Smell in Zulu


Smelling in Zulu is -nuka.  It depends on the context, because it is used for both good and bad smell. I once overheard a man on his phone at the Toronto Public Library saying his girlfriend had an offensive smell.  What is also sad is when somebody is wrongly accused: she has been smelled, u-nu-ki-we.
The smell from the oven or pots on the stove makes the family and visitors happy.  Lovers call each other names, when love flies out of the window.  A president who killed the last dictator might smell a rat that he might be overthrown or killed, himself.

We wash, use roll-on and spray some perfume and cologne because our bodies have natural odours. Putting your hand on your nose when you see food from other cultures is bad, but closing your eyes and smiling at foreign cuisine is good.

Nu-ka.  The first part is pronounced as is ‘bienvenue’, a French word.  The second part is pronounced as in the Indian word kamala.

ZULU
ENGLISH
Kwa-nuka ka-mnandi.
Something smells good.
U-mama u-bhaka i-si-nkwa.
Mother is baking bread.
Kwa-nuka ka-mnandi.
Something smells good.
Ba-shisa inyama.
They are grilling meat (at a BBQ or braai).
U-nuka ka-mnandi.
You smell nice.
I-cologne yami.
It’s my cologne.
Kwa-nuka ama-orontshi.
I smell oranges.
Yebo.  Nge-nza i-orange juice.
Yes. I’m making freshly squeezed orange juice.
Misa i-moto.  Kukhona o-ku-nuka-yo.
Stop the car.  Something is smelling.
Ku-nuka ama-thaya. Aphelile.
It’s the tyres.  They are finished.
Ku-nuka-ni?
What is that smell?
Ku-nuka a-ma-teki.
It's sneakers or running shoes.
A-ka-gezi. Unuka kabi.
He doesn’t bathe.  He smells bad.
U-nu-kiwe.  A-ka-yona i-sellout.
He was wrongly accused.  He is not a sellout.

By:  Nonqaba waka Msimang.

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