Sunday, November 16, 2008


Whenever I talk on the phone with family and friends, I often catch myself saying words or phrases I wouldn't have said in the past. My English is changing. Sometimes I have to laugh at myself because other people notice it, like when I say, "There are millipedes about the house" or "I am having a car" (that means I have a car). My English is changing. Part of this is due to the British influence in Kenya, part due to speaking to Kenyans, and part due to the large international community I live in. Some of the common phrases in my new vocabulary include:

flash me = call my cell phone and then hang up (most often used to save purchased cell phone minutes, but still let someone know you've arrived)
hooting = honking (a car horn)
You look smart = You look nice
We are three = There are three of us
Scuse = excuse me
to let = for rent

Another change in my speaking is where I stress syllables or fluctuate my tone. All of us "newbies" do it now, and we have to laugh at ourselves. In Swahili, the emphasis is always put on the second to the last syllable of a word, so Kenyans tend to use the same rule in their English speaking. Hearing it so often, I've picked it up. So when I talk with you on the phone or see you this summer, please don't laugh at me too hard for my non-American English words or my funny emphasis on words. :)

(Oregon fam... It's gone beyond the "Kim pauses". It's a whole new level! I look forward to Pete's comments especially. :)


  1. I wish I could hear your voice. I miss you. Do you have a Skype account?

  2. Kim, I really like how newsy and informational your blog posts makes me feel like I'm studying a new culture without having to study! Take care!