This week I picked coffee beans with Wati for a few hours–it was a family affair. Mom hung three-week-old, still nameless baby in a tree so she could work. Young Lee snuck beans from the bucket to eat when no one was looking. And the other two girls played in the jungle.

Meanwhile, I learned how to say “I am picking coffee,” “You are picking coffee,” “He is picking coffee,” “She is picking coffee,” “We two are picking coffee,” “You two are picking coffee,” “They two are picking coffee,” “We are picking coffee,” “Ya’ll are picking coffee,” and “They are picking coffee.” Notice that it is “picking” every time in English. The verb is different each time in Menyan.





  1. That’s the way, Joseph. Keep up the good work! Lynette

  2. Mom O

    This raises so many questions! Do the coffee plants grow wild or from cultivated plants? What does a coffee bean taste like? Is there any nutrition in it? Will the baby get its name from an event or sign of some sort as Native Americans named their babies? (I think I rememer that correctly.) Do most of the children have swollen bellies from lack of nutrition?

  3. Kelley Haff

    One of the same questions as above? Are raw coffee beans safe to eat? Full of caffeine? Have you tasted one?

    • Joseph

      I haven’t tasted one and I don’t know about your other questions. I’ve never seen adults eating them.

  4. molly

    the verb is different for each subject?!?

    and y’all can be translated? is y’all shorter than you all, or are they the same?

    • Joseph

      Different forms of the verb for each.

      Yes they have a word for “y’all” and for “y’all two”

What do you think?