"Shikamoo baba!"

Translation:I respect you dad!

February 24, 2017

This discussion is locked.


May I suggest simply "Respect!" as a translation for shikamoo? I have known americans to use this greeting, especially when I lived in Brooklyn. It sounds much more idiomatic than the cumbersome, "I respect you", and gets the same point across.


It doesn't really translate the same way, though. It's a respectful greeting to people older than you, not really the same connotation as respect is in that context.


Anyone who is telling us shikamoo means I respect you is like anyone who will falsely try to tell us hi also means "I respect you my friend"

Shikamoo is short and has no clear meanings longer than the word itself apart from being used to salute anyone who is older than you for at least fiver years. Because it is neither a verb nor a sentence.


I agree with much of what you are saying, with regards to the meaning of shikamoo having changed to now be a simple greating. However, I wanted to add that, in my experience, it is not just used for elders but also for those in respected positions. For example, I have heard teachers and parents say shikamoo to a headmaster of a school even if they are of similar age.


I absolutely right and very correct Elizabeth. That is what I am talking about right here.


Thank you very much!!


In Tanzania where I live, children who greet their elders and older people are asked to touch heads not legs. This proves that shikamoo is just a greeting has got nothing to do with touching legs only.


What is wrong in saying 'my respect to you'?


Isn't greetings also ok?


And "welcome"? Since that is often used in English to convey respect to the visitor.


"Welcome" would be "karibu" and doesn't differ by honorific or not.


I have a friend who is Swahili and he said that this means ' how are you', not simply hello as suggested here. Can this be updated?


I've had "hello father" marked BOTH correct and incorrect just now. Whichever it is, it needs to be consistent.


Yes, this means "How are you, father". I speak Swahili.


It should be I greet you Dad


The link you have given says "I am below your feet" NOT I am holding your feet as you said earlier. I was just opposing the word HOLDING. The earlier shikamoo meaning was used during slavery. Now we are not in slavery so please do not bring the meaning that was intended for slaves. It does not make sense for any child to be under /below of his father's feet because a child is not a slave. No father can agree to see his children all the way down to the floor for just respecting him. This is why I say that today's shikamoo should have a different NEW meaning just like HELLO, JAMBO, HABARI, HI, expect that this SHIKAMOO is for people older than you. Today's family, father and a child are friends, none of them is a master or slave.


Calling editors! Why in the world is “I respect you father” counted as incorrect?!

Duolingo, you need to up your game. or at least your algorithm.


Gazelle, maybe slaves were kissing their lord's feet. I do not know. What I am trying to oppose here is the use of word KISSING because here in Africa especially Tanzania we NEVER KISS our fathers or mothers. So please do not use the words KISS/HOLD because in my views they mean totally different thing right now. Maybe there correct during slavery but not now. Kissing your father or mother is a shameful act unless you are under five years here in Africa, it may advance to something else if not for reproduction purpose.


The Swahili audio is not working. Any suggestions? Thank you.


It should be "I greet you dad with respect" No one can prove to us that Shikamoo means I kiss'hold your feet (for what purpose do you hold your father's feet? Only your mother can hold your father's feet for reproduction purpose. It is true that slaves were greeting their lords by touching not holding their feet as someone named Gazelle commented in this discussion.

Sure. You may show respect to your father by greeting not necessarily mentioning you respect your dad because you can respect him and still keep quiet.

No one can explain to us the origin of Shikamoo with vivid examples by deriving word to word where does "I respect you" or I hold your feet" come from!!!

For my knowledge, shikamoo is just a general expression that shows you greet someone in the morning or the first time you see/meet him/her in the day. If it means I respect you" how comes it is used only in the morning or the first time you see someone? Does it mean you only respect your father in the morning or the first time you see him, how about other times like in the afternoon, evening, night, don't you respect your father after you see him in the morning?

Shikamoo is as general and short as hello, jambo, habari, hi specifically for older people or anyone who is older than you for at least five years.


Ok, to hold someone's feet for reproduction purposes is not an expression used in English - I would like to see your sources also.

A short article: (why after slavery several are critical/do not want the word any more - in Tanzania) http://michaeljournalist.blogspot.de/2016/04/asili-ya-neno-shikamoo.html (It does mention the meaning of "I am below your feet.")


I am below your feet is more reasonable than I hold your feet. That is why I suggested touching but not holding it.


And marahaba should mean naam, OK. Sawa


And marahaba is for greeting just like mer hab in other languages


I find your take interesting, as Emilian and Rehema are also Tanzanian, and they put a lot of work into the course at the beginning (although I see during my hiatus it's all new staff).

Is there a divide in thinking over there, or is it the contributors just trying to give a historical context in lieu of a decent comparative term?

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