"Samaki wetu"

Translation:Our fish

March 3, 2017



In English, the plural of fish is fish. so it's just the same :-).

You would only use the english word 'fishes' when you are speaking about different species of fish.

March 14, 2017


Interesting occurrence: samaki - fish(es) is as a foreign word deriving from Arabic part of the n/n class. It should therefore use yetu and zetu but it doesn't. It behaves instead as a m/wa noun.

March 30, 2017


Yeah, because it's animate. Animate nouns in other classes get treated as class 1/2 (m-wa)... except that I thought the possessives/associative of class 9/10 was the exception (keeping y/z with animates in order to mark singular/plural) so I'm not sure why it's not with y or z here but for a slightly different reason than you're not sure.

April 2, 2017


Thanks. I believe you are right here. I came across a different example where also the animate = m/wa class occurred - though it affected ONLY the adj/adv NOT the pronoun.

Dada yangu ni mrefu.

  • Dada (N/N animate) yangu (pronoun according to N/N) mrefu (Adj/adv - according to M/Wa)....
April 3, 2017


That should be the right way - I am afraid this is a mistake; while animate objects go with the m-/wa- class; possessives are formed with the N/N class! :)

June 29, 2017


I reported this error today (18 June 2018).
Should be yetu (sg) or zetu (pl).

June 18, 2018


Samaki wetu is correct and is singular only. The plural 'our fish(es)' translates as Samaki zetu

From Wilson's 'Simplified Swahili':

[/quote] "...all nouns denoting living beings regardless of class, should be given M- WA- agreements. BUT, there is one exception to this 'rule' and that is with the Personal Possessives only. Within this exception, however, we have to differentiate between humans and animals. 'Humans' which occur in the N class take N class agreement in both the singular and the plural. Animals which occur in the N class (and most do), take M- WA- agreements in the singular, but N class in the plural. [/endquote]

He gives the following examples:

Rafiki yangu amefika, My friend has arrived.

Rafiki zangu wamefika, My friends have arrived.

Mbwa wangu mmoja amefika. My one dog has arrived.

Mbwa zangu mbili wamefika. My two dogs have arrived

February 19, 2019


how can I learn whether it is plural or not?

We could own a single fish, or many fishes.... no clear distinction is made in swahili.....

March 3, 2017


In English, you can say 'many fish', for fish is a collective noun also.

June 16, 2018


Context! :)

June 29, 2017
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