Translation:Bad ones

March 6, 2017

This discussion is locked.


Shouldn't this be bad people since the pre-fix is 'wa'?


they set that trend with "wazuri" but they didn't follow through with "wabaya". This may be a bit ahead but the noun class "m-wa" contains both animals and people. So wazuri or wabaya is just as likely to refer to lions as people.


Except that lion is simba in Kiswahili, and belongs to the animate i-zi- class. It does, however, take the concords from the m-wa- class, whit some very few exceptions.


Is this an adjective or a noun? and furthermore, do adjectives have plural forms, or other agreement?


-baya is an adjective. Adjectives can be both singular and plural, but they must agree with the class of the noun they are modifying.

  • Watoto wabaya(Bad kids) - It takes the wa- because Watoto is in the WA class, which is plural (class 2)
  • Kitabu kibaya(Bad book) - It takes the ki- because Kitabu is in the KI class (class 7)
  • Mtoto mbaya(Bad kid) - It takes the M- because Mtoto is in the M class, which is singular (class 1)

I find this website to be very useful: https://www2.ku.edu/~kiswahili/pdfs/lesson_24.pdf


Thanks for the tip for this site. It has a lot of consise lessons and explains more than duolingo about how to use the words in a context.


This exercise should be modified or stricken from the lesson. As described above, -baya is an adjective. As far as I can tell, it doesn't specifically mean "people" at all–a separate word would need to be added for that. In addition, I agree with Sitoorah that because the English phrase given is plural, the only correct answer is the plural form, and mbaya would be incorrect. The singular/plural distinctions in these exercises often seem to have problems; I think many of the lessons need to be made more specific in how they treat singular and plural nouns, pronouns, verb morphology, and adjectives. The lack of specificity means that I spend as much time trying to figure out the exercises as I do actually learning the language.


Yes, it's an adjective, but as it is conjugated for the m/wa class it specifically refers to persons. Adjectives are very often used in this way: wabaya - bad persons, wakubwa - bosses, waovu - evil persons ...


Talking about plurals, I agree with you.

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