"Jina lako ni nani babu?"

Translation:What is your name grandfather?

February 23, 2017

17 Comments

Sorted by top post

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaizinM

Sounds like grandpa has been away for too long.

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesTWils

Is babu a general term of respect for any older man?

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/polygloterin

It is (as I understand it). You can also say bwana 'master, boss' but that's more formal. You see a similar thing with women; it's polite to call an older woman 'bibi' which means 'grandmother.'

February 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Malin187721

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.

December 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Radhicka

So it's like a complete reverse on the English word order? Because the literal translation reads "Name your is what grandfather?"

February 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesTWils

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?"

February 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dandelionmagic

huh, nani is also Japanese for what, neat when things like that happen.

July 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matt555185

Sounds like a case of amnesia if you ask me

September 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lukeapprend

How about: "Grandfather, your name is whose?" I know it's unnatural, but would it technically work?

February 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr.Quizzical

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.

February 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phszombie

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?!)

November 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesTWils

Moreover, I suspect that one would express "whose" by something other than just "nani" in Swahili.

February 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bahmed42

What about What is your name Grandad? Same thing!

March 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaivikThan

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?

September 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matabeleem

'grand dad' for babu was accepted, but 'grand mom' for bibi was not

September 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesTWils

I have often heard the term grand dad (it's a famous brand of bourbon, for instance https://www.beamsuntory.com/brands/old-grand-dad), but I have never heard "grand mom." It is certainly not common in the US, Canada, or the UK.

September 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matabeleem

"grand dad" is accepted, but not "grand mom"... go figure

September 14, 2018
Learn Swahili in just 5 minutes a day. For free.