Túngaranke | emigrant


emigrant; migrant; expat


Sorry, not yet knowledgeable enough to transcribe the full phrase. Best guess:

“Túngaranke minnu o bɛ Kongo Baraza / Shini, aw ni su!”

‘(To) the emigrants in Congo Brazzaville / China, good evening’!

Red (feat. Rokia Koné) - YouTube from 0:45 to 0:55

Honestly, I don’t feel I’m quite at the level to be suggesting dictionary additions, though just for the sake of participating in the forum… ‘túngaranke’ (or the plural of this, perhaps) was a word featuring in the song ‘Bi Yé Túlon Ba Yé’ by Rokia Koné, referring to people living in various different countries — the diaspora, I guess. A native Bambara speaker had translated it to French as ‘les aventuriers’ - but it wasn’t clear to me from this what was meant. I couldn’t find the word listed in the An Ka Taa or Bambara.org dictionary, but recently discovered the Bamadaba website and found it listed there, meaning ‘emigrant’. In a longer version of the song, the lyrics also include some words of advice to those who are ‘on the adventure’. Seems the word ‘túnga’ refers to a foreign country.

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I ni ce, Odhran! Thanks so much for this awesome suggestion!

As you may know, the dictionary started out as “pocket dictionary” project so there are many words that we didn’t consider essential words in day-to-day life for foreigners navigating life in West Africa.

In this particular case though, a form of the word (or one of words from which it is derived) does exist in the dictionary: tunga/tungan

In any case, both words are culturally laden concepts, so the translation of “aventurier” is quite important or useful in addition to the potentially sterile Western translation of it as “emigrant”; I did a whole video of Na baro kè about the concept :slight_smile:

Ah! How funny that there’s actually a video dedicated to it, after me wondering about it for so long. And I thought I’d watched all of those videos, but obviously missed this one. After watching it just now, I couldn’t ask for a better explanation.

Really interesting to learn about words such as this that don’t exist in English that can have so much depth of meaning.


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