Nyama Choma, Isikuti among 53 Words from Local Dialects now Recognised as English Terms

Nyama Choma

Nyama Choma [Photo/Courtesy]

Nyama Choma, a popular term in Kenya used to refer to grilled meat, has found its way into the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (OALD).

The word is among 53 terms from local dialects included by the Oxford University Press (OUP) in its 10th edition of OALD.

Other commonly used words added to the dictionary include isikuti, kayamba, Maasai, majimbo and zeze.

The word isikuti, for example, is a local word used to refer to a dancing style common with the Luhya community.

It’s characterised by a quick movement of parts of the body, especially shoulders, and is often accompanied by singing and sound of drums.

Read Also: Boda Boda Added into the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary

The word, just like the other listed terms above, has made it to the list of internationally accepted English words, a development likely to elicit excitement among the local users.

The 53 words together with other terms like fomo, chatbox, mansplain and microplastic, are among the additional 2,000 words from across the globe, which are not originally words from the United Kingdom, that will now be accepted internationally in formal interactions including the school setting.

More than 1,000 words have also been added to the fourth edition of the revised Kamusi ya Kiswahili Sanifu (Kiswahili dictionary).

The publisher says the launch of the new products is geared not only at finding the meaning of certain words but also keeping learners engaged.

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“The two products have been revamped to ensure learners get the information they need with ease. The products will not only be tools to find meanings of words but also have additional language materials such as similes, phrases and other language techniques,” OUP’s East Africa regional director, John Mwazembam said during the launch of the dictionaries.

“They are timely because they are compatible with the new Competency-Based Curriculum that is currently being rolled out in the country.”

In 2017, the publisher added the word boda boda to the 9th edition of the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary.

The word, which was among 900 words added to the dictionary, originated from the bicycle transporters operating at the border town of Busia, shared between Kenya and Uganda.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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