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Learn Somali Online: Nuuridiin Faarax

Student submitted English source


Last week I saw an interview with Nuruddin Farah, a famous Somali writer. Several years ago he lived in my city and taught English/Literature at the University of Minnesota. Farah was asked why he all his books are in English and why he doesn’t have any books in Somali. He answered that when he was starting to write in 1965, there were not many people writing in Somali. In the 1970s he wanted to publish a book in Somali, but the government of Siyad Barre did not allow it. So he left Somalia and continued to write in English. I didn’t understand everything he said, but I was very glad that I understood something from the interview.

Student submitted Somali translation


[Todobadda la soo dhaafay waxaan arkay wareysi Nuruddin Farah oo ah qoraaga Somali oo caan ah. Dhowr sanood ka hor wuxuu ku noolaa magaaladay oo suugaanta ingiriis dhigi jiray Jamacad gobolka Minnesota. Farah la weydinayay sababta isaga wuxuu mar kasta af-ingriis qorayaa oo aan weligiis buugag af Somali qorin. Wuxuu jabaaway inuu bilaabay qoraalkiisu 1965kii oo xilligas ma jirin dad badan oo af-Somali ku qoreen. Sano 1970s wuu rabay inuu dabeeco buug af-Somali ku qoray, lakiin dowladda Siyad Barre ayay mamnuucday qoralkiisa. Sidaas darteed wuxuu ka baxday Somalia oo watay in uu qoro af-ingiriis. Aniga ma fahmin wax kasta uu shegay lakiin waxaan aad u faraxsanaa in aan wax yar fahmay wareysiga.]

Analysis


Well done! You’ve translated very well. I understood every word you wrote. Only slight changes are required.

Corrected translation


Todobaadkii la soo dhaafay waxaan daawaday waraysi lala yeeshay qoraaga caanka Nuura diin faarax,dhawr sanadood Ka hor wuxuu Ku noola magaaladaydan oo uu Ka dhigi jirey suugaanta ingiriiisiga ee Jaamacada gobolka minisota. Faarax waxa la weydiiye sababta uu buugaagtiisa oo dhan ugu qoro ingiriisiga ee uuna u haysan qaar af-Soomaali ku qoray. Wuxuu ku jawabay markuu bilaabay qoritaanka 1965-kii cid Soomaali qortaaba may jirin. 1970-kii ayuu doonay buug Soomaali ah inuu soo bandhigo laakiin dawladii Siyaad barre baa u ogolaan weydey. Wuxuu sii watay inuu ingiriisigiisii wax iskaga qoro. Maan wada fahmayn wixii uu ku hadlayey oo dhan waxaanse aad ugu faraxsanaa inaan wax uun ka fahmay waraysigaasi.

1 Todobadda


Todobadda I understood you wanted to say ‘week’ and as you know it means seven. But we need to use ‘todobaad’ which is only slightly different.

Also, we want to mention a specific week so we’ll use the premodifier form (definite article) and say

Todobaadka

But because we’re also talking about a past event, we’ll show that by saying

Todobaadkii

Todobaadkii la soo dhaafay…

Other examples,

Bishii la soo dhaaftay – Last month

Bishii hore – a previous month (but not last month)

Sanadkii la soo dhaafay – Last year

Sanadkii hore – a previous year (but not last year)

Maalintii dhowayto – The other day

2 arkay


Arkay ‘I saw’ is correct. It makes perfect sense. And in English it’s fine to say ‘I saw an interview’ and ‘I watched an interview’

In Somali, ‘daawaday’ is more prefered when discussing watching something.

Waxaan daawaday waraysi – I watched an interview

3 waxaan arkay wareysi Nuuruddiin Faarax


Good attempt. Let’s add the word ‘with’ and ‘conducted’

Waxaan daawaday waraysi la yeeshay Nuuruddiun Faarax.

Waxaan daawaday waraysi la (with) yeeshay (conducted) Nuuruddiin Faarax.

I watched an interview with Nuruddin Farah

And as you know, Somali speakers often use a form of the passive which is formed using the impersonal pronoun “one” (la in Somali). For example

Kibísta wáa la cunay. – One ate the bread.

Who ate the bread? We don’t know. But we know the bread was eaten.

OK, so who interviewed Nuruddin Farah? We don’t know. But we know that he was interviewed. So let’s add the impersonal pronoun to our sentence

Waxaan daawaday waraysi lala yeeshay Nuuruddiin Faarax.

la + la = lala (la = preposition ‘with’ + la = impersonal pronoun)

4 waxaan arkay wareysi Nuruddin Farah oo ah qoraaga Somali oo caan ah.


Excellent attempt! This is a complex sentence to get right and you did very well. Let’s tweak it slightly so it becomes

Waxaan daawaday waraysi lala yeeshay qoraaga caanka ah Nuuradiin Faarax.

Note that we tweaked ‘oo ah qoraaga Somali oo caan ah.’ to become just

qoraaga caanka ah – the famous writer

5 Dhowr sanood ka hor wuxuu ku noolaa magaaladay oo suugaanta ingiriis dhigi jiray Jamacad gobolka Minnesota.


Well done! Another good sentence.

Change sanood to sanadood = Dhowr sanadood

6 …wuxuu ku noolaa magaaladay oo suugaanta…


OK add ‘uu’ as in

…wuxuu ku noolaa magaaladayda oo uu ka dhigi jirey suugaanta…

Note the pronoun ‘uu’ refers to Nuuriddiin

…wuxuu…oo uu…

7 dhigi jiray


Good. let’s at the preposition ‘ka’ to mean ‘at’ – he used to teach at…

ka dhigi jirey… – Used to teach at

And the full sentence is

Dhowr sanadood ka hor wuxuu ku noolaa magaaladay oo uu ka dhigi jirey suugaanta Ingiriiisiga ee Jaamacadda gobolka Minisoota.

I hope this helps.

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