Learn to speak Saafi-Saafi: The complete language course

July 7, 2017|
Learn to speak Saafi-Saafi: The complete language course by Tamsier Joof
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The languages of the Seereer people are some of the most beautiful languages to speak and listen to. Saafi-Saafi is one of them. Anyone who speaks or has learned one of the Senegambian languages such as Seereer (or Seereer-Siin), Sili-Sili, Ndut, Noon, Laalaa, Wolof or Fula would be surprised to learn that several Saafi words have made their way into the Senegambian languages, one of them being the word "cosaan"- a generic term used to mean history, culture and tradition within the Senegambia region. The word cosaan (variations: chosaan, chossan or cosan) has a spiritual connection to the Seereer people. It derives from the Seereer-Saafi word sos which depending on context, means the beginning; begin; start; enlive; causing to exist; bringing about enlivenment; causing enlivenment; or that in which exists. The word sos derives from saas/sas (as in the mythical Saas tree found in the Seereer creation narrative), which in this context means that which brings about enlivenment or that which causes enlivenment. Saa, see, sii, and suu mean enlivening, birthing, causing or bringing about. The -s in this case means enlivenment or enlightenment. The -an/-aan as in saasan/saasaan means that in which exists, seen and unseen, and is used to refer to human(s), animal(s), insect(s), mammal(s), thing(s), and the universe.

In Seereer religious teachings, one must be in pefect harmony with all that exists, seen and unseen. Therefore, embarking on the journey of being of saasan, saasaan, sasaan, sosan, coosaan, cosaan or cosan is to embark on the journey of living that in which brings about enlivenment for the upliftment of all that exists, seen and unseen. This is why this term is deeply spiritual and functions as a spiritual guide. The S(osan) and C(osan) spelling variation is not surprising since the letters S and C are interchangeable in Saafi-Saafi. A good example of this is the words aas and ac both of which mean enter. Another example is keseet and koceet, which both mean pure, unchanged or original. You will find several examples like these as you move forward into the course.

Saafi-Saafi, also called Seereer Saafeen or Saafen is spoken by the Saafi people, one of the subgroups of the Seereer ethnic group. Saafi-Saafi is mainly spoken in Senegal and it is the principal Cangin language and one of the officially recognised languages of Senegal. The Seereer ethnic group is found in Senegal, The Gambia and Mauritania. However, Saafi-Saafi is not widely spoken in The Gambia or Mauritania, but mainly in Senegal. Seereer (or Seereer-Siin or Singandum) on the other hand is widely spoken in all three countries especially Senegal and is one of the officially recognised languages of that country. The many Saafi-Saafi dialects are: Boukhou, Diobass (Saafi proper: Jooɓaas), Hasab, Sebikotane and Sindia. With the exception of Diobass which is named after a Saafi zone, the other dialects are named after Saafi villages. It is a common misconception that Saafi is a dialect of the prestige Seereer-Siin language spoken by the Seex people (variations: Seeh or Seh, following its pronunciation). The fact is, Saafi-Saafi is much closer to Sili-Sili (or Palor), Noon and Laalaa (or Lehar) than it is to Seereer. It is written using the Latin alphabet and in language classification, it is part of the Niger-Congo family and one of the Senegambian languages. As of 2012, the total number of speakers is estimated to be 200,000 and rising.

Title:Learn to speak Saafi-Saafi: The complete language courseFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:488 pages, 9.21 X 6.14 X 0.98 inShipping dimensions:488 pages, 9.21 X 6.14 X 0.98 inPublished:July 7, 2017Publisher:Seereer Heritage PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0995521700

ISBN - 13:9780995521704

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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