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Kikuyus, Please Come (Here)
nesta
#1 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 3:18:34 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 12/17/2009
Posts: 121
Location: Nairobi
I've been thinking about education and I'm wondering:

Who came up with the Kikuyu alphabet?
d'oh!

Why is it that in Many countries - bantu, words are written like that....

For example,
Mugabe, is Mugabe
Moi is Moi,
Mbeki if Mbeki
Kabila is Kabila

BUT KIKUYU,

Kibaki is Kifaki/Kefake?
Baba/papa is fafa?
Kabogo is Kafogo?
Mucene is Moshene?
Shosho is cucu?

Who came up with the kikuyu alphabet? - it couldn't be the english? Could it have been developed by non-english?

Do you think Kikuyus will be okay with revising the alphabet?

Think Think Think

Thanks

Edited
On Christ Alone
seppuku
#2 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 3:31:17 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 5/11/2010
Posts: 918
nesta wrote:
I've been thinking about education and I'm wondering:

Who came up with the Kikuyu alphabet?
d'oh!

Why is it that in Many countries - bantu, words are written like that....

For example,
Mugabe, is Mugabe
Moi is Moi,
Mbeki if Mbeki
Kabila is Kabila

BUT KIKUYU,

Kibaki is Kifaki/Kefake?
Baba/papa is fafa?
Kabogo is Kafogo?
Mucene is Moshene?
Shosho is cucu?

Who came up with the kikuyu alphabet? - it couldn't be the english? Could it have been developed by non-english?

Do you think Kikuyus will be okay with revising the alphabet?

Think Think Think

Thanks


There is no such thing as Kikuyu alphabet, is there? They use A-Z just like many other peoples. The only thing I notice is that they sometimes accent their i's and u's with tildes to give them a different pronunciation. And pronunciation, I think, is what you are/should be asking about. Clarify if that is the case then we pick it up from there.
Learn first to treat your time as you would your money, then treat your money as you do your time.
Money Whisperer
#3 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 3:40:47 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 8/7/2010
Posts: 728
Location: Wazuaville
Mugabe is Mukaave.
Not just Kikuyu
Zulu: Khumalo is KUmalo (not Khumalo)
Xhosa: Mbeki is Mbegi
Somali: Cabdi is Abdi (not Kabdi); Xassan is Hassan
"Money never sleeps"
Lolest!
#4 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 3:45:38 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 3/18/2011
Posts: 12,064
Location: Kianjokoma
This is not a Kikuyu only problem!!

I was thinking about it when I noted the differences among different Bantu tribes brought about by Mzungu missionaries not coming up with uniform way of pronunciation.

Ky in Kikamba is 'ch' like chakula. Thus the name Kyalo etc.

Ki in Luganda is Chi. Thus Mr Kibuuka is read Chibuuka


This leads to mispronunciation of names. Pronunciation preceded writing. Mbugua pronounced as Mbugua is wrong. It is closer to Bow-gua. The M is silent!

The mzungu also thought i wise to exclude some letters from certain tribes. e.g Kikuyus don't have f though the f sound is normally used in their names.

We are grateful to the Brits for giving us the alphabet, but they messed us in the process.
Laughing out loudly smile Applause d'oh! Sad Drool Liar Shame on you Pray
Money Whisperer
#5 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:07:51 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 8/7/2010
Posts: 728
Location: Wazuaville
Lolest! wrote:
This is not a Kikuyu only problem!!

I was thinking about it when I noted the differences among different Bantu tribes brought about by Mzungu missionaries not coming up with uniform way of pronunciation.

Ky in Kikamba is 'ch' like chakula. Thus the name Kyalo etc.

Ki in Luganda is Chi. Thus Mr Kibuuka is read Chibuuka


This leads to mispronunciation of names. Pronunciation preceded writing. Mbugua pronounced as Mbugua is wrong. It is closer to Bow-gua. The M is silent!

The mzungu also thought i wise to exclude some letters from certain tribes. e.g Kikuyus don't have f though the f sound is normally used in their names.

We are grateful to the Brits for giving us the alphabet, but they messed us in the process.


A UG buddy of mine used to call Kibera Chibera then laugh loudly because in Luganda chibero is thigh so he would tell me "I'm going to chibero" when going to land.

The f in Kikuyu is not pronounced like the normal F. You place your lips as if to say B (a bilabial plosive) but allow air to flow through as you do with fricatives such as f hence baba not fafa. I still remember my Linguistics 101 class makofi kwangu Applause Applause
"Money never sleeps"
Lolest!
#6 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:16:52 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 3/18/2011
Posts: 12,064
Location: Kianjokoma
Money Whisperer wrote:

The f in Kikuyu is not pronounced like the normal F. You place your lips as if to say B (a bilabial plosive) but allow air to flow through as you do with fricatives such as f hence baba not fafa. I still remember my Linguistics 101 class makofi kwangu Applause Applause

I dont get it. Kikuyus write baba but then read it as 'fafa'
Laughing out loudly smile Applause d'oh! Sad Drool Liar Shame on you Pray
seppuku
#7 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:27:00 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 5/11/2010
Posts: 918
@Lolest!, I agree with @Money Whisperer. The proper Kikuyu pronunciation of baba isn't exactly fafa. It's closer to bhabha.
Learn first to treat your time as you would your money, then treat your money as you do your time.
seppuku
#8 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:28:33 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 5/11/2010
Posts: 918
seppuku wrote:
@Lolest!, I agree with @Money Whisperer. The proper Kikuyu pronunciation of baba isn't exactly fafa. It's closer to bhabha.


This is lost even on most Kikuyu speakers though.
Learn first to treat your time as you would your money, then treat your money as you do your time.
The Clown
#9 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:30:06 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 8/24/2013
Posts: 185
Location: Diaspora
I decided to post on this thread when I saw @seppuku parading his ignorance in public.

FYI there IS a Gikuyu alphabet. Just as there are English, French, Mandarin, Maragoli and Nandi ones.

I am one of those who studied in a native tongue in primary school so I happen to know a little about the language.

The language is Gikuyu. Non-Gikuyus will call it Kikuyu and that's due to the influence of Swahili.

An alphabet is about phonetics, reading and writing so you can't pick one one aspect and disregard the others.

Gikuyu alphabet has 21 letters (no f,l,p,q and x). There are also accents which modify the pronunciations of vowels such as 'i', 'o' and 'u'. Because I'm typing from an office keyboard ya wazungu I can't show you the accents here. But I have enabled them on my home computer.

To answer the OP, the 'f' in 'Kifaki' and 'fafa' is represented by the letter 'b' in writing.

'B' appearing alone is always pronounced as 'f'.

The 'b' sound in mboco (beans) is written as 'mb'. In fact, some Gikuyus wazees from Murang'a and Nyeri pronounce the 'm' in 'mb' like mburi, mbembe etc.

In short, Gikuyu differs from Swahili in that the pronunciation of the words is not literal. I believe the same is true of English, French and many other languages. That is just how they developed.

I do not think Gikuyus will be OK revising the alphabet as it will mean having to reprint all written material such as bibles, books and such.
Mtublack
#10 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:32:44 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 11/18/2009
Posts: 175
Lolest! wrote:
Money Whisperer wrote:

The f in Kikuyu is not pronounced like the normal F. You place your lips as if to say B (a bilabial plosive) but allow air to flow through as you do with fricatives such as f hence baba not fafa. I still remember my Linguistics 101 class makofi kwangu Applause Applause

I dont get it. Kikuyus write baba but then read it as 'fafa'

what came first the sounds or the alphabets na hakuna kikuyu its gikuyu(language) and Agikuyu( tribe or community) so don't know where kikuyus came from

if you did your Gikuyu lessons well you know there is no F,L Q, S,V X and Z in the written language blame it on the people who introduced the written language
Some you win some you lose
The Clown
#11 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:34:37 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 8/24/2013
Posts: 185
Location: Diaspora
Edit. I have just seen @MoneyWhisperer's post regarding pronunciation of the 'b' sound. What he has said is absolutely correct.

I think over time the original sound has been modified owing to the influence of other languages which have a softer 'f' like sound.

I also forgot that the 'Z' is absent in Gikuyu alphabet. Thanks @Mtublack. So there are 20 letters.
Lolest!
#12 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:58:53 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 3/18/2011
Posts: 12,064
Location: Kianjokoma
Mtublack wrote:
Lolest! wrote:
Money Whisperer wrote:

The f in Kikuyu is not pronounced like the normal F. You place your lips as if to say B (a bilabial plosive) but allow air to flow through as you do with fricatives such as f hence baba not fafa. I still remember my Linguistics 101 class makofi kwangu Applause Applause

I dont get it. Kikuyus write baba but then read it as 'fafa'

what came first the sounds or the alphabets na hakuna kikuyu its gikuyu(language) and Agikuyu( tribe or community) so don't know where kikuyus came from

if you did your Gikuyu lessons well you know there is no F,L Q, S,V X and Z in the written language blame it on the people who introduced the written language

some are actually absent from spoken Gikuyu. like V, Z and L!
Laughing out loudly smile Applause d'oh! Sad Drool Liar Shame on you Pray
seppuku
#13 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 5:07:55 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 5/11/2010
Posts: 918
The Clown wrote:
I decided to post on this thread when I saw @seppuku parading his ignorance in public.

FYI there IS a Gikuyu alphabet. Just as there are English, French, Mandarin, Maragoli and Nandi ones.

I am one of those who studied in a native tongue in primary school so I happen to know a little about the language.

The language is Gikuyu. Non-Gikuyus will call it Kikuyu and that's due to the influence of Swahili.

An alphabet is about phonetics, reading and writing so you can't pick one one aspect and disregard the others.

Gikuyu alphabet has 21 letters (no f,l,p,q and x). There are also accents which modify the pronunciations of vowels such as 'i', 'o' and 'u'. Because I'm typing from an office keyboard ya wazungu I can't show you the accents here. But I have enabled them on my home computer.

To answer the OP, the 'f' in 'Kifaki' and 'fafa' is represented by the letter 'b' in writing.

'B' appearing alone is always pronounced as 'f'.

The 'b' sound in mboco (beans) is written as 'mb'. In fact, some Gikuyus wazees from Murang'a and Nyeri pronounce the 'm' in 'mb' like mburi, mbembe etc.

In short, Gikuyu differs from Swahili in that the pronunciation of the words is not literal. I believe the same is true of English, French and many other languages. That is just how they developed.

I do not think Gikuyus will be OK revising the alphabet as it will mean having to reprint all written material such as bibles, books and such.


@The Clown, I will go ahead and respond to your post in spite of the fact that it smacks of scholarly arrogance, a common disguise for intellectual dwarfism.

What you call the Gikuyu alphabet is, even by your own admission, merely a subset of the Latin alphabet. I fail to see how not using some of the letters of someone else's alphabet makes it your own. Most of the other things you say make sense, but I could do with a little less conceit.

Learn first to treat your time as you would your money, then treat your money as you do your time.
seppuku
#14 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 5:09:53 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 5/11/2010
Posts: 918
Mtublack wrote:
Lolest! wrote:
Money Whisperer wrote:

The f in Kikuyu is not pronounced like the normal F. You place your lips as if to say B (a bilabial plosive) but allow air to flow through as you do with fricatives such as f hence baba not fafa. I still remember my Linguistics 101 class makofi kwangu Applause Applause

I dont get it. Kikuyus write baba but then read it as 'fafa'

what came first the sounds or the alphabets na hakuna kikuyu its gikuyu(language) and Agikuyu( tribe or community) so don't know where kikuyus came from

if you did your Gikuyu lessons well you know there is no F,L Q, S,V X and Z in the written language blame it on the people who introduced the written language


To say Kikuyu when speaking English or Swahili isn't any wronger than to say Anglais when speaking French, I think.
Learn first to treat your time as you would your money, then treat your money as you do your time.
Mtublack
#15 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 5:21:55 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 11/18/2009
Posts: 175
seppuku wrote:
Mtublack wrote:
Lolest! wrote:
Money Whisperer wrote:

The f in Kikuyu is not pronounced like the normal F. You place your lips as if to say B (a bilabial plosive) but allow air to flow through as you do with fricatives such as f hence baba not fafa. I still remember my Linguistics 101 class makofi kwangu Applause Applause

I dont get it. Kikuyus write baba but then read it as 'fafa'

what came first the sounds or the alphabets na hakuna kikuyu its gikuyu(language) and Agikuyu( tribe or community) so don't know where kikuyus came from

if you did your Gikuyu lessons well you know there is no F,L Q, S,V X and Z in the written language blame it on the people who introduced the written language


To say Kikuyu when speaking English or Swahili isn't any wronger than to say Anglais when speaking French, I think.

am not saying its wrong am just looking at it from the context of the thread where the purpose is to look at the sounds and by extension pronunciation and spellings of Gikuyu words, just wondering where did the word kikuyu came from
Some you win some you lose
Siringi
#16 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 5:33:52 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 6/8/2013
Posts: 2,517
Kikuyu alphabet is fine just the way it is. It only happens to have 2 extra vowel sounds, the ì and the ù. So the vowelsare a, e,i , o, u, ì, ù.

To make it easier for non-kikuyu to pronounce names properly, some kikuyus replace the extra vowels with the "e" for ì and "o" for ù. For sxample, Nderitu for Ndìritù, mureithi for mùrìithi, Thuo for Thuù, etc.

There's no "ch", "sh" in kikuyu. Names such as Macharia are supposed to be spelt as macaria, cege for chege, wacira for wachira, etc. This also has got to do with people wanting to simplify pronunciation for non-kikuyu speakers, imagine one pronouncing macaria as makaria, like in kambas kyalo, most non-kambas will say kyalo instead of chalo.
"😖😡KQ makes money for everyone except the shareholder 😏😏 " overheard in Wazua
The Clown
#17 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 5:34:17 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 8/24/2013
Posts: 185
Location: Diaspora
@ seppuku

"Most of the other things you say make sense, but I could do with a little less conceit".

Yes, YOU certainly could. Laughing out loudly Laughing out loudly Laughing out loudly
Mtublack
#18 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 5:39:53 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 11/18/2009
Posts: 175
So is it necessary for kids in urban areas to learn their mother tongue
Some you win some you lose
quicksand
#19 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 5:42:43 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 7/5/2010
Posts: 2,058
Location: Nairobi
It is Gĩkũyũ, not Gikuyu. The diacritics are critical since we are discussing syntax, form and phonetics. In lower primary where instruction was in mother tongue for us bundus types, we used to call the diacritics "ngobia"; Leaving them out led to the homework getting marked wrong.
However, typing those things (they are not on the keyboard and/or Shift+Key arrangements) is hard, so the wrong "Gikuyu" form is tolerated. smile
Interestingly, this tutelage in mother tongue helps in reading the Gĩkũyũ Bible. For those not practised (like Xmass visitors from town), the fits and starts induce fits of laughter in the country church. Back in the day, I remember being one of only a few people able to read it fluently - and that came with the consequence of not being able to skip church.

Mukiri
#20 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 6:06:20 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/11/2012
Posts: 5,222
Wish I had anything of substance to contribute, sadly I'm 'born town' and speak pidgin Kikuyu. But 'Reminisce' with Mike Murimi(Not pronounced as written) makes for good practice... when they sing 'Gospel'smile

Of interest, is the difference between the pronounciation of 'No' Asha asa. And other similar words. Is it personal differences or is it regional, Kiambu Nyeri?

Proverbs 19:21
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