Growing Vocabulary

Kendi has a wide vocabulary that she uses to get what she wants. Granted it is limited and lacking in basic grammar, but we get by. If you know her, you can work out what she’s saying and what she needs. It’s refreshing to not have to wonder what one cry or another means.

Also, she adds words to it every single day and that’s a blessing and fascinating to witness.

Also, she’s multilingual which is just really exciting. My uncle Moses suggested the other day that Kendi was not forming full sentences yet, because she’s multilingual. But when I reminded him that she was 16 months old, he seemed very surprised that she was able to speak so clearly and better yet, understand every word we each spoke to her (As you might be reading my post for the first time, I need to say that I only speak to Kendi is Dholuo and Martin my husband, only speaks to her in English)

Here is a confusing and fun list of the words Kendi uses. I have included an explanation because you might not know Kendi personally.


How Kendi says it


What it really is


Language of Origin

Baba Baba Father Swahili/ Dholuo
Mama Mama Mother Swahili/ Dholuo
Babu Babu Grandfather Swahili/ Dholuo
Nana Dana Grandmother Dholuo
Meni Mueni Kendi’s nanny N/A
Tata Tata Aunty Kikuyu
Anana Banana  N/A English
Tate Mkate Bread Swahili
Babuu Balloon  N/A English
Chu Juice/ Shoes Depending on the context Engligh
Be Pi Water Dholuo
Ne Ne Look at that Dholuo
Ma Mia Give me Dholuo
Toto Mtoto Any child Swahili
Amaan Amen English
Nana Mgongo Back- ‘carry me on your back’ Swahili
Na Chak Milk Dholuo
Waauu Wow Beautiful/ smart English
Haaee Hi Hello English
Baaee Bi  N/A English
Maning Good morning  N/A English
Amin I love you  N/A English

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *