A Typical Malian Conversation

The mobile bank I was supposed to work with went through a reorganization and they elected a new president.  Her name is Lamoudin Diallo.  As a Diakite, Diallos are my joking cousins so upon her finding out I was a Diakite she was like “Eh, you’re my slave!”  In The States that might seem controversial but here in Mali it’s just another way people joke with one another.  I then came up with the brilliant idea of translating a typical conversation for ya’all.

A: Good Afternoon

B: Good Afternoon, how is your family?

A: No problems with them, how is your family?

B: No problems with them, how is your woman?

A: No problems.

B: How are your children?

A: No problems.

B: How are the people over there?

A: No problems with them either.  What’s your last name?

B: Diallo, and you?

A: Diakite.

B: Eh, you’re my slave!  You sleep in an outhouse at night!

A: Eh, you steal cows!  You eat beans!

B: Diakites are bad!

A: No, Diallos are bad!

A+B: (laughter)

At this point they would shake hands and go on with the conversation intermittently making fun of each other until the end of time.  It’s pretty fun stuff.


2 thoughts on “A Typical Malian Conversation

  1. Funny, the translations/literal translations of convos in different languages or from different cultures. Even Korean ones can sound hilarious when it’s translated.
    I remember when you first taught me the “let’s make a cookie and gwah jah” comment. I thought it was so hilarious! Hahhaa

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