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  5. "Saidi ni mzazi wangu."

"Saidi ni mzazi wangu."

Translation:Saidi is my parent.

February 24, 2017



Is the singular mzazi commonly used to refer to a father or mother? I find that in most European languages, we tend to use parents only in the plural, or if neither parent is specified, while if referring to either mother or father, we use those gender-specific terms.


No, I think that mzazi specifically means 'parent'

And, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm 86% sure that mzazi isn't commonly used to describe 'father' or 'mother'. But, since Swahili is an African language, nor European, Asian or American (which I specialize in), I'm not sure.

Hope this helps!

EDIT: ngwarai gave me a clarification, yes it does mean parent.

Source: Native Bantu speaker


You are right "mzazi" just means parent

source: Native Bantu language speaker


That's fine. The question, though, is whether you would ever refer to just one parent. In English, I hear the plural "parents" all the time, but I never hear the singular, because if an English speaker is referring to just one, he nearly always specifies either "mother" or "father." My question is whether in Swahili you would commonly refer to one parent as "mzazi wangu," or whether you would specify "mama yangu" or "baba yangu," as we would in English.


Yes you can refer to just one parent as "mzazi", either yourself or another person saying or asking. You can also use "baba" or "mama" There are situations where either is more appropriate than the other.

I will give you one example; When you are misbehaving to your mother and she is angry with you, she will most certainly remind you that she is your "mzazi". The reason is that "mzazi" carries more weight and meaning since literally it means "the one who gave birth to you" , or "the one responsible for your birth.

kuzaa (verb) meaning "to give birth" mzazi (noun) meaning one who gives birth. Yes, even a father "gives birth" in the context that they are responsible for the outcome of a baby.

I hope the dark clouds have dispersed. :)


Thanks. That was precisely the illumination I needed.


JamesT.Wilson Glad it helped. Thanks for the lingots and happy learning!


Thanks for clarifying!


Thank you, that was precisely my question.


:) glad to be of help.


Do you have any reason to think so, though, or are you just speculating?


I'm speculating, but judging from the upvotes, I'm probably right.


One of those up votes was mine, which was a simple thank you.


Aw, thanks for the upvote! I have 2 extra lingots, and you probably have tons, but here you go!


No problem. I'm always grateful for any help anyone can give.


Could be a school-type situation where you have to bring a parent. And the teacher asks you where yours is and you say ... Or describing yourself as a parent in a discussion "kama mzazi...." "as a parent"


Why isn't it "mangu"? The prefix for singular in the M-WA class is m-


check out the post on noun classes


Is the -ng- in this word pronounced like an 'ng' would be pronounced in english? Or, are the n and g more distinct from each other? Not sure if this question makes sense but hopefully it's somewhat understandable...


When written as "ng" like it is here with no apostrophe, the hard "g" is pronounced, like in the word "English." When there is an apostrophe following the "ng" it is pronounced the same as in "singing."


Does it change from (M)-zazi to (Wa)-zizi because it changed from plural/singular? What's the rule for the change?


yup, it's in the noun class M/Wa. I did a post on noun classes, you can find it in the Masterpost


Can this sentence mean Saidi is my father, because saidi is a male name, or why would you say mzazi instead of baba. The only reason I can think of is if you were adopted, is that the case of when you would use it?


'Mzazi' means parent, and can apply to either father or mother. So it's mzazi because the word 'parent' is used.

If you're adopted, your adoptive parent would be 'Mzazi mlezi'. If it's a step parent, they are 'mzazi wa kambo'.


Whats the difference between wangu/langu lako/wako and lake/wake

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