pidgin English

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KGregoryA

Senior Member
Hello everybody.
Can anyone help me translate pidgin English into English proper?

A young man in a brothel (in Nigeria) says to a prostitute (who is twice as old as he) that he loves her. And here is what she replies:

“Look at this one, him say him love me. Nothing wey person eye no go see these days oh. Im see nyash wey tripam — na im be say im love me. Say you love your mama.”

I of course do understand what is said in the first sentence, my understanding of the second is approximate, the third is beyond my understanding. I will be greatfull for all three. Just in case. (Obioma, AN ORCHESTRA OF MINORITIES)
Thanks in advance
 
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    I'm interested in your sentence and I've tried to look it up using a pidgin dictionary, but I still can't completely translate it. I've found the novel it is from, but there seems to be no explanation of it. I can tell you this much:

    Look at this man, he says he loves me. Nothing wey person eye no go see these days oh. Im see nyash wey tripam – don't say you love me. Say you love your mother.

    So those are the easy bits! I'm afraid I can't get anywhere with the text in red.
     

    KGregoryA

    Senior Member
    I'm interested in your sentence and I've tried to look it up using a pidgin dictionary, but I still can't completely translate it. I've found the novel it is from, but there seems to be no explanation of it. I can tell you this much:

    Look at this man, he says he loves me. Nothing wey person eye no go see these days oh. Im see nyash wey tripam – don't say you love me. Say you love your mother.

    So those are the easy bits! I'm afraid I can't get anywhere with the text in red.
    The second sentence seems to mean: man' eye these days can't see nothing.
    But the third one is a riddle.
    Thanks for your help.
     

    KGregoryA

    Senior Member
    Nyash appears to mean "buttocks" and wey is a relative pronoun (see Joke-Performance in Africa).

    I couldn't find tripam. But the fact that this is a prostitute speaking may provide a clue.
    Thanks a lot. Here is what I found: Wey: Who e.g The Obioma wey sew mai trousa dey pass. In tripam the first part (tri) might mean three, but it hardly helps. Then it is something like: The one who sees buttocks is tripam (god knows what it is).
     
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    Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    Interesting. Yes, perhaps it means something like, 'the one who sees buttocks gets carried away/gets horny/thinks with his dick/isn't thinking straight'. In other words, a young man having sex (with anyone) gets carried away and thinks he's in love.

    Pure guesswork, though.
     

    KGregoryA

    Senior Member
    Interesting. Yes, perhaps it means something like, 'the one who sees buttocks gets carried away/gets horny/thinks with his dick/isn't thinking straight'. In other words, a young man having sex (with anyone) gets carried away and thinks he's in love.

    Pure guesswork, though.
    I think your guesswork is actually a translation.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    “Look at this one, him say him love me. Nothing wey person eye no go see these days oh. Im see nyash wey tripam — na im be say im love me. Say you love your mama.”

    My attempt:
    “Just look at this one, he’s saying he loves me. There’s nothing that a person’s eye won’t see these days oh. He sees my arse which trips him — Now he’s saying he loves me. Say you love your mama.”

    “Just look at this one, he’s saying he loves me. I’m not surprised at anything these days oh. He sees my arse and that excites him — Now he’s saying he loves me. Say you love your mama. [i.e. say you love me.]”
     

    KGregoryA

    Senior Member
    “Look at this one, him say him love me. Nothing wey person eye no go see these days oh. Im see nyash wey tripam — na im be say im love me. Say you love your mama.”

    My attempt:
    “Just look at this one, he’s saying he loves me. There’s nothing that a person’s eye won’t see these days oh. He sees my arse which trips him — Now he’s saying he loves me. Say you love your mama.”

    “Just look at this one, he’s saying he loves me. I’m not surprised at anything these days oh. He sees my arse and that excites him — Now he’s saying he loves me. Say you love your mama. [i.e. say you love me.]”
    Thanks. Especially for [i.e. say you love me.] I would have never guessed.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    My attempt:
    “Just look at this one, he’s saying he loves me. There’s nothing that a person’s eye won’t see these days oh. He sees my arse which trips him — Now he’s saying he loves me. Say you love your mama.”

    “Just look at this one, he’s saying he loves me. I’m not surprised at anything these days oh. He sees my arse and that excites him — Now he’s saying he loves me. Say you love your mama. [i.e. say you love me.]”
    Pretty good! :)
    But "trips him" seems too obvious or too advanced for "tripam".
    Ponyprof's dictionary shows for "trip":
    crushing on girl or boy
    Example: I dey trip for colleague for office (my translation: I'm having a crush on a colleague in the office [since 'dey' seems to express continuous tense])
    Synonym: crushing, attracted
    Ergo, "Im see nyash wey tripam" -> "Him see my ass, which attracts him" -> "He sees my ass and he's feeling attracted (to me)"

    Also, even though the meaning of "say you love me" is possible for "say you love your mama", it doesn't quite fit to the tone of the previous statements.
    Since the woman is twice the age of the client, I'd expect that she wants to express something like:
    "You might as well go and say you love your mama." or
    "It's like you say you love your mama." (both forms meaning "love" in the sense of sexual attraction)
     

    KGregoryA

    Senior Member
    Pretty good! :)
    But "trips him" seems too obvious or too advanced for "tripam".
    Ponyprof's dictionary shows for "trip":

    Ergo, "Im see nyash wey tripam" -> "Him see my ass, which attracts him" -> "He sees my ass and he's feeling attracted (to me)"

    Also, even though the meaning of "say you love me" is possible for "say you love your mama", it doesn't quite fit to the tone of the previous statements.
    Since the woman is twice the age of the client, I'd expect that she wants to express something like:
    "You might as well go and say you love your mama." or
    "It's like you say you love your mama." (both forms meaning "love" in the sense of sexual attraction)
    So many nuances in a couple of sentences. Thanks a lot.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Ergo, "Im see nyash wey tripam" -> "Him see my ass, which attracts him"
    :thumbsup: I suspect nyash may also, in this case, means 'vagina'.
    Also, even though the meaning of "say you love me" is possible for "say you love your mama", it doesn't quite fit to the tone of the previous statements.
    I considered this but rejected it. I think that she is patronising him - pretending to appreciate his expressions of love as a way of [gently] mocking him.
     
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    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    I suspect it may also, in this case, means 'vagina'.
    :thumbsup: That's very possible, considering that "nyash am" means "to have sex".

    I considered this but rejected it. I think that she is patronising him - pretending to appreciate his expressions of love - as a way of [gently] mocking him.
    Yes, without intonation or other non-verbal signals we can only guess.

    But if KGregoryA wants to send me a ticket to Nigeria and give me the address to that place, I'd be happy to do some research... :p :D
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    There’s nothing that a person’s eye won’t see these days oh.

    "Oh" serves the function of an exclamation point here.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    The Nigerian (and West African) "oh" is more akin to a tag question. I would pronounce it just a little more openly than /ə/,

    In this respect it is not too far from the Canadian "eh" but without the interrogative tone
    The only usage of eh? that is exclusive to Canada and some regions of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, northern Wisconsin, and northern Minnesota, according to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, is for "ascertaining the comprehension, continued interest, agreement, etc., of the person or persons addressed" as in, "It's four kilometres away, eh, so I have to go by bike." In that case, eh? is used to confirm the attention of the listener and to invite a supportive noise such as "Mm" or "Oh" or "Okay".
    Eh - Wikipedia
     
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    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Well, actually, there are probably two versions of "oh" you can use at the end. I think the one used here is the standard one used for emphasis. It doesn't make sense as a question in that context. Tone of voice will tell everything but, of course, we don't have that.

    In Liberian English (farther west along the coast) "I('m) coming-o." simply means "I'm coming", but with emphasis. Sort of like "I'm on my way." or "I'm coming right now."

    It just adds intensity or immediacy to what was said.

    "You're too happy-o.", said with a smile, means "I can see clearly you are very happy."
     

    KGregoryA

    Senior Member
    :thumbsup: That's very possible, considering that "nyash am" means "to have sex".


    Yes, without intonation or other non-verbal signals we can only guess.

    But if KGregoryA wants to send me a ticket to Nigeria and give me the address to that place, I'd be happy to do some research... :p :D
    With man-eating practices still exercised in some parts of N a ticket to the country would be a lifelong pain in my nyash.
     
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