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D.R. of Congo: the richness of Lingala

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, D.R. of Congo, Language

Blogging from the Democratic Republic of Congo, John writes about the richness and complexity [1] of Lingala [2]: Then there’s the word “poto” which I think is “mpoto” in the classic Lingala (but that’s a whole other discussion…). It means Europe, but I’ve discovered that it also means the U.S. I haven’t probed too far into the meaning, but pretty much for the Congolese it means anywhere where the white people live. “Malili” is related to “moi” because it means both “cool” or “cold” (as in a cold beer, which is my most frequent use of it) and also “shade.”