Everything vulgar in IsiXhosa sounds better in English, that’s what we always say. However, we don’t realise how much of a respectful language we have in IsiXhosa.
“Molo, Ma,” – the way we greet an old woman.
“Ewe ke, Tata,” – the way we reply when greeted by an old man.
I always find it hard to translate that into English without the old lady or old man thinking I’m trying to claim them or something of the sort. So instead of making an utter fool of myself I simply say, “Good day” or “Hello”.
You know there’s warmth in a man or woman when they refer to you as “Mntan’am”.
English is an amazing language but even so, it’s hard. I may be writing in English but that’s mainly because it’s a universal language. Ukuba bendinobhala ngesiXhosa abantu bangaxakeka, ndithi naba basithethayo.
Umnt’omnyama this, umnt’omnyama that. Ndiyazingca ngobuXhosa bam.