I can't remember--are terms for relatives used in Swahili as honorifics too (i.e. addressing an older unrelated woman as "grandmother" to show respect and deference), or strictly for family members?
They are used as honorifics, dada is sister/young woman, mama is an older woman. With men though you would usually use the word 'bwana' which means 'master'
Excellent question! I had (Ki)Swhili in college long ago (last century) and I remember that Bibi was Madame or Miss ("How are you today Miss Sarah?" = "Habari za leo, Bibi Sarah?"); is that correct? ...just as Bwana is Sir or Mister--as Dalaryn points out--respectful/lordship piece we see in many languages I think, e.g. señor, monsieur (mon seigneur), and Herr, and our mister/master.
In a lot of the previous sentences, the first letter was not capitalized. But this one is. I am just wondering if Swahilis normally capitalize the first letter of their sentences.
"How is the morning, grandmother?" To ask grandmother how she is this morning–or how the weather is this morning ... It's like "How are you doing?" in that it doesn't inherently make much sense, but if you hear it a lot of times in the same general context, you associate a meaning with it.
I see that they also suggest (and accept) "Good morning, grandmother". Suddenly it makes sense!
ya is sing. , za is plur. Both work in greetings with "habari ya/za..." Habari (= news) can be singular, unlike in english. So "the news (sing or plur) of the morning" can be both "habari ya/za asubuhi".
bibi is wife or lady. Nyanya is grandmother. Babu is grandfather. "Ladies and Gentlemen" is mabibi na mabwana
I've heard there is a lot of vocabulary entered from Persian. So far is Baba and Bibi
No one knows which language influenced which... there are a lot of similar words
Bibi Baba Dunia/dunya Chai
As people mirgrated from Africa to - all the other places .. did they bring their language with them and the the languages developed or
Did the language come down when the slave trade came ?
As I am not an athropologists it is difficult to say :)