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Language Gems 1


Abridged Kalabari
Advanced Study 1
Diacritical Marks
Direct - Indirect Speech
Disapproving Remarks
Kalabari Anthology
Kalabari Beliefs
Kalabari Culture
Kalabari Costumes
Kalabari Folk Songs
Kalabari History Highlights
Kalabari Idioms
Kalabari Kings 1669-2003
Kalabari Towns
Language Gems 1
Language Gems 2
Nasalized Words
New Entries
Pathetic Fallacy
Peculiar Kalabari Expressions
Phrasal Verbs
Talking Time
Transitional Statements

These are the words that make the learning of a given language quick and easy. Below are some of them and their translations as well as usage in the Kalabari language. We call them "language gems"
Expressing [ above ]
above (as a preposition) = ogono    above ( as in comparison) = nengi...
e.g Keep the bag above = Akpa me ke ogono kuroma
       No one is above God = Tamuno nengibo ofori
Expressing [ all ]
all + the ... = mamgba          all + ( of ) ... = ...mgba
e.g All the men went = Owiapu mamgba ( In ) mum
      All of you should come = Ominimgba O bo
Expressing [ at ]
at = bu         at (as prep.) = ke       at = ani be
e.g Come at 5 O'clock = Sonoa so bu bo
       Point it at him = Ani ke O tukuma
       At last he went = Ani be kunoma O mum.
Expressing [ as ]
as = bara          as = saki
e.g Come as you like = I bi ( bele ) bara bo
      As smart as a cat = Posi bu gragra bara
      He saw her as he was going = O muari saki Or' Ar' erim
Expressing [ also ]
also = so        also = piki
e.g He also went = Or' so O mum.
Expressing [ alone ]
alone = ngeri
e.g Are you alone? = Iyeri ngeri emi
      Can you carry it alone? = Iyeri ngeri I inete dogiba
Expressing [ are ]  see Auxiliary Verbs
Expressing [ another ]
another = jen
e.g Bring me another shirt = Jen kapa oki bo I piri
      Is there another restaurant here? = Munju jen  yefi anga  emi
Expressing [ and ]
and = na ...  (piki)
e.g You and I are going = Iyeri na (piki) Iyeri na muba.
and (+verb ...) = te
e.g Go and take it from him = Mu te O bara ani oki
Expressing [ anything ]
anything = beye  beye       anything = ye
Expressing [ anyhow ]
anyhow = bebara bebara
Expressing [ anywhere ]
anywhere = be anga be anga.
Expressing [ anytime ]
anytime = be saki be saki
Expressing [ but ]
but = kuma
e.g I called but met your absence = A bom kuma I ofori
Expressing [ before ]
before = treme        before = turoko       before = late boari      before = j'ene
e.g Stand before me! = I turoko se
      He left before I arrived = O so treme A bom
     They were here before three = In munju bo treme tra so lam
      I have seen it before = j'ene Ar' ani erite
Expressing [ because ]
because = gote       because = ke gote oko bari ye
e.g We got the job because of you = I gote anee wa korinama me yanaye.
Expressing [ beside ]
beside = akaka        beside = agara
e.g Bring the box beside the table = Debile akaka simeari igbe me oki bo.
Expressing [ besides ]
besides = sikimate 
e.g Besides this, I don't know anything = Meme sikimate A jen nimia
      No one besides God = Tamuno sikimate jen (Tamuno) ofori
Expressing [ can / could ]
can / could = inete        can / could = ineba       can / could = mimgba
e.g Can you see me this evening? = I inete mi bobiri I eriba
       Yes I can = Ee Ar' ineba
       I could have flogged you = Mimgba Ar' I fomute
Expressing [ cannot / couldnot ]
cannot  / couldnot   =  inete + (main verb + biya)        cannot / couldnot = inebiya
e.g Why can't you see me? = Tiyegote I inete I eribiya
Expressing [ even ]
even = so
e.g Even my taecher was there = I yetolumabo so O mum
       Even when I went to see him...  = A mu Or' eri ye me so...
Expressing [ ever ]
ever = j'ene        ever =  gbamaso
e.g Have you ever seen him? = J'ene I Or' erite
      I will ever be thankful = Ar' imiete ke I be gbamaso laba.
Expressing [ for ]
for = gbala           for = gote

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Quick Ones
crouch / squat  = sombi
jelly fish = alapa
jinx = ekpe
nemesis = iria so
popular  / famous = eke panyi  /  ere so
oil bean tree = ogboka sin


Expressing [ how ]
how = tobra           how (animate) = nde...            how = ndai
e.g How are you? = tobra
      How many are you? = Omini nd' apu
      How much is it? = ndai ( ndai)
Expressing [ if ]
if =  bebe
e.g Tell me if he does it again = O sin yem bebe duko I piri
Expressing [ in / into ]
in = bio       in = emi        in = bubu   into = bio
e.g In God we trust = Tamuno bubu wa bio kpom
       Put it into the bag = Ke akpa me bio swa
       We are all in = Waminimgba wa emi.   
Expressing [ is ] see Auxiliary Verbs
Expressing [ it ] 
it ( as object ) = ani        it = ani ( meni)
e.g Bring it = Ani oki bo
      If it pleases you = Ani meni I belem bebe
Expressing [ never ] 
never = gbala gbala        never = jen mai   never = j'ene j'ene
e.g I never saw him again = A bari jen mai ke Or' eriaa
Expressing [ not ] 
not   =  (modal verb ) +...biya [ added to the main verb]
e.g  I will not come = A bobiya   
not = gboru bo so
e.g Not even one of you came = Omina bubu gborubo so boa
(has, have) + not = ma ...aa  [second part to the main verb
e.g I have not seen him = Ma Ar' Or' eriaa
Expressing [ no ] 
no = ee         no = okoa          no  = gbala gbala
Expressing [ next ] 
next  = jen       next =  osiye / osibo        next  =  osi
e.g  Bring the next pot = Osi  bele me oki bo
       Call the next person = Osibo be sin
Expressing [ only ] 
only = kinge
e.g Only I went = Yeri kinge mum
Expressing [ other ] 
other = osiye   /   osibo       other = osi
e.g I saw him the other day = Osi enebaka Ar' Or' erim.

Expressing [ of ]
of  =  hardly expressed in the Kalabari language
Sometimes as  be    i.e  (the noun) + be
e.g The President of Nigeria = Naijerabe Sibidabo
Expressing [ or ]
or = aniania
e.g Eat the rice or the beans = Arusu me aniania akidi me fii
Expressing [ so ]
so  =  anee... iro        so =  kpoma        so = oko      so =  krakraye
e.g So you came too = Anee Iyeriso I bom ar'o
       He so loved the world = O kpoma tomikiri me belemam
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