phrases and words. They become the proverbial surprise aunty. Hence dog becomes ndog, boy – mboy, baby – mbaby, etc you get my drift.
But for those who speak French, fear not. The two languages are practically one and the same. If you don’t believe it try and court a lady in Kimeru and add a small moustache and blink your eyes a little. Make sure to include a bottle of wine or in the Meru case miraa na big G. The lady will definitely sing praises about your Eiffel tower and I don’t mean the one in France.
*nudge* *wink* *wink*
On that note, try and learn your vernacular this month.
Seriously struggling with the Meru language,
I am Tonny Muchui