I’m boning up for my hausa exam this week, which I know I will fail, but when I took the class I had no idea there would be an exam, which I think that is a pretty good excuse. Just to continue to wallow in hausa self-pity, let’s just look at numbers and currency, shall we? So the numbers: daya, biyu, ukku, hudu, biyar, shidda, bokoy, tokwos, tara, goma (1-10), ashirin (20), talatin (30)… and more.. to dari (100) and to jikka(1000). Simple enough… I guess.
But, the currency is all in divisions of five. So, if you’re talking currency, you start with “dala” and then multiply or divide (given the situation, I think?) the amount by five for small currency and give the amount. So, “dala daya” (daya being 1) is actually 5 francs, “dala biyu” is 10 francs, “dala goma” is 50 (5 times 10), dala ashirin is 100 because 5 X 20 is 100. “Dala dari” is 500 francs, because dari is 100 and “dala tamanin” is 400 francs: 5 X 80 (tamanin). Get it? If you do, good for @$#% you.
Now, it gets a little more complicated. If you get over 500, then you have to start adding things to the amounts, so for example:
“dala dari da arba’in” is 700 francs, because it’s 500 (dari) da (and) arba’in (40): it’s 5 X 100 to make 500, and then 5 X 40 to equal 200, to bring us to 700 (francs).
“dala dari da hamsin” is 750 (francs), because it 500 (dari) da (and) hamsin (50): it’s 5 X 100 to make 500, and then 5 X 50 to equal 250, to bring us to 750 (francs).
Now, 1000 is jikka, and it doesn’t *seem* that it gets any arithematics attached to it. Unless, the amount is not *exactly* 1000. So, 25350 francs is “jikka ashrin da biyar dala saba’in”: ((1000 X 25) plus (70 X 5)).
Should I have to use parenthese when doing my grocery shopping? No! Fortunately, 25000 is about 60 dollars and I won’t be using that at the market at any point that I can foresee.
It all just seems like a cruel joke, doesn’t it? I feel like I’m in grade three math class again but in hausa. I think I should stick to improving my French. I mean even if it was in French (or English!) it would be confusing and all the moreso when you picture yourself at the market when crowds gather around you to get your attention.
But enough about that, because I should study.
Quiz wise, I will say that Michael Moore is a great guess, but is inaccurate, and as an extra clue I will add that the subject of the book is still in the news, and very recently had to make a very difficult decision about voting on a certain health care bill. That should make it pretty straight forward.