If you accidently write "Good night mother and father." it will be marked as wrong. And I now know it better =) Correct is "Good night father and mother." Anyways, good luck with this beautiful language, everyone =)
I put "Good night Mum and Dad" and it was wrong. But you do need to say "Dad and Mum" because that is how it is written.
While a direct translation is not wrong, it is unusual for English speakers to order their parents in that way. "Mother and Father", "Mom and Dad", "Ma and Pa" are more natural and common for native English speakers.
What is the usual order of 'baba' and 'mama', is it always "baba na mama" or can it be "mama na baba"? I ask because the order of some nouns is sometimes fixed in English; "pepper and salt" is usually wrong.
I don't know about Swahili, but in many Bantu languages that I have heard, though not wrong to say "mama na baba" , it is more natural to say "baba na mama"
I put: "Good night, papa and mama", and they counted it incorrect. Baba is father, and Mama is mother.
They need to be consistent. Normally the program insists that dad come before mama. Here they count it as wrong.
I presume the goal is to allow both the word-by-word rendering and the more-natural-to-English positioning of "mom" first. Report cases where either is missing (as you seem to be fairly new to the course, it'll spare you some angst to just expect a good deal of lingering inconsistency from this course; simply use the report button where applicable and help the course improve; it's very actively being worked on at the moment)
Swahili has 16 noun classes and adjectives will vary depending on the noun. Usiku is in class 11 (the u-noun class) and 'njema' corresponds to class 9/10 (the n-noun classes) - the plural of "usiku" is "siku" (just like the day) and in that case you could use "siku njema" if you find a context for "good nights".
Is Swahili like Chinese in that the order is male, female and then sorted by age? So it would be baba, didi, mama, dada?
there's a lack of consistence in this one, in a previous sentence have a good evening was translated as usiko mwema, but that is not accepted here
There are a few cases (or rather hours) in which English speakers would say "Good evening." (which people might use up to 10 o'clock) while in Swahili it is common to use "usiku" (night) from darkness on; so all dark hours.
Is usiku mwema a set expression, or can you use mzuri here as well? Is there any difference between the two apart from regional variation?
In this context, "usiku mwema" is just the set way to say "good night." That's just how the phrase is. It's not technically wrong to say "uskiku mzuri" but that would not likely be used as a sort of "farewell for the night" context. It's not a perfect analogy, but it might sound like someone in english saying "great night" instead of "good night." It's technically the same but doesn't really sound right..
"baba na mama" means - dad and mom/ father and mother - no other way. Translation is translation not free choosing of " duolingo".
Such phrases are known as "irreversible binomials" (among other things). Good translation yields a natural result, not simply a word by word rendering, and that includes reversing the order of reversible binomials when appropriate, just as includes reversing the order of noun and modifying adjective when the default order of those differs between languages.
Is there a difference between "mwema" and "njema", or are they just synonyms?
They have the same meaning but are conjugated to describe different noun classes. Njema works for the n/n noun class while mwema works with singular nouns in the m/wa class or the u/u noun class for example. Mtu mwema - good person Usiku mwema - good night