Arabic دَقِيقَة (daqīqa, "minute; particle; nicety; intricacy; detail") comes from دَقِيق (daqīq, “small”), related to the verb دَقَّ (daqqa, “to be thin, to be fine, to be small”), and also to Hebrew דַּק (dak, "thin; skinny; fine, faint; small, diminutive"). ¡Saludos!
¡Muchas gracias, Rafiki Pablo! Very interesting and useful information here. Asante sana! =)
That's right. Dakika has no plural. The other meaning is - short period of time.
It is not. dakika is n class. I checked several sources. However the word seems to be used by quite a few people ( 13 000 hits on google). Maybe there is some dialect using it or some language evolution...
That's a problem I have had with "dada" (sister) - I kept seeing "madada" as the plural, when it should really be "dada" (N class). Very confusing!
Second-language Swahili speakers sometimes add on the "ma-" because they are unsure about the noun class and instinctively want to see a plural marker. (Even native Swahili speakers do that as children. The equivalent in English is when children and L2 students say "sheeps" as the plural of "sheep" because it doesn't sound right that both the singular and the plural are the same: "There are three sheep in the field.")
However, it also happens with some loan words that they get assigned to the N class in Swahili but also have a "ma-" plural that is considered correct. (For exampe, the plural of "rafiki" can be "rafiki" or "marafiki".)
So it isn't necessarily an error; it's just that people are comfortable with one or the other, if I understand it right. Personally, I stick to the standard N class version, with singular and plural the same.