Thursday, May 29, 2008

solegela!

If you speak Setswana, you know "solegela molemo" means "benefit". So you would say for instance Go tla kwano go tlaa go solegela molemo [Your coming here will benefit you.]. However I wonder if anyone out there has ever thought about the word solegela. I have never seen this word used on its own without molemo. What does the word solegela mean? Has anyone seen it used without molemo in any context? I have ran an experiment with a couple of million Setswana tokens to determine the collocates of solegela. This is a sample of what I got:

1. Sabata e diretswe go solegela batho molemo.
2. Dithuto tsa bone di diretswe go solegela molemo bana.
3. ... a tshwanetse go kopanngwa go solegela molemo itsholelo.
4. Ditlhotlhomiso tsa go nna jalo di ka solegela baithuti molemo.
5. Metsi a tshwanetse go dirisiwa go solegela rona molemo.

The evidence, even in its paucity, suggests that solegela is used with molemo. Perhaps those who know much about the etymology of solegela might help us with its unique meaning which appears to have been lost to the current Setswana usage.

12 comments:

Bryce said...

This is such an interesting blog with so many interesting cultural and historical facts! I wish I had time to read more of it.

I found this site in Setswana and thought I might share it with you since I enjoy your blog so much:

Setswana wiki browser

Anonymous said...

what if you say: "go tla kwano ga go kake ga go solegela sepe". i guess that is valid in setswana. i think in english i would say: coming here wont benefit you anything. i did not use 'solegela' le 'molemo' simultaneously hence 'solegela' means 'benefit' in this context. i stand to be corrected, i was just sheding my little understanding. thanx. Tshenolo.

blog-designer said...

Hi Tshenolo

I found your sentence: "go tla kwano ga go kake ga go solegela sepe" strange. Bounce it with a few of your friends and see if they don't think it is strange. I have asked a few native Setswana speakers who think the sentence sounds a bit awkward. The English translation you offered is accurate though. Instead of "go tla kwano ga go kake ga go solegela sepe" I and many Batswana I have asked say they would prefer: "go tla kwano ga go kake ga go thusa sepe". Perhaps give you friends the two sentences and see which one they prefer.

Unknown said...

What does molemo mean?

Unknown said...

What does molemo mean?

Unknown said...

What does molemo mean?

Unknown said...

What does molemo mean?

Bonolo Kola said...

What does molemo mean?thnx in advance
Bonolo

Bonolo Kola said...

What does molemo mean?thnx in advance
Bonolo

Bonolo Kola said...

What does molemo mean?thnx in advance
Bonolo

Unknown said...

It means goodness

thabiso kgwale said...

It means goodness