The rolling tongue of Maasai.

Arusha Travel Blog

 › entry 15 of 19 › view all entries
A curious language of vowels, tones and a continuous stream of words. It’s amusing that English speakers assume that their tongue has an inordinate quantity of pleasantries, but compared with the Maasai greeting, it is greatly overshadowed in many respects. The “chewing of the news” (i think that’s the expression) involves one greeting Maasai to inquire how the other is, who will launch in the following, I am well, responded with by an “Aiye” from the first Maasai, the wife is well, “Aiye”, the children are well, “Aiye”, the boma is good, “Aiye”, the cows are fed, “Aiye” the rain is due, “Aiye” etc etc etc. Once the second has finished his updated he reiterates the
“Aiye”. Apparently the idea is to run through this update, which always tells of good news, regardless of the situation, as quickly as possible.

The speech is pleasant to listen to and flows very well, I felt proficient at distinguishing it from Swahili, relatively early on, however the speakers & audience are usually an easier give away as to what languages is being spoken.

Language is no just in words as those speaking in Maasai, do seem overly concerned with eye contact, indeed I learned later on that this can be considered rude by some, perhaps the language expresses something that the eyes cannot.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: Mikie