Poor Emilian. Put in so much work and the course doesn't know who he is...
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! =)
For anyone still reading this: Nenda means go while Kiswahili refers to the Swahili language itself So nenda, Kiswahili, nenda!!
Interesting. Kumamoto is a Japanese city, but in Swahili "kuma moto" is something a gentleman doesn't call a lady. Also a coincidence ;)
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!
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.
Well.. in italian "(io) domo" is "I tame". You're confusing with "(io) doRmo", wich is "I sleep"
"Domo" is "house" in Esperanto.
"Hejmo" is "home".
It's related to the English words "domicile" and "domestic".
Yeah, I was reminded of that too, but it's pretty much definitely a coincidence, given that Swahili and Japanese are not related.
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?"
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".
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.
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 .
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.
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
I hope that helps.
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?
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.
Hey, thanks! Word order for questions switches for a couple languages I'm trying to look into! Now this makes sense!
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 ?).
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.
Further clarification about it:
Hi, maybe you can start driving for Lingala to be taught on Duolingo and you become the course contributor for that?
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.
I'm not Congolese but I lived in Pointe-Noire/Brazzaville for 2 years and I speak Kikongo :)
Swahili is a bantou language, but some other people noticed some overlaps: http://africambiance2.createaforum.com/african-music/swahili-and-lingala-are-somewhat-similiar/
First example of a sentence in the reverse order from English, that I've seen in this course so far.
How would "Who is Doctor Who?" be translated? ;)
A possible answer in the link below:
Technically that is correct but you would normally say "Doctor Who ni nani ?" or " Nani ni Doctor Who ?"
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) ;)
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? "
"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?"
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! =)
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?
those 2 questions are not interchangeable. even though i wrote 'emilian is who', i agree that it should not be accepted
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!
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
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.
"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.
Different languages, different grammar rules. English moves question words to the front, Swahili leaves them in place.
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?
The listen questions never work for me. Can we fix that problem. Much appreciated
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.
Never expect different languages to share the same grammar and syntax, especially if they are not related to each other at all.