"Shikamoo mama!"

Translation:I respect you mother.

February 21, 2017

20 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/DiegoJaviUnlam

Etymology (shikamoo)

A shortening of -shika miguu ya ("to fall at one's feet").

Interjection

shikamoo

1) Used by an inferior to greet a superior.

From Wiktionary: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/shikamoo

Hello to an older person or authority figure.

Shikamoo (shee-kah-moh) (response: Marahaba). Some people frown on the use of Shikamoo because it started out as a servant's greeting to his/her master.

From Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Swahili_phrasebook

February 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dalaryn

It's typically used as a sign of respect, meaning 'I hold your feet' (signifying that you are beneath them). Marahaba as a response means 'You are welcome to'.

Another sign of respect is to hold your right elbow with your left hand when shaking the hand of an older person/authority figure.

February 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DiegoJaviUnlam

I am so impressed! Thank you again Dalaryn! =)

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dalaryn

No problem! We're all learning this together, so I appreciate the information you add as well. Sometimes that little bit of background knowledge helps you to understand the culture/language more.

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Elin.7-1

The first time I got this wrong with "Welcome mother", the correct translation given was "Hello mother". This time, understanding the respect implicit in this greeting I typed "I greet you with respect mother" and was given "I respect you mother" as the correct translation.

My question: would you ever use this phrase in the middle of a conversation to show repect or is it only ever used as a greeting?

October 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Gazelle1596

It is a greeting, so could be used if another elder woman joins the conversation (only example I can think of where it would be used within).

May 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/HappyPurpleCloud

I am American and I call my mama, mama! I do not call her mom. So mama should be accepted.

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Elin.7-1

I use mum (never the Amenrican mom) but that is not accepted either. I now always type "mother" which I have never used to address my mum!

October 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Gazelle1596

It is not only your mother; women old enough to have children can be addressed "mama" commonly; I used to be addressed as "dada"; young men as "kaka" and men as old as your father "baba" (same goes for "bibi"/"nyanya" in Kenya and "babu" or "mzee" ). They do not have to be related to you or even known previously.

May 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MosesN.Nya

Shikamoo is not as stated. Shikamoo is a greeting of any Time. The Response is Marahaba mwanagu... Meaning it is well my son

February 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Gazelle1596

Nobody stated it was only a greeting of a specific time? (I didn't see it) Thanks for adding the response! :)

May 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kali_the_heck

Does it matter if i say "mother i respect you" instead?

March 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Gazelle1596

It shouldn't - the address can be either first or last.

May 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/EileenRaff2

Somtimes waiters and serving staff will hand things to you in the manner David mentions also (holding elbow with opposite hand). I wasn't sure of its meaning until now. I thought it might be submisive gesture - for example if you are being handeda knife, to signal good intention.

April 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Gazelle1596

It is respectful - you can remember it as "I don't have evil intentions, hiding anything (like a weapon) behind my back with the other hand."

May 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/EileenRaff2

Marahaba is generally only used for people older than you (or very senior). It carries a lot of cultural baggage and some Tanzanians don't like using because of the extemely submissive connotation

April 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Gazelle1596

Do you mean Shikamoo? (You wrote Marahaba)

May 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AileenWait1

Its shikamo not shikamoo. And its only used to say hello to elders not to those in your peer groups.

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Gazelle1596

Yes, only for people older than you. However, it IS "shikamoo" with two 'o', otherwise the stress would be wrong - Swahili stress is always on the second-to-last-syllable.

May 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLemayian

Duolingo rejected both “I respect you, mother” (because of the comma ?!) and “I respect you mama” (come on, “mama” is more common in English speech than “mother” — and in other lessons “mama” and “mother” are interchangeable).

That’s just silly.

June 30, 2019
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