"New Concise Tigrinya Figure of Speech Dictionary"
By Yimesgen Haile, BA, MA in Language, Education and Criminal Justice
Reviewed by Haile Bokure
This is a seminal work on “figurative speeches” peculiar to our lingua franca: Tigrigna. The author describes how we convey our feelings and thoughts by employing symbols in our natural setting as people belonging to the same ethnic and linguistic group. According to the author, there are over twenty five figurative speeches attributed to Tigrigna. But in my humble opinion about twenty six should we take into consideration the various witty nicknames associated with our ethos. However, lack of in-depth studies the main elements attributed to symbolic expressions have not been explored so far.
Particularly, the verbs associated with Tigrigna languages are highly inflective embodying a variety of manifest and latent meanings. The expressions of its derivatives such as triconsonantal verbs can be modified by conjugating or adding suffix. The Germanic and Roman tongues are short of verbal flexibility which is the whole mark of sophisticated expressionism in human interaction. In the absence of detachment, we are unable to realize how we manipulate words in expressing our ideas and feelings naturally. This is unthinkable for native speakers who tend to learn their first language unconsciously in a very society that values verbal skill.
In the craft of writing figurative expressions add color, beauty, clarity, vivacity, brevity and candor. For the most part, it demands a keen observation of life and nature within a macrocosm of human drama. As Maxim Gorki put it:-
“We hear and speak of the wind “whining” or “moaning,” the moon’s “pensive light,” a “babbling” brook, a “murmuring” stream and many other similar expressions, which are aimed at making natural phenomena more vivid. This is called anthropomorphism, from two Greek words: anthropos, which means man, and morphe, meaning form or image. It will be noticed here that man has a way of attributing his human qualities with everything he sees.”
Obviously figurative speech such as “I am all ears” dominate the modality of our communication in everyday life. Not two languages possess the same pattern of expressions, and for this, it could be a big challenge for a beginning translator who lacks an intimate knowledge of any languages.
With this in mind, the author did his utmost in compiling his book by engaging in rigorous studies demanding primary and secondary resources.
This dictionary is a must for translators, journalists, writers and students of Semitic languages. It is also useful for students of culture by virtue of its variety verbal definitions reflecting the values, norms, mindset and world views of its native speakers.
The price of the book including postage and handling is $20.00. It can be ordered by writing to:-
Ato Yimesgen Haile
P.O. Box 1395
Powder Springs, GA 30127
Received on Tue Jul 10 2012 - 11:54:28 EDT