Word of the Day
A crash course in isiZulu
October 15, 2015
Once more, the subject link "Ngi-" is used, and "-ya-" indicates that we are still talking in the present tense.
The verb here is "-phila". It is a stative verb meaning "to be well/have health". You will hear more about stative verbs next week, but for now you should just know that verbs form the last portion of a compound word in isiZulu and in the present tense, end in an "a". This is where Zulu is closer to English than it is to a romance language such as Spanish... the verb does not give us any indication of who the subject is, only the subject link attached to the front of the word does.
I was reminded by a colleague yesterday of a good way to explain what I passed off as the nasal 'n' sound in yesterday's post. Here's his advice:
The best way to get the "ng" sound of "ngi-" is to imagine the word "sing" and then to remove the "si-" sound. i.e. for "Ngiyaphila" it can sometimes help beginners to say "Sing"iyaphila and then learn to remove the "si-" sound. This is important because the "ng" sound is not two syllables, as a lot of English speakers pronounce it, like "N-Giya" which is incorrect.... the "ng" is actually a single sound, like in "sing."