"Habari ya asubuhi?"

Translation:How is your morning?

February 21, 2017

46 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/RobertEddy

We must accept that other languages are not word-for-word swap-outs. Here's a chance to glimpse into the poetry of another culture. Yes, it will be strange and sometimes difficult to grasp but it's worth it.

March 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/frankk1m

I am confused -- I learned "Habari za asubuhi?" from a book of mine. Is this a matter of dialectal variation, or maybe colloquial vs. standard?

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ngwarai

I will attempt to explain but before I do that I must give a disclaimer that I have only started learning Swahili yesterday. That being said, I am a native speaker of one of the Bantu languages and speak several of them. So , many concepts are similar. Having said that, here is my attempt to make things clearer; "Habari ya asubuhi ?" literally means "News of morning ?" , which you can correctly guess to mean "How is your morning? " or better still, "Good morning" "Habari za asubuhi ?" also literally means "News of morning ?" What?! Wait a minute! So what is this "ya" vs "za" thing ? Simple answer: ya = "of" singular za = "of" plural How? But I thought news was uncountable? Yes it is uncountable in English but you can count it like "a piece of news", "three news items" It is this type of "counting" that is implied by the Swahili "Habari za asubuhi ?"

It may also help to think about news not as news but stories, in which case you can either have one story or many stories. I hope this helps to clear up some doubts.

March 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/frankk1m

Asante sana, ndugu! Which Bantu languages do you know, might I ask?

March 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ngwarai

You are welcome. I don't want to scare you or the world here by the number :) .

Edit: It seems some people didn't like my initial joke about scaring frankk1m with the number so let me try to explain.

Ndau : native fluency, Shona: native fluency, Ndebele: native fluency, Zulu: speaking in Ndebele but understand Zulu well (90% plus) , Xhosa: can understand some basics(need a teacher), Nyanya/Bemba: learnt it a long time ago (need a partner to practice), Kinyarwanda/Kirundi: very limited. Trying to teach myself from YouTube music videos. I will appreciate native speakers' help. , Swahili: picking it up pretty fast.

I really don't think that this list is impressive at all because I am practically only fluent in 3 languages. I know a lot of my South African friends who fluent in 6 languages.

I really love learning languages. So if any of you guys here are native speakers of any of those languages I would be honoured to be connected with you. Even if you don't speak any of those languages I would still want to know something about your language. Thanks in advance.

March 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BobLeSnob

I want to be scared!

March 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ngwarai

I have updated my post so you can refer to it.

March 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/frankk1m

I just noticed that you're from Papua New Guinea! If you're still around, could I get your feedback on a basic course on Hiri Motu that I made on Memrise a couple months ago?

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jojo7al

Hi ngwarai! I am a native speaker of Kirundi :)

May 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ngwarai

Thanks! I hope to learn Kirundi from you. I have added you as a friend.

May 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/votorobo

Really impressive, ngwarai! I only wonder if learning so many closely related languages confuses you or/and your multilingual friends? It was a challenge for me when I was trying to deal with Spanish and Italian at once.

July 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ngwarai

Learning closely related languages at the same time can be confusing. That's why you need to reach a certain level before attacking a new language. At least that's the case with me. I would say, finish all the grammar topics before you start a very closely related language. If the languages are totally different, you can attack them at the same time. Good candidates would be learning Japanese and Ukrainian. But avoid learning Ukrainian and Russian or in your case Italian and Spanish at the same time, for example.

July 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/David56867

I lived in Zimbabwe and had some Shona lessons and I can see the connections with Kiswahili!

May 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/I80091

Wow! Where did you learn those languages?

August 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ngwarai

I mainly learn by interaction with native speakers and then use other available resources or media as much as possible; that is, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, brochures, sign posts etc. In short, I use anything and everything I can.

August 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/phszombie

Plus English.

November 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Mazmaz14

I would love to learn Ndebele, I know some Shona as well!

March 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ngwarai

I will be happy to teach you Ndebele

March 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Bassant_Gamal

that's really interesting, I'm a native speaker of Arabic, and I'm learning Indonesian too.

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/maytom3

Asante kaka

April 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TashenaM

In this case, I believe the use of ya or za with Habari depends on the country. Ya /za should agree with the preceding noun in this case habari (news). Habari is an N class noun. Therefore, za should be used grammatically speaking since ya is for singular N class nouns and za is for plurals.

However, in Kenya, this rule is not followed. In Kenya, they say habari ya jioni, mchana, asubuhi, etc. I am told that in Tanzania the grammatically correct za is used. But, if you use za in Kenya they will understand what you mean. You will just sound like a tourist, which is fine.

Some people explain that za is used for general politeness and ya is used when you really want to know what's going on. See website below. http://www.learnswahili.net/swahilicourse/learnswahilicourse_lesson2.html

And, perhaps this is why even Duolingo uses ya and za at different times. What is the news of the day? (General) vs. What's your news of the day. (Personal)

So maybe Kenyans choose to be less formal and that's why it is commonly used in Kenya. I don't know. I just know Kenyans say Ya even though it should be za if you are following the rule.

One disclaimer: It could also depend on where in Kenya. I stayed primarily in Nairobi where most of my friends live or work.

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RudolfJan

Asante sana! Nice clarification that explains that Swahili is not always as straight forward as some people suggest. Just like any language...

June 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TashenaM

Thanks! I'm not an expert. But this is what I understand from Kenyan friends and researching online.

You are right about languages. There are always local nuances.

June 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/frankk1m

Thanks for this insight into Kenyan usage. Does this happen in other contexts? Does Kenyan Swahili maybe have a simplified noun class system?

June 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/HoroTanuki

yeah, I also had "habari za asubuhi" just before "habari ya asubuhi" in the course and it says it means "how is your morning?"; I don't know the difference

February 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ellieindra

asubuhi is a class 9 noun, and the ya/za is actually the root -a (meaning 'of') with y-, z- etc being added depending on which noun class you're talking about. So ya is used because y- is for noun classes 4,6 and 9. za is used for class 10 nouns, which is the plural of class 9 nouns. That's why you see both and both can be correct. Does that make sense?

February 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/rafibaru

how many classes of noun are there in Swahili? so is it like Article or what? what is the use of these classes?

February 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ellieindra

there was originally 18 noun classes, but now there are only 15. Most of them are also paired, with one being the singular and the other plural form e.g. mtu (person) is class 1 and watu (people) is class 2. So I guess the 'use' of these noun classes is to mark singular or plural, and to tell you which prefix you need to add to possessives, determiners, adjective, verbs etc. so that they agree with the noun (because they have to grammatically agree).

Ya/za is not an article, it's called an associative. They're used to describe a type of possession ‘X of X’. So 'Habari ya/za asubuhi' means 'news of (the) morning'. This associative has to agree with the noun it's talking about, and it does so by adding the appropriate prefix (y- or z-) to the root -a.

February 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Smeetheens

I don't think I've ever heard this phrase in English before, is it common in Swahili?

February 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/frankk1m

It basically means "good morning". The reason it's a question is because it literally means "news of the morning?" -- when you say this phrase, in literal terms, you're asking someone how their morning is.

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Flannery65

Think of New Zealanders and Irish people saying "what's the story?" when they great you. It is asking for the story or the news. Or think of saying "How do you do?"

April 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Haydiicakes

So is "ya" "of" or "the"... ?

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/frankk1m

It's similar to "of" -- there's no word for "the" or "a/an" in Swahili.

February 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Haydiicakes

Asante! Also htf does your brain remember all of those languages ahah

February 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/frankk1m

It's a work in progress! :D

February 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/musicspaghetti

ngwarai wow! You know friends fluent in 6 languages, amazing! I've decided Swahili is going to be my foothold in African languages.

May 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ali962438

They have audio now

January 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/shrikrishna1

what is the word for "You" in this sentence?

February 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ngwarai

There is no word for "you" in the sentence. The sentence literally means "News of morning ?" which is understood to mean "How is your morning ?" or "Good morning" in English.

March 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/eirlana

I think this literally translates to something like 'the news of the morning?' But we don't say that in English, so to make it make more sense in English, one could translate it as 'How is your morning?' because 'the morning' still doesn't quite sound right in English. I think it is the Swahili version of 'good morning'.

Of course, I could be wrong; I'm new to the language too. I'm just guessing based on the offered translations and other people's comments.

February 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RudolfJan

Wow, thank you for this discussion. I will try not to translate these sentences literally and remember them as idiom.

April 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/elingua3

Use of "ya" is very unclear. It means "of" but is translated "the." And "news of the morning" is not accepted.

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/m.j861553

Me to i said good morning and it become wrong and corrected Answer how is the morning whichever doesn't make good sounds

February 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PaForba

Thank you all for explaining the difference between za and ya. However, my problem is why does the voice say za and Duolingo indicates that I should have written ya?

January 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AmeliedAnjou

I love the audio!

April 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/TheDictationary

I'm confused. I said "How's morning?" and it became wrong and corrected to "How's the morning?" Which doesn't make sense...

May 16, 2017
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