The Sierra Leonean concept of time in the Krio language

Posted on 26.09.2015.

Although similar to English, the meaning of some words is fundamentally different in Sierra Leone Krio. It took me some time and quite many disappointments to accept that even though we use the same words, we are talking about different things. And still, I fall for it every now and then. [h]naw[/h] /ˈnau̇/ adverb [b]Defintion[/b]: anytime between 30 minutes from now, until tomorrow, next month or even never. Synonyms: Eventually, maybe, later Antonyms: at this very moment, immediately, soon, currently Example: A de come naw. (I am still at my house and I don't know yet when I will leave or if I will leave at all.) [h]naw naw[/h] /ˈnau̇ ˈnau̇/ adverb [b]Defintion[/b]: near to this instant, but no action involved yet; certainly going to happen sometime in the near future Synonyms: soon, shortly Antonyms: at this very moment, immediately Example: A de come naw naw. (I am still at my house, but I am almost ready to leave.) [h]rayt naw[/h] /ˈrÄ«t ˈnau̇/ adverb [b]Defintion[/b]: soon going to happen Synonyms: just now, now, almost Antonyms: later, sometime Example: A de come rayt naw. (I am on my way and almost there.) [h]tumara[/h] /tumaːɻaː/ 1. Greeting [b]Defintion[/b]: to say goodbye to someone one is expecting to see soon again, but not necessarily tomorrow Example: “Tumara!” 2. adverb [b]Defintion[/b]: any day after the present day or never Synonyms: someday, eventually Antonyms: today Example: Wi go ebul du am tumara. (We can do it tomorrow. OR: We will be able to do it tomorrow.) [h]leyta[/h] /leyta/ 1. Greeting [b]Defintion[/b]: to say goodbye to someone one is expecting to see soon again, but not necessarily later on that same day Example: “Leyta!” 2. adverb [b]Defintion[/b]: at some indefinite future date or never Synonyms: sometime, after, maybe Antonyms: before, earlier Examples: A call you leyta. (I might call you again.)


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