March 2, 2017

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OK, so I thought it was "watoto wadogo" which is what I learned I in the Swahili classes I took, but that wasn't accepted here. They gave the translation "watato wachanga" instead as well. I just checked the TUKI Kamusi (dictionary) of the Institute of Kiwahili studies at the University of Dar es Salaam, and they do indeed list "mtoto mchanga" for baby. So then I checked "changa" on the Swahili side, and it means "young, infant, immature," and mtoto mchanga as baby or infant...


Watoto wachanga is correct for babies..watoto is children and can be used for babies as well but wachanga identifies them as being babies rather than just children..watoto wadogo is young children (small children) and can also be used..


Mtoto = baby/child (singular )

Watoto = babies /children (plural)


Why not Wabinti. I thought Watoto meant children - who are older than babies.


watoto can be used for babies too as well as older kids. But if you wanted to be really specific about the fact that youre speaking about babies or infants you could say watoto wadogo or watoto wachanga. also who can be classified as a child is very relative, you can hear elders refer to you as mtoto even if youre in your 20s so theres that.


Binti means a daughter. I don't think I've heard mbinti or wabinti


Swahili is referenced a few times in my linguistics textbook (it is why I decided to start the course). It is said that Swahili speakers call infants "k/vitu" instead of "m/watoto" because they cannot speak yet, I was wondering if that is true?


I spent 2 years living in Tanzania and working with children and I've never heard this...

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