Niger currency and quiz update

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.


6 Responses to “Niger currency and quiz update”

  1. Sandra Says:

    Hey V – good luck on your exam – sounds like you’ll need it – I couldn’t understand the math myself. Are there at least numerals/signs to indicate how much things cost? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15… otherwise, I’d be going mad at the market…..

    I had to google the answer to your quiz – what can I say, I’m a librarian – that’s what google is for. You totally lost me – I have no idea who he is – I had to google his name as well. I guess I don’t follow enough american politics.

    Miss you lots – hope all is well. More later.

  2. Reynald Says:

    Hey Val,
    I had been guessing the new guy from the price is right — didn’t he have a show about Cleveland? but thanks to my nytimes fixation i’m now relatively sure.

  3. Russell Says:

    Ha, ha. That quiz hint is too easy. I would of guessed him, but bad boy certainly doesn’t come to mind when I think of him. His wife is quite hot though. Perhaps that make him a bad boy.

    • Valerie Says:

      I think that Reynald is guessing Drew Carey from the Drew Carey Show, which yes, takes place in Cleveland. But I know who you mean, Russ.

  4. Mum Says:

    Hello Valerie: What you are wrting about is fascinating. (And I’m not saying that because I’m your mother!!!!). Take care. (Hope the maleria is all gone!)

  5. Barbara Barta Says:

    The people there must love your Hausan accent! That must be so fun in the markets and food stall to communicate in Hausa.

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