Translation:Juma, how did you sleep?
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You would change the subject using the STROVE method:
Subject: I (Ni), You (U), He/She (A), We (Tu), You plural (M), They (Wa)
Then fill in the rest of the sentence: Tense: Present Perfect (Me)- ('Have/Did') Relative: Not used Object: Not used Verb: (Ku)lala- ('Sleep') Ending: Je- ('How?')
So how did he/she sleep would be: amelalaje
Wish I could give you more than just 1 lingot for your answer. More like maybe 3-5!
Surely 'umelalaje' means 'how have you slept', 'how did you sleep' should be 'ulilalaje' shouldn't it?
More or less, but it's taken as a question and usually answered with salaama (peacefully).
My question would be whether one could answer "Not terribly well, because there was a fly in my bedroom and it kept buzzing in my ear all night." If that's a possibility, then it is a real question. If anything other than "Peacefully" would be odd, then I would simply translate it "Good morning, Juma." I find that some people translate European languages according to meaning, but African and Asian ones quite literally, which makes them seem more exotic, or even primitive, than they are. It's the same way people used to translate Latin and Greek into archaic English, just to make them sound old in some way.
Well, going off of the fact that (according to google) Umelalaje is often used alongside Habari za asubuhi ("Good morning"), rather than strictly instead of it, I'd say it really is a question. I'm no more familiar with Swahili than you are and can't say if it's frequently answered with something other than "peacefully," but I'd imagine so.
I did not even think of asking Google. It at least gives me some suggestion of how it is used.
In Tanzania, you cant get away with giving only a singke greeting. To be polite, you could go through "Habari za asabuhi? Umeamkaje? Habari za watoto?" etc before getting to your point. So it is one way to say good morning, but cannot just replace it.
In translation it should be "How was your sleep?". "Ume.." is past participle, "Uli.." is past tense and "Uta.." is future tense.