"Emilian ni nani?"

Translation:Who is Emilian?

February 20, 2017

86 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/juryrigging

Poor Emilian. Put in so much work and the course doesn't know who he is...

February 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DiegoJaviUnlam

Shoutout to Emilian mbassa!

He is one of the people who made this course. Go say thank you on his profile page or something. :)

I think he is now very acclaimed! And everyone can visit his profile. ;)

Nenda, Kiswahili, nenda! =)

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE

What is nenda, Kiswahili?

March 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/clh335763

For anyone still reading this: Nenda means go while Kiswahili refers to the Swahili language itself So nenda, Kiswahili, nenda!!

October 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/EmmaLenaa1
December 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Anhonime

"What" is 何 (nani) in Japanese. Coincidence? ;)

February 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Amanesse77

I'm pretty sure it's just a coincidence

February 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/HoroTanuki

誰ですか?(dare desu ka) is "who is" in Japanese

February 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RyanOkushi

Yes, "nani/何" means "what."

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/IlIllIl

Interesting. Kumamoto is a Japanese city, but in Swahili "kuma moto" is something a gentleman doesn't call a lady. Also a coincidence ;)

February 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/wolfleis

I had to think of which in Chinese 哪/na

I also saw that ninyi in Chinese is 你们/nimen (and ni in Swedish)

Btw,your comment deserves more likes because weird similarities between distant languages are so interesting!

May 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/the3lusive

Yes it is, you will find some Japanese words have bad meanings in Swahili. Here is another word for you; "domo" which means thanks in Japanese but means mouth in Swahili.

March 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE

"Domo" exists in many languages, like a lot of short and simple words.

In Indo-European languages, it means a house or the action of sleeping. Domo = house (esperanto), italian: conjugation of sleeping.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/domo

March 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/trezapoioi1

Well.. in italian "(io) domo" is "I tame". You're confusing with "(io) doRmo", wich is "I sleep"

September 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kwant

"Dom" in Rusaian means house too.

October 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/paunaac

And home in esperanto

February 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1887

"Domo" is "house" in Esperanto.
"Hejmo" is "home".

It's related to the English words "domicile" and "domestic".

February 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TheEeveeLord

Yeah, I was reminded of that too, but it's pretty much definitely a coincidence, given that Swahili and Japanese are not related.

February 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Robbadob

Or are they??

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1887

No. They really are not.

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Robbadob

I was joking.

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Charlie905522

I have a linguistics textbook that literally lists it as a coincidence.

April 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/da_funky_munky

I saw that and i immediately exploded with: "OH I KNOW THIS WORD!!" But doesn't it mean (in this context) "Who?" as well as "What?"

March 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ngwarai

It cannot mean "what" especially in this context because we are talking about a person in which case we would use "who" and not "what".

March 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/da_funky_munky

Ok, thank you very much :)

March 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AGreatUserName

It will occasionally be translated with "what" though. Jina lako ni nani? is "What is your name?" The reason behind this is not that names are seen as people but that nani is a question word that asks for a personal name.

March 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/clh335763

Also 哪里 (na_rising li_low) in Chinese

October 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/joejoek

No the languages and genes are similar

April 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ngwarai

It is hard to say coincidence. There are a lot of things we don't know or understand about how language developed and evolved. I have spotted striking similarities in languages as distant as Ndau, Ukranian, Turkish, Hindi .

March 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1887

Linguists know a lot about the history of many languages.

The proposed Altaic language family (linking Turkish to Japanese) has been discredited, meaning linguists have found a great deal of information that shows the idea to be false.

  • Japanese is part of the separate Japonic family of languages.
  • Ndau is a Shona language, which is a Bantu language, part of the separate Niger-Congo family of languages.
  • Swahili is also a Bantu language.
  • Turkish is part of the separate Turkic family of languages.
  • Ukrainian is part of the Balto-Slavic language family, which is part of the separate Indo-European super-family of languages.
  • Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language, which is also Indo-European.

The only languages listed that can be expected to have non-coincidental similarities are Ndau/Swahili and Ukrainian/Hindi.

March 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ngwarai

Thanks for the input. Linguists know a great deal about language. We also know that they do not always agree. I will leave the lengthy discussion on that to another platform so that we concentrate on learning Swahili here.

Having said that I felt it important to touch on one issue. It has been erroneously taught for a long time that Ndau was a Shona dialect (I am aware you didn't use the word dialect).

The reason why Ndau has been 'known' to be a Shona dialect is mainly political and I will leave that for another platform. It will only suffice to observe that making such a statement will be as confusing as saying that Xhosa was a Ndebele dialect because although they are mutually intelligible to some extent, they are clearly different languages.

This issue was heavily debated by Zimbabwean lawmakers and academics and the result can be seen in Section 6 of Chapter 1 of the current constitution of Zimbabwe which states Ndau as a separate language among a total of 16 "officially recognised languages" including sign language

http://www.justice.gov.zw/index.php/downloads?download=2:zimbabwe-constitution

I hope that helps.

March 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ngarrang

I just started, and this will probably be answered later, but is this usual for the language where the word order is reversed for questions?

February 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RaizinM

The word order is not reversed in Swahili but in English.

Where is Emilian?
Emilian is there
When is the meeting?
The meeting is then.

In English you reverse the order to move the question word to the start of the sentence. And I believe that in Swahili the word order in questions is generally the same as in normal sentences. So you would say:

Emilian is where?
Emilian is there
The meeting is when?
The meeting is then.

February 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ThePatrician

Hey, thanks! Word order for questions switches for a couple languages I'm trying to look into! Now this makes sense!

March 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Robbadob

It seems like it's mostly just European languages that do this. For example, I've seen a bit of Japanese, Chinese etc. and now Swahili and they don't reverse word order in questions. Although in some European languages you can in information circumstances (mostly French I'm thinking of, Tu fais quoi ?).
[2019/04/02]

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AGreatUserName

It might be about 100 times more information than you're looking for, but I thought you might find this interesting ... the distribution of languages that move question words to the front and those that don't. It's very common in Europe and also quite common in Australia, North America and South America but much less common in Africa and Asia.

http://wals.info/feature/93A#2/25.5/151.0

Further clarification about it:

http://wals.info/chapter/93

March 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Melaninja

Nani in Lingala (congolese language) is also who!

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KxngDeo.

Yeah. I'm Congolese and I hope there will be a Lingala course here some time.

March 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ngwarai

Hi, maybe you can start driving for Lingala to be taught on Duolingo and you become the course contributor for that?

March 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jae_Grey

I would totally be one of the first students for that course!

March 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/eruedin

Hello, you have left a positive comment for lingala. If you support the proposal of a Lingala course (on the basis of the French language) https://www.duolingo.com/comment/22649727, you will have to click in favour of the proposal of Sion60 in the bottom left of his proposal on ^ near the number that mentions the number of supporters. If you have clicked, the number becomes green. For lingala (on tha basis of english), you have to click here https://www.duolingo.com/comment/17030005 (in the bottom left of Kxng.Deo's proposal). If you really like a lingala course, best would be to support both.

February 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Melaninja

I'm Congolese too :)

March 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/cccg03

I'm not Congolese but I lived in Pointe-Noire/Brazzaville for 2 years and I speak Kikongo :)

March 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE

Swahili is a bantou language, but some other people noticed some overlaps: http://africambiance2.createaforum.com/african-music/swahili-and-lingala-are-somewhat-similiar/

March 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RyanOkushi

First example of a sentence in the reverse order from English, that I've seen in this course so far.

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DiegoJaviUnlam

How would "Who is Doctor Who?" be translated? ;)

A possible answer in the link below:

https://translate.google.com/#auto/sw/Who%20is%20Doctor%20Who%3F

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RyanOkushi

I guess it probably would. Sounds kinda funny.

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/the3lusive

Technically that is correct but you would normally say "Doctor Who ni nani ?" or " Nani ni Doctor Who ?"

March 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DiegoJaviUnlam

I am not sure about the order in Swahili, but yes, perhaps the original name of Doctor Who is the normal here (also in Spanish, I prefer to say "¿Quién es el Doctor Who?" or just "¿Quién es Doctor Who? if I think this is about a character or perhaps an artist, but the pronunciation of "doctor" changes to the Spanish) ;)

March 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ngwarai

Assuming you don't change someone's proper name, I would say "Nani Doctor Who? "

If, on the other hand you just want to translate every word, then I would say, "Nani Daktari Nani?"

Edit: maybe better to say

"Ni nani Doctor Who?", "Doctor Who ni mami? "

Or

"Ni nani Daktari Nani? ", "Daktari Nani ni nani?"

But do observe that the last versions are like saying in English "Doctor Who is who?" rather than saying "Who is Doctor Who?"

March 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DiegoJaviUnlam

I have also tried with other question:

Nani ni Simba?

And the result of this translation is:

Who is Simba?

Also, the page (Glosbe) gives other example:

Na ni nani awezaye kukosa kuwaona ndovu na simba?

And who could overlook the elephants and the lions?

From Glosbe: https://glosbe.com/sw/en/Nani%20ni%20Simba%3F

So, I can realize the position of "nani" can be different: the first position, after "ni" (Ni nani), and ending the sentence.

Still I cannot read well some information in Swahili, but I would really like to find and understand more Swahili texts.

Asante sana kwa kuleta msaada! =)

March 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/cp113406

Doctor Who is his name, it would probably be "Doctor Who ni nani?"

October 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Desper8-Dan

doctor who real name is "the master"

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/RussBennet1

Why is there no audio

December 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Robbadob

There is now 2019/04/02, and it sounds pretty good!

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/steve271162

Literal Translation: Emilian is who? (which subsequently IS an acceptable way to ask who a person is in English.) Both translations should be accepted: Who is Emilian? Emilian is who?

February 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OliverBens1

Report it so then it can be acceptable. That is what the beta is for.

February 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nessihix

those 2 questions are not interchangeable. even though i wrote 'emilian is who', i agree that it should not be accepted

February 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/steve271162

I have to disagree - those two questions are interchangeable. The latter (Emilian is who?) might be a little archaic English, but if you ask a Swahili speaker, whether from Kenya or Congo, they will tell you that both translations work. Thanks for the quick reply!

February 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nessihix

i meant in [american] english. i would only use 'emilian is who' if i already know emilian. for example, if a group of people are role playing

February 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DestinyStorms

I agree with Steve "There's Emilian, Bob and Drew" "Emilian is who?"

March 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nessihix

Correct. Thats a situation emilian has been established in some way (your previous sentence) - assuming 1 person used the sentences consecutively. Otherwise, if a person said only the first sentence, then another person would likely reply "who is emilian" instead of "emilian is who". Think about times when youve actually used "xxx is who". Very few times.

March 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ginaa124

My listening exercises never work in the Swahili course.

December 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JaydenMwan

Why is who at the end of the swahilli version but the first word in english

March 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ngwarai

"Emilian ni nani?" literally means "Emilian is who?" in English, but, it is more natural to write that as "Who is Emilian?". I hope that helps.

March 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1887

Different languages, different grammar rules. English moves question words to the front, Swahili leaves them in place.

April 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/powertrout

Are questions emphasized differently at all? Like we would raise the pitch in "Who is Em(^)ilian?" in English. Does Swahili do anything similar in other contexts?

September 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ChelseaCha667037

Couldnt it also be Who is Emilian?

December 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1887

That's the officially listed answer.

December 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ngwarai

It indeed means that

December 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ummayah4

The listen questions never work for me. Can we fix that problem. Much appreciated

January 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1887

You'll need to flag and report them. The course contributors don't check in with these forums for tech issues, as they are for students to learn more about the coursework.

January 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Octogon7

Emilian is Emilian.

May 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Puglife328186

Poor Emilian

October 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Keith2able

Emilian is not Juma

November 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Alexiana35287

Alexia ni...

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Firstlady100

Finally, the question we've all been wondering

March 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Brandon153837

NANI????

December 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Anthony1SV

This is reaaally similar to japanese, it seems

March 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1887

That's just a coincidence.

March 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/example.exe

why always emmilian

June 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kigiru161

Omae wa mou shindeiru! Nani???!

January 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ryan_xD

lol

August 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/marnath123

dosen't make sense because it say emlian is who

March 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1887

Never expect different languages to share the same grammar and syntax, especially if they are not related to each other at all.

April 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/kalashnikitty

In my opinion, it actually makes more sense than reversing the order like we do in English.

March 13, 2018
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