RFI Mandenkan: "Burkina is Back"

Here's another installment looking at some of the Manding present in RFI's Mandenkan broadcast. This clip is from December 10 and focuses on a development partnership between Turkey and Burkina Faso. Here's the excerpt:

No full transcript this time (see a previous post for that). I just want to focus on a few words and expressions that have either caught me eye or confounded me:


I didn't catch what this was until going back and listening to it, but the host introduces us to something with a unique term before explaining it is also known as the PNDES.

fàantanyakɛlɛlifɛ́ɛrɛ (lit. Poverty-fight-solution) 

As it turns out this is Burkina Faso's Plan National de développement économique et social. Of course to fundraise for such an initative Burkina Faso held a conference in, er, Paris.


As the larger clip makes clear, at this event the country was lucky enough to strike a deal with Turkey who will be providing a large sum of CFA between now and 2020. In describing the various sectors in which Burkina's partner will invest, Fatima Baro uses the expression kà <tali> kɛ́ repeatedly. Here's one isolated example:

Ù bʻa fɛ̀ ka [tali] kɛ́ nìn bɛ́ɛ lájɛlen ná
'They want to [lend/invest] in all of this combined'

I can't quite make sense of where <tali> comes from. It is clearly the nominalization suffix -li/-ni (as in dúmu 'eat' --> dúmuni 'food') but what is the verb <ta>? Tà 'take' is an option but would seem to suggest the opposite of lending/investing. A quick look at the Bambara corpus reveals that this is regularly occurring expression. For instance, in the document labeled "jama14_27bato_fila.dis.html" we have the following:

"o de kosɔn an ka silamɛya ni somaya ye tali ɲɔgɔn na yɔrɔ caman"
'For this reason, our Islam and somaya [crudely, 'sorcery'] borrowed from one another in many places'

Does anyone have any compelling analyses?

'Leaving the follow-up'?

Understandably, Fatima was pretty excited about the deal that her and her team were able to broker:

c'est-à-dire, án nàna ní láɲini' mín' yé, láɲinin fára. Fó k'à kɔ́ tò. Donc à tɔ̌ yé sísàn, án ká sègin só kà táa à concrétiser, kà táa [à jugu jɔ̀] sísàn
That is to say, the objective that we came with, we reached it. The follow-up remains. So the remainder now is to go back home and make it a reality [...]

I wasn't familiar with the bolded expression (kà X kɔ́ tò), which looks like it literally translates as 'to leave X's back'). Both here and elsewhere this presumably is used to say 'leaving X's remainder'. For instance, in Bailleul's book (bailleul-sagesse_bambara_02e.dis.html in the corpus) of Bamanan proverbs, we find the following:

sanji bɛ tigɛ k'a kɔ to ngomi ye
'The rain stops and its remainder becomes dew'

Can anyone catch the expression at the end of the clip? I hear the following roughly but not quite sure what to make of it:

kà táa [à jugu jɔ̀] sísàn
'and go [???] now'

"Burkina is Back"

According to Fatima and others, this deal fits into a larger narrative of Burkina Faso's resurgence (presumably following the overthrow of former President Blaise Campaoré, an attempted coup and the terrorist attacks in downtown Ouagadougou):

Premier Ministre yé òle fɔ́ "Burkina is back". Ò kɔ́rɔ lè yé Burkina tùn dònna bín ná ńkà à sègira kà nà síra' kàn
'The Prime Minister has said it: "Burkina is back." That means, Burkina had gone into the weeds but she's come back onto the road now'

Nothing about this excerpt strikes me grammatically, but it is interesting to see how the English language expression "X is back" is circulating in Francophone West Africa. Not sure if Burkina's Prime Minister got the memo yet that Guinea has been back since at least 2013:

"Guinea is back" t-shirt from 2013 Guinean election campaign. Photo: Coleman Donaldson

It is interesting however to consider how Fatima glosses "Burkina is back"; she draws on the culturally relevant metaphor of being off the path and literally in the grass. In English, we have the slightly similar idea of being "in the weeds" but it applies more to the idea of being bogged down or lost amidst a lot of work. A less literal translation for understanding this metaphor in English might be something like "to go off track" perhaps?