In Tanzania you call people by the family yern of the agegoup they are in. E.g. a young woman you would call dada (sister) a woman that is old enough to have kids would be refered to as mama and an elderly woman or man you could call bibi/babu. Althou I would rather go with mzee which means elderly person and is a term that recognices the wisedom and lifeexperience of these people.
So it's like a complete reverse on the English word order? Because the literal translation reads "Name your is what grandfather?"
Almost exactly like Vietnamese, though. If it is like Vietnamese in this way, then the sentence is not turned around for a question, but rather the question word is just substituted, e.g. "His name is Juma"-->"His name is what?" "He lives in Nairobi."-->"He lives in where?"
huh, nani is also Japanese for what, neat when things like that happen.
How about: "Grandfather, your name is whose?" I know it's unnatural, but would it technically work?
The point is, you would never say that in English. Technically, it wouldn't because it makes no grammatical sense. Just because it's literal translation from another language doesn't mean it's right.
The poiny is that it is easier to chunk information and remember it with what ypur are familar than to remember a whole bunch of seemingly unrelated nonsense! It is easier to remember grammar for langauges I am learning by putting it in context of languages I already know. Chunking. It's a good thing. (It also makes it easier to understand non-native speakers from those languages when they are speaking English--and isn't the entire point of studying languages about getting a better understanding with others?!)
Moreover, I suspect that one would express "whose" by something other than just "nani" in Swahili.
I thought that when they dont put a possesive in the sentence it implies that the person is a family member, and to put a possesive would be rude and indicate lack of closeness?