My problem with that method is it doesn't tell me whether I should count six hours forward or back. I need to be able to relate it to the 24-hour clock.
I find it easier to focus on the day beginning at sunrise and then it all seems perfectly logical that four hours into the day is 4 am ("saa nne"). Suddenly it seems strange that we choose to call that 10 a.m.
Yeah but with no cultural grounding, first you have to figure out what the heck they are counting! Downside of using duolingo to learn, and a good example of how learning it without culture can be seen as appropriation or at least, patronizing. Now i know, I can do it, but boy was i confused
Saa tatu kasoro robo is hour three, less a quarter.
In Swahili, the day starts after 6am, so 7am is the first hour of the day -- saa moja. This means that when you see saa [number], you need to add six to that number to get the time as you would know it.
Saa tatu = hour three. 3+6=9. Nine o'clock. Less a quarter makes it quarter to nine.
The next day technically starts when the sun rises, but people have adapted to the non-Swahili clock and calendar dates so much it's always good to confirm when talking about dates! People often say "asubuhi sana" to refer to really early in the morning before the sun has come up.