Monday, July 20, 2009

Lost in Literal Translation

This weekend I went up to Akosombo for a mini-reunion of sorts with some class mates of mine. We went walk about after eating a heavy communal kenkey breakfast during which quips and zingers came whizzing out of kenkey free, and sometimes full mouths piercing the egos of the participants of the breakfast meeting.

While trudging in the middle of the road in the quiet town the Dobson Club House came into view on the horizon. We had a laugh reminiscing about the days when we dared not enter the building and decided to assert our 10 year old freedom. 'Glamorously' adorned in shorts, tracksuit bottoms, t'-shirts and 'challey wete' and looking every bit the part of rouge students we scoffed at the 'No Bathroom Slippers Allowed' sign posted firmly on the door.

Laughing heartily we entered the once forbidden den where our teachers used to engage in the vices they could not show to the 'young and innocent'. A harsh 'Hey!' caused a hushed silence, the voice proceeded, 'Why did you open the door down?' in bewilderment we stared at the elderly man standing in the open doorway, and then it dawned on us, 'Aden na w'ebue epo no ato ho?' , literally translated, 'Why did you open the door down?'

Smiling to ourselves while fighting down the fits of laughter welling up inside us nobody owned up to leaving the door 'down'.


  1. That is sooo funny! I was quite confused actually. Would not have been able to stop my laughter! Felt like I was there watching.

  2. Hahaha...Twi is full of such nuances born of translating it into English.

    One that never fails to crack me up is "Ahunshishe" tr: self-arrangement.

    Hey you are an 'Akosecan', this is good. I have such overly fond memories of my time there I think my brain has most certainly over-romanticised the experience.