Dalrymple’s Somali phrasebook

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 00.35.50Dalrymple arrives at Mogadishu airport and is greeted by a painted notice that says

Congratulations for arriving safely.

He is armed with a phrasebook — published during the days of Soviet influence — containing the Somali for

  • May I have a closer look at this lathe?
  • I belong to a youth movement.
  • We should like to learn something about the health resorts of your country.
  • What is the income of your collective farm?

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 00.04.57Also

Give me the opera glasses, please.

But the phrasebook does not contain the Somali for

Thank you.

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 00.00.53Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 00.06.19

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Comments

  • tamimisledus  On July 25, 2015 at 09:26

    Could that be because Somalis have such an extraordinary sense of entitlement that the concept of gratitude does not exist in the Somali psyche? Or does that just apply to Somalis who have invaded Britain?

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