Translation:A friend

February 23, 2017



Etymology (rafiki)

From Arabic رَفِيق ‎(rafīq, “companion”), from رَفَقَ ‎(rafaqa, “to be friendly”).


rafiki (ma class, plural marafiki) or rafiki (n class, plural rafiki)

1) Friend.

2) Comrade.


(friend): mwenzi

(comrade): ndugu

From Wiktionary: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/rafiki

February 23, 2017


Makes sense since swahili developed from a mix of arabic and bantu languages :)

June 23, 2017


This one is easy to remember if you've seen the lion king! Rafiki ni tumbili! -Rafiki is a monkey :)

March 6, 2017


Jambo rafiki yangu!

March 17, 2017


Wiktionary says rafiki is both ma and n class. Is one more common than the other, or are there any differences between using the two classes?

August 23, 2017


It's a funny mix. For verbal agreement, it behaves like any other animate noun (with a- in singular and wa- in plural etc.) but for possessives it follows the N class:

Rafiki yangu alisema ... = My friend said ...
Rafiki zangu walisema ... = My friends said ...

But there's a weird little twist: The noun itself can optionally take the ma- prefix in the plural, but the z from the N class is still used on the possessive:

Marafiki zangu walisema ... = My friends said ...

A few words for family members also occasionally work this way, but I think marafiki is the most common example of this weird pattern.

December 24, 2018


What are these classes? The ma and n?

January 16, 2018


Rafiki! Suddenly, it all makes sense...

September 18, 2018


how do u roll ur 'r's like that?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

March 5, 2019
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