Netiva's lexicon of French and African terms

Netiva's lexicon from Benin, Africa


Some English words first from African origine

Today Africa is home to more than 50 countries, some 1000 languages, and a rich mosaic of stories, drumbeats, and landscapes. The English language has borrowed words from many of those languages: trek, aardvark, impala, gnu, okra to name a few.

zombie (ZOM-bee) noun, also zombi

  • 1. A person behaving like an automaton: listless, wooden, or lacking energy.
  • 2. A snake god in West Indian, Brazilian, and West African religions.
  • 3. In voodoo, a supernatural force or spirit that can enter a dead body; also, the soulless body that is revived in this manner.
  • 4. A computer process that has died but is still listed in the process table.
  • 5. A drink made of various kinds of rum, liqueur, and fruit juice.
  • 6. trojan or worm application on a host machine that sits quietly while connected to the Internet (usually through an IRC server). When the zombie master sends a command to the IRC server, all the trojans (or zombies) perform a certain action, like pinging a target server. This results in a denial of service attack.
  • 7. In the world of venture capital, a zombie is an investment that breaks even, but makes no profit, and hence has little prospect of yielding a return on investment.
  • [From Kimbundu nzambi (god, ghost). Kimbundu is a Bantu language of northern Angola.]

    juju (JOO-joo) noun

  • 1. A fetish or charm.
  • 2. The magic or supernatural power attributed to such an object.
  • 3. A form of music popular in African nations and gaining popularity in the west. It marries traditional tribal melodies and rhythms to modern rock and roll and jazz. It should be distinguished from other similar and popular modern musical forms in Africa such as Jit and Jive and Mbqanqa.
  • [Of uncertain origin, perhaps from west African language Hausa juju (fetish), probably from French joujou (toy).]

    mumbo jumbo (MUM-bo JUM-bo) noun

  • 1. Meaningless, unintelligible, complicated, or confusing language.
  • 2. Complicated language or jargon used in order to confuse.
  • 3. An object believed to possess supernatural powers.
  • [Or uncertain origin, probably from Mandingo, a group of Mande languages in western Africa.]

    spoor (spoor) noun
  • The track or trail of an animal, especially a wild animal being hunted. verb tr., intr.
  • To track an animal by its trail; to follow a spoor.
  • [From Afrikaans, from Dutch.]

    Hamba kahle! (Zulu for Go Well - you would typically reply "Sala kahle"(stay well))

    Goun--- Dialect of Porto Novo, Benin, West Africa
    A fon gandjia?---bien reveille? ---well woken-up?... good morning!
      Nfon gandji ---tres bien --- yes, very wellGood morning to you!
    Na we a fon de? Na fon gbon?
    Na fon do?---comment vas tu? --- How are you?
    Sin yaou---eau chaude---hot water

    To French

  • hardware = materiel informatique
  • A drive = Lecteur de disquette
  • Booting = Demarrer
  • privacy = secret, confidentialite
  • to upgrade = accroitre les capacites
  • to update = mettre a jour
  • update = mise a jour
  • Backup = Sauveguarde et protection de donnees
  • Byte =Octet
  • Clipboard = Presse-papier
  • Computer language = Language informatique
  • Control unit = Unite de control
  • Cursor = Curseur
  • Database = Base de donnees
  • Debug = Corriger
  • Default - Par default
  • Delete = Effacer
  • Desktop computer = Ordinateur sur table
  • Download = Telecharger
  • Email = Courrier electronique
  • File = Fichier
  • Folder = Repertoir
  • FTP = Protocol de Transfer de fichiers
  • Hard copy = Copie principale
  • Input = Entree
  • Input device = Dispositif d'entrees
  • Keyboard = Clavier
  • Laptop = Ordinateur portable
  • Mainframe = Systeme
  • Mouse = Souris
  • Network = Reseau
  • Output = Sortie
  • Paste = Coller
  • Password = Mot de passe
  • Printer = Imprimante
  • Router = Routeur
  • Screen = Ecran
  • Scrolling (bar) = (bar de) deroulemeut
  • Search = Recherche
  • Shutdown = Eteindre
  • Software = Logiciel
  • OS = Operating Systems = SO =systeme operatif, ou systeme d'exploitation
  • Tower = Tour
  • Undo = Recuperer
  • Upload = Charger
  • WAN = Reseaux informatiques WAN
  • WordProcessing = Traitement de texte
  • Workstation = Station de travail
  • Later = A+ = A plus tard
  • To English:

  • Boxer = work well
  • Computer lexicon done by Mastura, in English, as part of her MS project.

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    Last updated 11-5-06

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