(SomalilandPress)-I have been taking Somali language class for the last month and a half now, and essentially I have distributed the same signs of my student behavior as I have for every other language I have attempted: I show up every class (sometimes late), copy word for word from the board, and absorb absolutely none of the information. (I find the fact that I am an instructor of a foreign language highly ironic.)

While my fellow classmates are asking about the proper conjugation of words, I am still trying to figure out if annagu is he or she. (Wait. I just checked. It’s actually “we” exclusive, a fascinating concept I have not yet run across in my brief flirtation with other languages. My instructor is nice enough, but I just haven’t been able to hold interest after a certain point . . . with every language I have attempted. (As a matter of fact, this entry is being written during what will probably be my final Somali class for awhile.)

What always quickly becomes apparent to me are the words most dear and used to those who are natives of the language. Asalam walekum and walekum asalam, although Arabic, are used almost 100 percent of the time when greeting friends and strangers alike. Nabad, meaning simply “peace”, was one of the first Somali words I learned. As my students shared with me recently, if things are going well, the first person shares peace with the second one. If things are possibly going poorly, the first person questions whether there is peace with the second person. Although I come from a country that has not recently come through a civil war, I still think it is a lovely way to greet people and I plan to incorporate it long after I have departed from Somaliland.

So . . . Nabad and Happy New Year to you!

Source: Smiling In Somaliland


  1. I totally understand the way you feel with the language courses. All I can say it takes alot of courage.