The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network, Breaking News Tanzania

‘Nyama Choma’ enters English Dictionary…But so is ‘Maasai’

Kiswahili is slowly, but surely becoming English.

The Maasai love their meat, especially ‘Nyama Choma’ (Roast Steak), which should explain why both have just been included in the Oxford English Dictionary as official words of the Queen’s language..

Yes, ‘Maasai’ is a new English vocabulary, but then, so is ‘Nyama Choma,’ the popular ‘open-fire’ grilled meat delicacy of East Africa. The Tanzania Times has learned that these are among the more than 50 words drawn from local East African dialects and added into the Oxford University Press (OUP) publications.

Maasai is now an official English term for ‘a member of an ethnic group living in Tanzania and Kenya.’

Among the new local terms included in English Dictionary are the Swahili words; ‘Majimbo’ (singular Jimbo) which now defined as ‘a system of administration in a country with multiple minor states, each of which has some power. There is also ‘Zeze’ (a Musical instrument with one or two strings).

Oxford University Press’ East Africa Regional Director John Mwazembam , explained that OUP and their related products have been redesigned to ensure that learners get all the information they need.

Nyama Choma, has been added to the 10th Edition of the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (OALD), and is described as ‘Meat that is cooked over a fire,’ meaning the term can now be used in formal English settings.

Apparently, Oxford University Press has lifted 2,000 other new terms from various ethnic communities across the globe. These words were not originally from the United Kingdom, but are now going to be accepted internationally in formal communications, literature and education settings.

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