"Jina lako ni Rehema"

Translation:Your name is Rehema

February 20, 2017

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Can't it also be
Rehema is your name??


It depends on how lax word order is for a given language. Some languages, like German, have generally pretty lax words order where you can mix some stuff up and the message will still get across, other languages like English have more rigid word order. I'm not sure where Swahili falls in terms of word order though...


What does it mean by ji/ma possessives?


So basically the way that grammar in Swahili is constructed, letters are added to the beginning of root words that add different meanings to the root. So for example, Tanzania is the country, Mtanzania means a singular Tanzanian, an Watanzania means multiple Tanzanians. What the significance of Ji/Ma is, however, I'm not sure yet.


Bantu family languages have a large number of noun classes (I want to say a net 17 classes, but no single language uses all of them). These noun classes determine how the given word will affect other words that modify it, like adjectives and pronouns.

The first 10 classes are often paired together, with the odd numbers representing the singular forms and even numbers representing the plural forms.

While there are irregularities, generally, the members of a class fall into a pattern based on the first syllable of their singular and plural forms. Human roles often fall into classes 1 & 2, or the m/wa classes. As you've seen in the other sentences here in the intro, nationalities fall into this category. So we've seen mmerikani/wamerikani, mtanzania/watanzania, etc.

Ji/ma is the prefix pair for classes 5&6, and I suspect lako will be the possessive pronoun you pair with class 5&6 nouns.

That's what I've found so far, though granted this is all "presearch" I've done while waiting for this course to open, so don't quote me on it!

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