Tag Archives: Swahili

My African life II: What speech and silence taught me about African culture

When I went to Kenya, I knew that, in order to gain more than a superficial understanding of the country, I would have to learn Swahili – the one language almost everyone in Kenya spoke. A university advisor, who spoke Swahili, offered sage advice: Learning a language is much more than learning how to express yourself. It’s learning what to say.

I took the advice to heart, and found it to be true – true of any language, when you think about it. Continue reading