"To like" in Bambara: "Y ka di X ye" vs "X bɛ Y fɛ"

Aw ni ce! Aw ka kɛnɛ?

As Diallo (Diallo a man di…) explains in this video, a common way to say “I like _” in Bambara is “Y ka di X ye” like “sɔgɔ ka di n ye”, but I also remember people saying “ne bɛ Y fɛ” a lot, like “n b’i fɛ” or “n bɛ sogo fɛ”

Is there any difference between them?


I ni ce, Vincent!

Good question. I haven’t yet made a video about expressions like N bɛ X fɛ, but it is in my plans! :slight_smile:

The short answer is that strictly speaking the sentence N bɛ X fɛ can be used to the equivalent of “I like X”, but it can also mean “I want X” or “I love X”. In fact, I’d argue that that is the more prototypical meaning.

If you are interested in the etymology of and can’t wait for the video, I have previously written about the expression N bɛ i fɛ (‘I love you’) here.