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  5. "Umeshindaje?"


Translation:How have you been?

February 27, 2017



Could we have some additional grammar notes at this point. The comment below breaking down this phrase was useful. Who would know that -me- indicates the present perfect tense, or that shinda means "win" without some notes. Duo lingo is not some tourist phrase book for people to memorize and parrot. The virtue in the system is that one really learns actual grammar.


I agree with your message in spirit, but I think there is something to be said for taking things a bit slow. These points of grammar will be explained in later skills, I'm sure, and as the course pointed out, the greetings and similar phrases were put at the start of the course because it's apparently a culturally important thing in Tanzania and perhaps other places where Swahili is spoken.

I also always look for morphological breakdowns of such things right away in the comments, but I can also understand the desire not to make the tips and notes too overwhelming for a new learner.


How does this mean "How was your day?" Is this slang? Literally, it means "How did you win."


shinda also means stay. "shinda hapo!" is a not-so-polite reply to a request which means "stay there!" (implying "waiting for me to do what you want"). There's a nuance to its meaning you'll pick up with time.


I wouldn't say slang, but it's definitely idiomatic.


The basic meaning isn't directly to beat or conqure, but more to overcome or endure. When you use it in this case, what you are overcoming is time, or the day. When you talk about beating someone, what you are overcoming is another person or persons, as with a sports team.

I've also seen the word being used for 'to spend' when talking about time, as in "Tumeshinda siku hizi mjini" - "We spent these days in town". I'm less certain about this last use of the word though.


Could it be "how have you been spending your day? "


Yes, exactly :) (how as in "How are you doing?", not asking about activities)


Well, look at it like some days being a struggle you have to fight through - might make more sense then. And agreed with Drasher - it is an idiom.


it's both, it just really depends on the context.

it's different depending on whether you ask it to to someon who just won a race

or whether you ask it to someone when you wanna know hoy they are doing


My 3-year-old brother loved this word so much he has an imaginary pet named "Umeshindaje". He doesn't even know what it means, but it's so funny.


What is the difference between this and Habari ya leo?


Habari ya leo literally translates to how is today, whereas umeshindaje translates how have you been?


I would like to know also. I take it as alternative saying


"Habari ya leo?" is asking specifially about (the news of) THAT day. ("What news of today?") In contrast "Umeshindaje?" can be used even a week later. Let's say I had a difficult exam on Tuesday and Friday or a week later I meet a friend who knows I had that exam - correct me if that's wrong. :)


Habari ya leo = How is today. There's a difference.


How do we pronounciate this?



but no one would judge you for saying ...


(^ International Phonetic Alphabet, IPA ... I'm so cool at parties.)


Giving you a lingot for allowing me to see the light of civilised IPA in the midst of these inefficient and inaccurate Anglophone pronunciation transcriptions that make me want to go punch through a wall.


A thousand blessings on you for using a useful orthography.


Jury was close. oo-meh-shin-da-jeh


Can this be broken up into separate morphemes? If so, could somebody walk me through them please?




"You have succeeded how?"


Can someone give a good mnemonic to remember this? I'm having trouble with this


I don't know about a good mnemonic, but "you messing there hey?" might be enough of a (partially rhyming) prompt, and could loosely be understood as "how's it going?"... Hope that helps!


After some struggle, I eventually googled how Swahili verbs conjugate and instantly it made sense to me


I was taught that this means how did you spend your day?


My student said this is wrong.


I typed the right answer


If I am right, this means "How are you?" but in a past form. Right? So why do you teach a past form at this time of the course. We even did not finish present tense. How should a non-native-english-speaker know this?


Literally, it means "how have you succeeded?" But functionally it's a greeting for the evening/ late afternoon.

Probably, it's being taught now because, even before learning about tenses, it's necessary to be able to exchange greetings. The important thing, at a beginner stage, is not to be able to parse the grammatical complexities of this phrase (It is quite complex!) The important thing is that when you hear it, you recognize that you are being greeted, and you respond in a contextually meaningful way. And that, when you meet someone in the evening or late afternoon, you can offer the appropriate greeting, "Umeshindaje?"


Okay ... Accepted! I love grammar you know. ;) Thank you very much!

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