Sunday, December 2, 2007

Kipi vs. Keepy


There are certain dangers when you hear a Samoan word that sounds like it could be an English word then assume they mean the same thing.

Our host father was going to cut back a flowering tree at the rear of our house to make room for a fence to keep out pigs and chickens from our new garden. Mary was standing by to give her opinion as to how much he should cut back. He grabbed a branch to cut and asked her “kipi”? Mary said, “No”. He took another branch and asked “kipi” again. Mary said, “No”, again. Now both seemed to be getting irritated with each other with each branch selected, when I realized what the problem was.

Mary thought he was saying “keep” in broken English while he was saying “kipi” in Samoan which means “to cut”. We all had a laugh, learning a little bit more about each other. (Samoan “I” sounds like a long English “e”.)

1 comment:

Teri said...

Love the new pic of you & Mary! Was it taken at the rear of your new garden? You both look great.