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  5. "Hawajambo."


Translation:They are fine.

February 23, 2017



So, is a phrase like this either a question or a statement (maybe depending on inflection)? Could one ask "Hawajambo?" and the response be "Hawajambo."?


Yes, it can be both the question and the answer.


if it has a question mark it means how are they if it has a period it means they are fine.


But presumably the punctuation is not pronounced, so I guess the interchange I asked about could occur.


So you could say hawajambo and someone would respond with hawajambo?


James I am wondering the same thing. Would discerning that in person. could you respond with something like "Wao ni safi"


It's correct but really weird nobody speaks like that.


I have discovered that Ni- U- A- Tu- M- Wa- are Swahili's subject pronouns, but what is H- or Ha- doing there?


According to the Tips & Notes, it's a negative prefix.


I am confused. This means , as I understand it, ' they are not fine.. '


No, I think it means "they don't have things/issues" i.e. they're fine.... It's just the way they do it, maybe an English speaker might ask "no worries?" and someone could reply "no worries" - this would be grammatically a similar exchange, though the English version is I think much more informal than the Swahili form.


Indeed. Jambo (sg.) Mambo (pl.) Means 'thing, issue,...'. so it is actually a noun. Over time this noun has been partly grammaticalized to act as a verb as well in greetings. It takes a prefix and a negative (si, hawa, ham,...), But no tense marker.


This is not a conjugation of a verb kujambo -- there is no such verb in Swahili. It is a shortening of the verb kuwa na (to have) combined with the noun jambo (matter, thing, affair, issue, etc). So, sina jambo, huna jambo, hana jambo, hatuna jambo, hamna jambo, hawana jambo become sijambo, hujambo, hajambo, hatujambo, hamjambo, hawajambo.


The translation underlined says it is a question. But answer says it is a statement.


In this case, both the question and the answer are the same, except for the punctuation at the end of the phrase, and the intonation when speaking:

Hawajambo? (They have no problems?)

Hawajambo. (They have no problems.)


Can you say, are they fine?

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