Bwakulu|Linguistics, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Bwakulu] Phonetics in Ciluba

Vowels phonems
[a] dikasa (pied / foot)
[a:] citaala (coq / rooster)
[e] cikela (poisson / fish)
[e:] muteelu (chemise / shirt)
[i] diyi (oeuf / egg)
[i:] diitaba (croyance / belief)
[o] dikopu (tasse / cup)
[o:] mukooku (mouton / sheep)
[u] munu (doigt / finger)
[u:] kutuuta (frapper / to hit)

Semi-vowels
[w] mbwa (chien / dog)
[j] kweyela (respirer / to breathe)

Consonants phonems
[b] lubesa (hanche / hip)
[d] wenda (son, sa / his, her)
[dʒ] dibaka (marriage / marriage, wedding)
[f] nkofi (cil / eyelash)
[g] mufungu (muscle / muscle)
[ʒ] kuja (danser / to dance)
[k] nkuvu (tortue / turtle)
[l] lushiku (fin / end)
[m] mwedi, (barbe / beard)
[n] nkala (crabe / crab)
[p] mupanu (pantalon / pants)
[s] lusembo (grenouille / frog)
[ʃ] kushalala (démanger / to itch)
[t] twishi (microbes, germs)
[tʃ] cibasu (planche / board)
[v] mvula (pluie / rain)
[z] kuzenga (découper / to cut)

Diphtongs phonems
[aɪ] kayi (quel(le) / what)
[aʊ] awu (ça là / this)
[eʊ] mpindyewu (maintenant / now)
[oɪ] Ngoyi

Nasals phonems
[ŋ] ngonga (cloche, sonnette / bell)

Aspired phonems
[pʱ] kapyà (feu / fire)

Myandà | Conjugation, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Conjugation] Future Tense III

Here are four new verbs to study…

Kuya
aller/to go
Kujà
danser/to dance
Kusùmba
acheter/to buy
Kupàànyisha
vendre/to sell
ne nyè
j’irai
ne wuyè
tu iras
ne àyè
elle ira
ne tuyè
nous irons
ne nuyè
vous irez
ne bayè
elles iront
nejè
je danserai
n ewujè
tu danseras
ne àjè
elle dansera
ne tujè
nous danserons
ne nujè
vous danserez
ne bajè
elles danseront
ne sùmbè
j’achèterai
ne wusùmbè
tu achèteras
ne àsùmbè
elle achètera
ne tusùmbè
nous acheterons
ne nusùmbè
vous acheterez
ne basùmbè
elles achèteront
ne mpàànyishè
je vendrai
n ewupàànyishè
tu vendras
ne àpàànyishè
elle vendra
ne tupàànyishè
nous vendrons
ne nupàànyishè
vous vendrez
ne bapàànyishè
elles vendront

Part I | Part II

Masque Luba Cifwebe
Masque Luba Cifwebe
Nsòòlakajilu|Grammar, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Nsòòlakajilu] Reciprocative forms

angan

This reciprocative suffix expresses a repeated action r an action that takes place between two people or objects inducing a mutual effect.

Exemples :
· kudya manger (to eat)kudyangana s’entre-manger (to eat each other)
· kukuma battre (to beat, hit)kukumangana se battre l’un et l’autre (to fight each other)
· kupenda insulter (to insult)kupendangana s’insulter l’un et l’autre (to insult each other)
· kutapa blesser (to hurt)kutapangana se blesser l’un et l’autre (to hurt each other)
· kutuma envoyer (to send)kutumangana s’envoyer l’un et l’autre (to send each other)

Masque Luba / Cifwebe
Masque Luba / Cifwebe
Myandà | Conjugation, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Conjugation] Future Tense II

Here’s a new selection of verbs conjugated at the future tense

Kupèèsha
donner/to give
Kwangata
prendre/to take
Kwenza
faire/to make
Kufwà
mourir/to die
nepèèshè
je donnerai
newupèèshè
tu donneras
neàpèèshè
il donnera
netupèèshè
nous donnerons
nenupèèshè
vous donnerez
nebapèèshè
ils donneront
nengangatè
je prendrai
newangatè
tu prendras
newàngatè
il prendra
netwangatè
nous prendrons
nenwangatè
vous prendrez
nebangatè
ils prendront
nengenzè
je ferai
newenzè
tu feras
newènzè
il fera
netwenzè
nous ferons
nenwenzè
vous ferez
nebenzè
ils feront
nenfwè
je mourrai
newufwè
tu mourras
neàfwè
il mourra
netufwè
nous mourrons
nenufwè
vous mourrez
nebafwè
ils mourront

Part I | Part III

Masque Luba Cifwebe
Masque Luba  ou Cifwebe

 

Bwakulu|Linguistics, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Bwakulu] Comparaison des langues nationales

Dans un pays qui regorge de langues vivantes, il nous faudrait des jours pour en parler. Concentrons-nous alors sur les 4 langues nationales. Commençons tout d’abord par une courte présentation de ces 4 langues nationales de la République Démocratique du Congo: le Kiswahili, le Ciluba, le Kikongo, le Lingala.

Le Kiswahili est parlé principalement dans la partie Est du Congo avec plus de 10 millions de locuteurs en tant que langue première mais plus de 40% de la population congolaise peut s’exprimer dans cette langue, soit environ 30 millions de personnes, ce qui en fait la langue la plus parlée au Congo. Plus on se déplace vers l’Est de l’Afrique et plus le Kiswahili est arabisé. Bien qu’au Congo on y parle une version simplifiée et plus bantouisée que dans l’Est de l’Afrique, les gens se comprennent, un peu comme les Français et les Québécois. La version congolaise du Kiswahili est aussi appelée Kingwana. La zone swahiliphone comprend le Congo biensûr, l’Ouganda, le Rwanda, le Burundi, le Kenya, le nord de la Zambie, du Malawi et du Mozambique, le sud du Sud Soudan ainsi que le Sud de l’Ethiopie et de la Somalie,  l’île de Zanzibar et les Comores (13 pays).

Zone_swahili

 Le Ciluba est une langue qui est principalement utilisée dans sa région d’origine c’est-à-dire au Congo (Kasayi et Katanga – plus de 10 millions de locuteurs) ainsi qu’au Nord de l’Angola (2 pays).

 Le Kikongo ou sa version simplifiée, le Munukutuba, est parlé dans les deux Congo, l’Angola et le Gabon (4 pays). Il s’écrit couramment avec l’alphabet latin mais possède aussi son propre système d’écriture à formes géométriques que l’on appelle le Mandombe. Il existe environ 2 millions locuteurs en RDC.

foto-LanguageMap-Kikongo-Kituba

Le Lingala est parlé dans les deux Congo, l’Angola, la Centrafrique, le Sud du Cameroun et une partie du Gabon (6 pays). Il regroupe environ 10 millions de locuteurs au Congo (1ère et 2ème langue).

LanguageMap-Lingala-Larger_Location

Les langues bantoues sont liées et ont une réelle base commune. Il n’y a qu’à voir ce tableau comparant les 4 langues nationales du Congo en allant de l’Est vers l’Ouest. En rouge, les termes similaires dans les 4 langues et en bleu ceux qui le sont dans 2 ou 3 des langues nationales.

Kiswa.
Ciluba
Kikon.
Linga.
personne mutu muntu muntu mutu
homme mume muluma mwana yakala mobali
femme muke mukaji mwana n’kento mwasi
enfant mwana, mutoto mwâna mwana mwana
père baba taatù tata tata
mère mama maamù, baaba mama mama
grand-parent bibi/ babu kaakù nkaka nkoko
chef jumbe mfumu mfumu mokonzi
moi meme même/ mêma mono ngai
toi wewe wêwe/ wêwa nge yo
nous sisi twêtu tu biso
oui ndiyo eyowa inga/ ingeta iyo
non hapana/ siyo to mpo te
et, avec na ne/ni ye na
qui? nani? nganyì? nani? nani?
quoi? nini? cinganyì? nki? nini?
quel? gani?/ -pi? cinganyì? /-èpi? nki? nini?
quand? lini? diba kaayì? buna ntango nini?
où? wapi? kwepì? kwe? wapi?
pourquoi? kwa nini? bwa cinyì? mu nki diambu? pona nini?
comment? je? mushindu kaayì? bwe? boni?
combien? ngapi? nga? kwa? boni?
grand nene nène nene monene
petit -dogo -kesà buke muke
long -refu -le leya molai
court fupi ìpì nkufi/ fioti mukuse
animal munyama nnyama nyama nyama
poisson samaki mushipa mbisi mbisi
chien mbwa mbwa mbwa mbwa
poule kuku nzolo nsusu nsoso
chèvre mbuzi mbuji nkombo ntaba
lion simba ntambwe nkosi nkosi
arbre mti mucì niti moyete
tout yote, pia -ònsu konso nyonso
beaucoup -ingi -a bûngi -ingi mingi
faim njaa nzala nzala nzala
vie moyo, maisha moyo, bwenapànu luzingu bomoyi
sang damu mashi menga makila
tête kichwa mutù ntu motu
cheveu nywele lusukì lusuki losuki
œil jicho dîsu disu lisu
bouche kinywa mukana nwa munoko
dent jino dinu dinu linu
langue ulimi ludimi ludimi lolemu
dos nyuma nnyima nima mokongo
main mukono cyanza koko loboko
cœur moyo mwoyo, mucìma ntima motema
lune mwezi mwènji, ngondu ngonda sanza
étoile nyota mùtôtù mbwetete monzoto
air hewa kapeepà mupepe mopepe
vent upepo cipeepà mupepe mopepe
eau maji mâyi maza mayi
pluie mvua mvùla mvula mvula
maison nyumba nzubu nzo ndako
pierre jiwe dibwe tadi libanga
chemin njia njila nzila nzela
ciel juu dyulu zulu likolo
nuage wingu ditutu tuti lipata
feu moto kapyà tiya moto
cloche kengele ngonga ngunga ngonga
tambour ngoma ngoma ngoma mbunda
nuit usiku butuku mpimpa butu
jour siku dituku kilumbu mokolo
chaud -a moto -sàlùka mbau moto
vide myupu tupù nkatu mpiaka
mauvais -baya bi mbi mabe
nouveau pya pyapya mpa sika
ancien -kuukuu -nunu nkulu kala
manger kula kudyà kudya kolia
boire kunywa kunwà kunwa komela
dormir, coucher kulala kulààla kuleka kulala
faire kufanya kwenza kusala kosala
voir kuona kumòna komona komona
entendre kusikia kuvwà kuwa koyoka
marcher, aller kwenda kwenda kuwenda kokenda
venir kuja kulwa kuwiza koya
mourir kufa kufwà kufwa kokufa
lire kusoma kubala kutanga kotanga
compter kuhesabu kubala kukonta kotanga
chanter kuimba kwimba kuyimbila koyemba
prier kuomba kusambila kusambila kosamba
donner kupa kupa, kupeesha kuvana kokaba
ouvrir kufungula kukàngula kuzibula kokangola
fermer kufunga kukànga kuzibika kokanga
Kiswa.
Ciluba
Kikon.
Linga.
zéro sifuri cijengu nkatu libungutulu
un moja ùmwà mosi moko
deux mbili ibìdì zole mibale
trois tatu isàtù tatu misato
quatre nane inaayi ya minei
cinq tano itaanu tanu mitano
six sita isambòmbù sambanu motoba
sept saba mwanda mutekèta nsambwadi sambo
huit tisa mwanda mukùlù nana mwambe
neuf munane citemba vwa libwa
dix kumi dikumi kumi zomi
onze kumi na moja dikumi ne umwe kumi ye mosi zomi na moko
douze kumi na mbili / sita mbili dikumi ne mbili kumi ye zole zomi na mibale
vingt kumi mbili makumi ibiidi makumole ntuku mibale
cinquante kumi tano makumi atanu makuma- -tanu ntuku mitano
cent mia lukàmà nkama kama moko
mille elfu cinunu funda nkoto moko
dix mille kumi elfu binunu dikumi mafunda kumi/kiasi monkoko
cent mille laki cishikula lundu elundu
un million milioni mbòmbù fumu efuku, makiasi
devant mbele kumpàla ndumbi liboso
derrière nyuma kunnyimà nima nsima
à gauche (attribut féminin) kushoto -à bakaji ku kikento na mwasi
à droite (attribut masculin) -a kuume -à baluma ku kiyakala na mobali
aujourd’hui leo leelù wunu, gunu lelo
semaine juma lumingu lumingu mposo
mois mwezi mwenji, ngondu ngondo sanza
an, année mwaka mwaka, cidimu m’vu, nvu mobu/mbula
lundi jumatatu dimwà kintete mokolo ya liboso
mardi jumanne diibîdi kin’zole mokolo ya mibale
mercredi jumatano diisâtu kin’tatu mokolo ya misato
jeudi alhamisi diinâyi kin’ya mokolo ya minei
vendredi ijumaa diitânu kin’tanu mokolo ya mitano
samedi jumamosi diisambòmbù sabala mokolo ya poso /saba
dimanche jumapili dyàlumingu kialumingu lomingo/ eyenga
janvier mwezi wa kwanza / januari cyongu (wa minanga) ngonda ya ntete sanza ya liboso
février mwezi wa pili / febuari lwîshi ngonda ya zole sanza ya mibale
mars mwezi wa tatu/marchi lwabanya (nkasu) ngonda ya tatu sanza ya misato
avril mwezi wa ine/aprili cisanga (nkasu) ngonda ya iya sanza ya minei
mai mwezi wa tano/mei lumùngùlù ngonda ya tanu sanza ya mitano
juin mwezi wa sita/juni kabalaashipu ngonda ya sambanu sanza ya motoba
juillet mwezi wa saba/julai kashipu (nkenza) ngonda ya sambwadi sanza ya nsambo
août mwezi wa nane/agosti cimungù (wa mashika) ngonda ya nana sanza ya mwambe
septembre mwezi wa tisa / septemba kabitenda ngonda ya ivwa sanza ya libwa
octobre mwezi wa kumi/oktoba kaswa mansense ngonda ya kumi sanza ya zomi
novembre mwezi wa kumi na moja / novemba kaswàbàngà ngonda kumi na mosi sanza ya zomi na moko
décembre mwezi wa kumi na mbili / decemba ciswà (munena) ngonda ya kumi na zole sanza ya zomi na mibale
Source
Nsòòlakajilu|Grammar, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Grammar] Causative Forms

The causative form of a verb is created by placing one of the following infixes:

-ish, -esh, -ij, -ej
It indicates the subject helps realizing the action depicted in the verb, allows it or creates the occasion for it to happen.

Examples :

  • kubala (lire, to read) → kubadisha (faire lire, to make s.o. read)
  • kuja (danser, to dance) → kujiija (faire danser , to make s.o./sth dance)
  • kumona (voir, to see) → kumwesha (faire voir, montrer, to make s.o./sth see, to show)
  • kumvwa (écouter, to listen) → kumvwija (faire écouter, to make s.o./sth listen)
  • kwakula (parler, to talk) → kwakwisha (faire parler, to make s.o./sth talk)
  • kwenza (faire, to do) → kwenzeja (faire faire, to make s.o./sth do)
  • kwimba (chanter, to sing) → kwimbisha (faire chanter, to make s.o./sth sing)

source: CRIC

Luba Traditional Bed
Luba Traditional Bed
Nsòòlakajilu|Grammar, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Grammar] Stressed and Possessive Pronouns

In Cilubà, one of the few points you need to understand and master, it’s the stressed and possessive pronouns.

We’re already seen the personal pronouns:

Cilubà Français English
n-/nyi je I
u- tu you
ù- il, elle he, she
tu- nous we
nu- vous you
ba- ils, elles they

Here are the corresponding possessive pronouns. They are also used as possessive adjectives:

Cilubà Français English
wanyì mon,  mien my, mine
webà ton, tien your(s)
wendà son, sien his, her(s)
wetù notre, nôtre our(s)
wenù votre, vôtre your(s)
wabù leur their(s)

Exemples: mulongeshi wanyi, Taatu weba, mulunda wenda, etc…

The corresponding stressed pronouns go as follows:

Cilubà Français English
mêma moi me
wêwa toi you
yêya lui, elle he, she
twêtu nous us
nwênu vous you
bôbu eux, elles them

Mask

Why is it important to know them? It’s because they are used in many expressions.

Cilubà Français English
naanyì avec moi with me
neebà avec toi with you
nendà avec lui, elle with him, her
neetù avec nous with us
neenù avec vous with you
naabù avec eux, elles with them
Cilubà Français English
bwànyì pour moi for me
bwèbà pour toi for you
bwèndà pour lui, elle for him, her
bwètù pour nous for us
bwènù pour vous for you
bwàbù pour eux, elles for them

You can even mix them:

Cilubà Français English
mêma pàànyì moi aussi me too
wêba pèèbà toi aussi you too
yêya pèndà lui, elle aussi him, her too
twêtu pèètù nous aussi us too
nwênu pèènù vous aussi you too
bôbu pààbù eux, elles aussi them too
Cilubà Français English
(mêma) nkàyaanyì moi seul(e) on my own
(wêwa) nkàyeebà toi seul(e) on your own
(yêya) nkàyendà lui, elle seul(e) on his, her own
(twêtu) nkàyeetù nous seul(e)s on our own
(nwênu) nkàyeenù vous seul(e)s on your own
(bôbu) nkàyaabù ils, elles seul(e)s on their own

Used prefixes:

WÀ- = de / belonging to
NE- = avec / with
BWÀ- = pour / for
PÀ- = aussi / too
NKÀÀYÀ- = seul / only or alone

Exemple: mêma pàànyì ndi mvwa nzala / moi aussi j’ai faim / I’m hungry too

Note that these are only the pronouns regarding people. There are also a whole range of pronouns that are used for objects. The subject is vast enough to post several articles about it. So keep coming back for more Cilubà classes…

Nsòòlakajilu|Grammar, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Grammar] Reversive forms

-ul-, -un-, -uk-

The verb formed with the radical plus the above suffixes indicates an opposite action to the one described with the initial verb. There exist two forms of reversive suffixes: active and passive.

Reversive active suffixes: -ul-, -un-

Verbs thus formed are transitive. They need an object.

Examples:

  • kukànga (fermer, to close) → kukangula (ouvrir, to open)
  • kuvwàla (vêtir, to put clothes on) → kuvùùla (dévêtir, to put clothes off)
  • kulamika (coller, attacher, to glue, to attach) → kulamuna (détacher, to detach)

janiformstatue

Reversive passive suffix : -uk-

Verbs including this suffix are intransitive and imply a state or a condition in which the subject sustains an opposite action.

Examples:

  • kukanga (fermer, to close) → kukanguka (s’ouvrir, to be opened)
  • kubutula (exterminer, exterminate) → kubutuka (se faire exterminer , to be exterminated)
  • kupapula (effrayer, to frighten) → kupapuka (s’effrayer, to be frightened)
  • kwambula (porter, to lift up) → kwambuka (se faire porter, to be lifted)

Source: CRIC

Bwakulu|Linguistics, Myakù |Vocabulary, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Vocabulary] Swadesh List Top 100

The Swadesh list is the result of linguistic researches including languages from all continents and determining the most common words used by humanity, somewhat a “universal vocab list”. Here’s the translation in Cilubà to add some words to your flashcards. 😉

Kifwebe_mask_-_Luba_-_RDC_-_Royal_Palace,_Brussels

English

Français

Cilubà

I moi mêma
You toi wêwa
we nous twêtu
this ceci eyi
that cela ayi
who? qui? nganyì?
what? quoi? cinganyì?
not pas to
all (of a number) tout -ônsu
many beaucoup -à/-a bûngì
one un ùmwà
two deux ibìdì
big gros(se) -nèna
long long(ue) -le(a)
small petit(e) -kesà
woman femme mukàjì
man homme mulùma
person personne muntu
fish poisson mushipa
bird oiseau nnyunyu
dog chien mbwa
louse pou lukùsù
tree arbre mucì
seed graine ditungù
leaf (botanics) feuille cibeji
root (botanics) racine muji
bark (of tree) écorce cipusu
skin peau dikòbà
flesh chair munyìnyi
blood sang mashi
bone os cifùbà
grease graisse dìfutà
egg œuf diyi
horn corne lusèngu
tail queue mukìla
feather plume disàlà
hair cheveux nsukì
head tête mutù
ear oreille dicì(ò)
eye œil dîsu
nose nez dyûlu
mouth bouche mukana
tooth dent dînu
tongue langue ludimi
claw griffe dìkama/luzàdi
foot pied dikàsà
knee genou cinù
hand main cyanza
belly (abdomen) ventre difù
neck (not nape!) cou nshìngù
breasts (female) poitrine mpàngà
heart cœur mucìma
liver foie mucìma
drink (verb) boire kunwà
eat (verb) manger kudyà
bite (verb) mordre kusùma
see (verb) voir kumona
hear (verb) entendre kumvwa
know (facts) savoir kumanya
sleep (verb) dormir kulala
die (verb) mourir kufwà
kill (verb) tuer kushipa
swim (verb) nager kwombela
fly (verb) voler kubùùka
walk (verb) marcher kwenda
come (verb) venir kulwa
lie (on side, recline) coucher kushima
sit (verb) asseoir kubwela
stand (verb) tenir debout kwimana shìmbàà
give (verb) donner kupeesha
say (verb)† dire kuamba
sun soleil dîba
moon lune ngondu
star étoile mùtôtù
water eau mâyi
rain pluie mvùla
stone pierre dibwa
sand sable lusenga
earth (=soil) terre buloba
cloud (not fog) nuage ditutu
smoke (noun, of fire) fumée  minshi
fire feu mudilu
ash(es) cendre(s) butù
burn (verb intr.!) brûler kwosha
path (road, trail) chemin njila
mountain (not hill) montagne mukùnà
red (colour) rouge -kùnze(a)
green (colour) vert -à/-a mâyààmatàmbà
yellow (colour) jaune -à/-a kàlaabi
white (colour) blanc -tòòka
black (colour) noir -fììka
night nuit bufùku
hot (of weather) chaud luuyà
cold (of weather) froid mashìka
full† plein -pasa
new nouveau -pya-pyà
good bon -ìmpà
round arrondi cijèngù
dry (substance!) sec -ûma
name nom dîna
Myandà | Conjugation, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Conjugation] Futur Tense I

In this lesson, we will study future tense. For that, we’ll use some verbs that we’ve seen before:

Kwikale
être/to be
Kunwà
boire/to drink
Kudyà
manger/to eat
Kulààla
dormir/to sleep
nengikale
je serai
I will eat
newikale
tu seras
you will be
neìkale
il/elle/on sera
she/he will be
netwikale
nous serons
We will be
nenwikale
vous serez
you will be
nebikale
ils/elles seront
they will be
nenwè
je boirai
I will drink
newunwè
tu boiras
you will drink
neànwè
il/elle/on boira
she/he will drink
netunwè
nous boirons
we will drink
nenunwè
vous boirez
you will drink
nebanwè
ils/elles boiront
they will drink
nendyè
je mangerai
I will eat
newudyè
tu mangeras
you will eat
neàdyè
il/elle/on mangera
She/he will eat
netudyè
nous mangerons
nous will eat
nenudyè
vous mangerez
you will eat
nebadyè
ils/elles mangeront
they will eat
nendalè
je dormirai
I will sleep
newulalè
tu dormiras
you will sleep
neàlalè
il/elle/on dormira
She/he will sleep
netulalè
nous dormirons
we will sleep
nenulalè
vous dormirez
you will sleep
nebalalè
ils/elles dormiront
they will sleep
Masque Luba Cifwebe
Masque Luba Cifwebe

See how the verb is built:

KU – IKALE = kwikale

‘KU’ marks the infinitive form of the verb and ‘IKALE’ is the verb stem. When you contract them, the ‘u’ transform into ‘w’.

* NE + NG + IKALE = nengikale

NE marks the future tense of the verb, ‘NG’ is the 1st person pronoun and ‘IKALE’ is the verb stem

It is the same process for the rest

* NE + WU + IKALE = newikale

The ‘u’ in ‘wu’ is dropped because of the contraction.

* NE + À = IKALE = neìkale

Same contraction here but we keep the accent that marks the 3rd person of singular.

* NE + TU + IKALE = netwikale

* NE + NU + IKALE = nenwikale

* NE + BA + IKALE = nebikale

You note in red the pronouns from 1st person of singular to 3rd person of plural that we saw in previous lessons:

ng, wu, ù/à, tu, nu, ba (‘ng’ is another form for ‘nyi’ or ‘n’ that marks the first person of singular).

See, if you understand how the verb is constructed you can easily find and/or remember a specific conjugation. Try to find the construction of the other verbs on your own. You’ll see how easy it is.

Part II | Part III

Nsòòlakajilu|Grammar, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Grammar] Nominal Prefix bu-

When bu- is used as a nominal prefix, it introduces an action, a technique, a habit, a concept, etc.

Le préfixe nominal bu- introduit une action, une technique, une habitude, un concept, etc.

Masque Luba en bois
Masque Luba en bois

Example:

*madimi (champ/field) -> budimi (agriculture, by extension, ‘budimi’ also means field)
*-pole (tranquille, calme) -> bupole (paix/peace)
*umwe (un/one) -> bumwe (unité/unity)
*muluba (homme luba) -> Buluba (vaste ensemble comprenant : la terre, la langue, la culture, la coutume, la tradition, la société, l’identité, la fierté, le fait d’appartenir à l’ethnie Luba/ensemble including: the land, the language, the culture, the habits, the traditions, the society, the identity, the pride, the fact of belonging to the Baluba people)
*dinyùnguluka (contour) -> bunyùngùlùka (environnement)
*madììkadidi (liberté/freedom) -> budììkadidi (indépendance)
*mulùma (homme/man) -> bulùma (virilité/virility)
*mukàji (femme/woman) -> bukàji (féminité/feminity)
*mubèèdì (un malade/patient) -> bubèèdi (maladie/disease)
*mupika (esclave/slave) -> bupika (esclavage/slavery)
*muzòdi (dessinateur, peintre/painter) -> buzòdi (peinture, dessin/painting)

Myandà | Conjugation, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Conjugation] Present Tense III

Here are four new verbs to study…

Kuya
aller/to go
Kujà
danser/to dance
Kusùmba
acheter/to buy
Kupàànyisha
vendre/to sell
ndi nya
je vais
udi uya
tu vas
ùdi ùya
il/elle/on va
tudi tuya
nous allons
nudi nuya
vous allez
badi baya
ils/elles vont
ndi jà
je danse
udi ujà
tu danses
ùdi ùjà
il/elle/on danse
tudi tujà
nous dansons
nudi nujà
vous dansez
badi bajà
ils/elles dansent
ndi sùmba
j’achète
udi usùmba
tu achètes
ùdi ùsùmba
il/elle/on achète
tudi tusùmba
nous achetons
nudi nusùmba
vous achetez
badi basùmba
ils/elles achètent
ndi mpàànyisha
je vends
udi upàànyisha
tu vends
ùdi upàànyisha
il/elle/on vend
tudi tupàànyisha
nous vendons
nudi nupàànyisha
vous vendez
badi bapàànyisha
ils/elles vendent

Part I | Part IIPowerFigureLubaKusu

 

Myakù |Vocabulary, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Vocabulary] Let’s Calculate! Substraction

1 1 = 0      umwe kumbusha umwe momumwe ne cijengu

2 1 = 1      ibidi kumbusha umwe momumwe ne umwe

3 1 = 2      isatu kumbusha umwe momumwe ne ibidi

3 2 = 1      isatu kumbusha ibidi momumwe ne umwe

4 2 = 2      inayi kumbusha ibidi momumwe ne ibidi

4 1 = 3      inayi kumbusha umwe momumwe ne isatu

5 1 = 4      itanu kumbusha umwe momumwe ne inayi

5 2 = 3      itanu kumbusha ibidi momumwe ne isatu

numbers2

6 3 = 3      isambombo kumbusha isatu momumwe ne isatu

6 4 = 2     isambombo kumbusha inayi momumwe ne ibidi

7 1 = 6      mwandamuteketa kumbusha umwe momumue ne isambombo

7 5 = 2      mwandamuteketa kumbusha itanu momumue ne ibidi

8 1 = 7      mwandamukulu kumusha umwe momumue ne mwandamuteketa

8 3 = 5      mwandamukulu kumbusha isatu momumue ne itanu

9 1 = 8      citemba kumbusha umwe momumue ne mwandamukulu

9 6 = 3      citemba kumbusha isambombo momumue ne isatu

10 1 = 9    dikumi kumbusha umwe momumue ne citemba

10 4 = 6   dikumi kumbusha inayi momumue ne isambombo

10 10 = 0 dikumi kumbusha dikumi momumue ne cijengu

Myakù |Vocabulary, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Vocabulary] Let’s Calculate! Addition

0 + 1 = 1        cijengu ne umwe momumwe ne umwe

2 + 3 = 5        ibidi ne isatu momumwe ne itanu

4 + 5 = 9        inayi ne itanu momumwe ne citemba

6 + 7 = 13      umwe ne mwandamuteketa momumwe ne itanu

8 + 9 = 17       mwandamukulu ne citema momumwe ne dikumi ne mwandamuteketa

numbers

10 + 11 = 21  dikumi ne dikumi ne umwe momumwe ne makumi abidi ne umwe

12 + 13 = 25 dikumi ne ibidi ne dikumi ne isatu momumwe ne makumi abidi ne itanu

14 + 15 = 29 dikumi ne inayi ne dikumi ne itanu momumwe ne makumi abidi ne citemba

16 + 17 = 33 dikumi ne isatu ne dikumi ne mwandamuteketa momunwe ne makumi asatu ne isatu

18 + 19 = 37 dikumi ne mwandamukulu ne dikumi ne citemba momumwe ne makumi asatu ne umwe

Ainsi de suite… And so on… Anu nanku…

Flashcards Numbers
Myakù |Vocabulary, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Vocabulary] Cimuma / Fruits

Obviously, to name a fruit that is not originally found in Congo, most of the time people will use the name used in the country it comes from or make a ciluba version of the french term to call it. But still, here’s a few terms.

cimuma/bimuma
fruit(s)

didima/madima
agrume(s) (citron, orange, etc.)
citrus (lime, orange, etc.)

(cimuma cya) mpoma
pomme
apple

cibòta/dibòta
banane(s)
banana(s)

dikonda/makonda
banane (s) plantain
plantain(s)

mandelenyi
mandarine

kalebefu
coeur de boeuf
custard apple

cikuyi/makuyi
figue(s)

ndingaya/mangaya
mangue(s)
mango(es)

ditondu/matondu
amande(s)
almond(s)

lungaji/nngaji
noix de palme
palm nut(s)

kabindi/tubindi, kambela/tumbela
nois d’arachide, cacahuète(s)
peanut(s)

lunyimu/nnyimu
pistache(s)
pistachio(es)

mupese
noyau
pit

luteta/nteta
pépin(s)
pip(s)

fruits

lungaji lwa coco
noix de coco
coconut

lungaji lwa nsukadi
datte
date

mbòmà
pamplemousse
grapefruit

cipapaya/dipapaya
papaye(s)
papaya(s)

cikàkà/dikàkà
ananas
pineapple(s)

kamuma/tumuma
baie(s)
berry(s)

diwoji dya nsukadi/mawoji aa nsukadi
melon(s)

-pya(e)
mûr
ripe

-bishi
vert
raw

-sheme
sucré
sweet

– a bululu
amer
bitter

-sapuluke
fade
tasteless

-a bwanji
acide
tart

Nsòòlakajilu|Grammar, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Grammar] Classes in Ciluba

No, I’m not talking about school but grammar!!! Here we are going to tackle something essential to understand. A first classification of words has been done in the 19th century. The linguists classified words in main 8 categories but later on, the linguists became more precise and now the number of classes has doubled. Over the years, it came down to the following list. Those classes are important to know because they will determine how you form, not only the plural form of words, but the adjectives and adverbs as well.

1801-1900 PorteuseCoupeDuMaîtreDeBuliBOISLuba

Classe Type Description Examples
1 mu-  words defining people, gender, family members, trades, professions, etc.  mwana (child), muledi (parent), mukaji (woman), mulume (man), mulongeshi (teacher), mufudi (forgeron)
2 ba-  plural form of words from class 1  muntu -> bantu (man, men); muledi -> baledi parent(s); mukaji -> bakaji: woman, women; mukalenge -> bakalenge: chief(s)
3 mu-  animals, inanimated objects, instruments, actions, consequences, body parts, products, etc.  mulangi (bottle), mucima (heart, liver, morals), mwendu (lamp)
4 mi-  plural form of words from class 3  munu -> minu: finger(s); muci -> mici: tree(s); musulu -> misulu: river(s); musoko -> misoko: village(s)
5 di-  body parts going into pairs, liquids, feelings, various objects  dilongu, dici (ear), dikasa (foot)
6 ma-  plural form of words from class 5 & 14  CLASS 5: diboku -> maboku: arm(s); ditama -> matama: cheek(s); dicuwa -> macuwa: rechaud(s)CLASS 14: bwalu -> malu: affairs, problems; buloba -> maloba: land(s); buta -> mata: bow(s); bukalu -> malalu: bed(s)
7 ci-  locations, inanimated agents, instruments, products, Surnames, feelings, vices, etc.  cilamba (bridge), cibota (banana), cikumbi (stable, fence)
8 bi-  plural form of words from class 7  cilembi -> bilembi: hunter(s); cinji -> binji; anger(s); cisalu -> bisalu: market(s)
9 n-/m-  animals,  nzoolu (chicken), ngombe (cow), mbuji (goat)
10 n-/m-  plural form of words from class 9 & 11  CLASS 9: nyoka -> nyoka: snake(s); mbuji -> mbuji: goat(s); mbwa -> mbwa: dog(s)CLASS 11: lusuki -> nsuki: hair(s); lupusu -> mpusu: spot(s); luzadi -> nzadi: nail(s)
11 lu-  lupangu (plot-land), ludimi (tongue), lukambu (powerful man)
12 ka-  kashingi (needle), kapaaya (razor), kambela
13 tu- / ka-  plural form of words from class 12  tushingi, tupaaya, tumbela
14 bu-  concepts, abstract, nature, characteristics, instruments, locations, etc.  budimi (agriculture), bwatu (boat), bukondu
15 ku-  basic forms of verbs  kudya (to eat), kulaala (to sleep), kukwata (to work), kufwidikija (to think)
16 pa-  adverbs  pambelu (at home)
17 ku-  adverbs  kumbelu (from home), kunyima (in the back, behind, after)
18 mu-  adverbs  munjila (on the road, on the way)

I must admit that it is difficult for me to remember what class a word belongs to so what I do is just remember how each word forms its plural. Why is it important to know word classes or at least have a rough idea of what it looks like? Because to build a correct sentence, you have to match the adjectives and determinants that follow a word according to its class.

Sources: CRIC;
Bwakulu|Linguistics

[Bwakulu] Most untranslatable word in Ciluba language

Ilunga has been defined by high class top notch translators and linguists around the world to be one of the most, if not the most, untranslatable word in the universe.

luba009

It is used to describe the nature of a person “who is ready to forgive and forget any first abuse, tolerate it the second time but never forgive nor tolerate on the third offense.”

Yeah, quite impossible to translate in one word!!!

Myakù |Vocabulary, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Vocabulary] Kulela/Couleurs/Colors

In Ciluba, like in many other languages, people refer to a common object to define a color, for example:

-a mayi aa mamvwa
couleur maïs / color of corn => jaune/yellow
-a mayi aa kamata
couleur tomate/ tomato color => rouge/red
-a mayi aa matàmbà/kaleji
couleur feuille de manioc / cassava leave color => vert/green

cercle-chromatique

But there are standard color names as well:

Cibundubundu

Gris Cendre / Ash grey

Kaki

Marron / Brown

Kàlaabi

Jaune / Yellow

Lubundubundu

Violet / Purple

Lumbidi

Orange

Mbùlê

Bleu / Blue

Mufika

Noir / Black

Mukùnze

Rouge / Red

Mutòòka

Blanc / White

To associate those colors with names, you have two options, according to the adjective you want to use:

  • you drop the prefix mu- and put instead the corresponding prefix, depending on the class the name is part of.
  • you add the particle -a + color

-fiike(a) = noir/black
-kùnze = rouge/red
-tòòke(a) = blanc/white
-a bùlê = bleu/blue
-a kàlaabi = jaune/yellow
-a lumbidi = orange
-a lubundubundu = violet/purple

example: ditumbu difiike
un chapeau noir/ a black hat

Biensûr, il existe des nuances:
-kùnze = rouge/red -kùnzùbìle = rougeâtre / redish
-tòòke = blanc; -tòòkòlòke = blanchâtre

Myandà | Conjugation, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Conjugation] Present Tense II

Here’s a new selection of verbs conjugated at the present tense

Kupèèsha
donner/to give
Kwangata
prendre/to take
Kwenza
faire/to make
Kufwà
mourir/to die
ndi pèèsha
je donne
udi upèèsha
tu donnes
ùdi ùpèèsha
il/elle/on donne
tudi tupèèsha
nous donnons
nudi nupèèsha
vous donnez
badi bapèèsha
ils/elles donnent
ndi ngangata
je prends
udi wangata
tu prends
udi wangata
il/elle/on prend
tudi twangata
nous prennons
nudi nwangata
vous prennez
badi bangata
ils/elles prennent
ndi ngenza
je fais
udi wenza
tu fais
ùdi wenza
il/elle/on fait
tudi twenza
nous faisons
nudi nwenza
vous faites
badi benza
ils/elles font
ndi nfwà
je meurs
udi ufwà
tu meurs
ùdi ùfwà
il/elle/on meurt
tudi tufwà
nous mourons
nudi nufwà
vous mourez
badi bafwà
ils/elles meurent

Part I | Part III

LubaFemalefigure

Diyiikì|Conversation, Tùlaasà|Language Study

[Conversation] More Sample Sentences (1)

here’s a few random sentences:

Bikila sheebe! / appelle ton père! / call your father!
Lwa kunoko! / viens ici! / come here!
Ndi muswe kuya ku Paris / je veux aller à Paris / i want to go to Paris
Tuye lubilu / allons vite / let’s go quickly
Tuye biteketa / allons doucement / let’s go slowly
Wakuya / il (elle) est parti / he (she) left
Ndi mubi / je me sens mal / i am not well
Kolesha mwoyi! courage!
Mbeela ngonga / on sonne (à la porte) / the doorbell is ringing
Nganyi wetu ? / qui est-ce ? / who is this ?
Nweenu banganyi ? / qui êtes-vous? / who are you ? (plural)
Mike udiku anyi ? / Mike est-il là ? / is Mike there ?
To. Mmupatuka. / non. il est sorti / no. he’s out.
Tuyaayi ku mesa / à table / let’s eat!
Kazala aaku / bon appétit