August 16, 2022

MediaBizNet

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In Kenya, on the beaches of Lamu, it is better to speak English poorly

“As a guide, you’ll lose clients if you speak a foreign language too well or seem too smart, my friend.” At 70, Ziva Abdullah is one of the oldest guides in the Kenyan resort town of Lamu. He is also the president of the local association of beach guides and operators. It is legitimate: there is no point in mastering foreign languages ​​completely to facilitate tourists. Instead: “It is better to speak a foreign language or broken English than to be fluent”, He assures Kenya Daily Daily Nation, It allocates an article “Tips and Tricks” Guide ahead of tourists.

Whether they’re comfortable with it or not, mentors have become adept at spotting accents, continues Daily Nation. “We will not approach tourists without a plan”, Mohammed Abubakar, 49, recounts thirty-one years of service on the coast. “Want to know where [ils] Come and start talking to them using their accent. Professionalism continues. “The most important thing is to be sociable, elegant and master the art of persuasion”, Summarizes daily life. And keep smiling. Another guide adds:

“Some tourists are tough. Sometimes they speak ill of you when you approach, but the simple fact that you don’t offend pleases them. They will become your best friends.

Lamu has seen a slow return of tourists who fled after a spate of terrorist attacks carried out by Somali sebabs in this district in northern Kenya, close to the border with Somalia.

In the past two years, the region has been hit by travel restrictions International distribution. But most mentors stuck to the job. Often without a diploma, they believe the job pays well. “Imagine, in a good season, you can earn 3,000 shillings [environ 25 euros] A day is better than working in an office”, Omar Ali enjoyed twenty years on the beach.

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