"Mimi husoma mtoto anapolala"

Translation:I read when the baby sleeps

February 26, 2017

This discussion is locked.


I don't understand where the "when" comes from. I thought "po" was a locative, so it would be "I read where the baby sleeps"


-po- or -pa- can refer to time or place! context usually makes it clear.


Should be ... I usually read when baby sleeps.... Where is the habitual part in this unit????


In this case, the present simple in English, "I read", is clearly habitual. Nothing else needs to be added. If you say "I usually read when the baby sleeps", that places a lot of emphasis on the habituality and that would better match a Swahili sentence that includes kwa kawaida.

Since we're translating from Swahili to English for this exercise, there's no issue: mimi husomaI read, but when we translate from English to Swahili, this course needs to accept both answers: I readmimi husoma / (mimi) ninasoma, because the hu- tense is not obligatory to express habituality.


Severally, the present simple suggests habituality (e.g. "He rides a bicycle to school."), as opposed to e.g. "He eats blue whale meat." a mere expression of fact.

Correspondingly, translating English simple present tense ("I read.") to Swahili correctly becomes 'Ninasoma,' or 'Mimi husoma:' the former merely expressing the fact, the latter conveying habituality - because the 'hu-' makes that distinction: contrast, "Ninakula ugali;" "Mimi hukula ugali."

Then you have colloquialisms (where context can allow less rigidity) ---


Well, 'when the baby sleeps' (again, 'sleeps') - there is the habitual part in this unit - I read then.


When I read "mtoto," I think "child," suggesting one that runs around and plays in the yard. "Mtoto mdogo" might better refer to baby/infant.


"Mtoto mchanga" is used for infant/baby in TZ.


Thanks, Tyler. I looked it up and found mchanga in my dictionary. Mtoto mdogo must be a colloquial term used in NW TZ, where I lived, because mchanga seems to be the more widely used term.


August 18'.. is the sentence right now as "mimi husoma mtoto anapolala"? Shouldn't it be "ninasoma mtoto anapolala" or something like that? I mean, how came that "husoma"?


Hi, "hu-" is a verb prefix for habitual tense, that is to say, something that occurs frequently. This verb tense has the feature of not carrying person prefixes, so its forms for verb -soma would be "Mimi husoma", "Wewe husoma", "Yeye husoma" and so on.


Why can't this be "I read when the baby is asleep"?


Quiddity not entirely,

--- sleeps: '--- analala,' ---is asleep: '--- amelala;'

--- when he sleeps, i.e falls asleep: '--- anapolala,'

--- when he's asleep: '--- wakati amelala.'

Learn Swahili in just 5 minutes a day. For free.