During funerals people usually say: “An bɛɛ ni sɛ”. I tried to find the meaning in the An ka taa dictionary but it was not available.
Hi Ibrahim! I believe that the expression you are hearing is in fact An bɛɛ ni sɛgɛn (but with the pronunciation of the intervocalic velar; that is, the /g/ sound being variable and non-contrastive), which means literally, “We all and hardship”, which refers to the “fatigue”, “tiring” or “hardship” that comes from having lost someone.
Interesting, the expression takes the form of what is considered a “greeting”: PRONOUN + ni + NOUN, but the pronoun is an instead of the usual aw or i. This highlights the degree to which the hardship is a shared experience and thus shows some solidarity with the family of deceased.
The word sɛgɛn and the other constituent parts of the expression are in the dictionary, but the whole thing is not entry
Thank you. I never thought they were referring to the word “sɛgɛn”
Came across sɛ (“sɛ̀”) in the Bamadaba dictionary and remembered this post and wanted to share it.
Thanks, Christy! I see that Bamadaba also lists this sɛ as being related to sɛgɛn.