"Mlilima shamba"

Translation:You cultivated the farm

March 4, 2017

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The -lima can be used both for noun (mkulima) and verb (like in this example)?


Yes. I think this is pretty common in Swahili. Putting m- on just about anything makes it a person (or at least alive.) Mkulima = person who farms/cultivates, mnyama = animal (literally living meat), Mtanzania = Tanzanian. Other prefixes can work like this, too, but they are a bit less predictable as to what it will mean. Ki- with a country/nation/similar makes a language (e.g. Kiswahili). U- with an adjective often makes a noun meaning that adjective's quality (e.g. "uzuri" beauty from "-zuri" beautiful). Swahili is cool because you can often reuse roots with different prefixes to get related words.


You can't cultivate a farm.you can only cultivate land


Please see dieprinzessin's comment above. Here's a dictionary entry to confirm it:
shamba nm ma- [li-/ya-]
1 farm, field, plot for cultivation; plantation, estate.
2 country side.


What about "a" farm. I don't see why shamba refers to a specific farm or field


That should be correct too. As in the children's song "One man went to mow a meadow". Here it is, bravely performed in broken Swahili by an English vocal group called Cantabile:
Mtu mmoja alikwenda kulima shamba


great one. thanks :D

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