"Pasipofaa hatutalala"

Translation:If it is not suitable we will not sleep

March 15, 2017

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Note: The -sipo- particle (negative conditional) was not introduced in the tips & notes.

(Adding to my cheat list)


I wrote "If the place is not suitable we won't sleep." This is an equivalent translation. "Pa" refers to location or place, though "it" suffices if the location is understood. I think using the word "place" is a more precise translation because in English "it" doesn't inherently mean "place" as "pa" does in Swahili.


i think "sipo" means "if not", not the same as having a pa class object infix


He's talking about "pa", not "sipo".

[deactivated user]

    I think it would be nice if the sentence ended with hapa, hapo or pale. "Pasipofaa, hatutalala pale."


    sipo is "if not"?


    This sentence leads me to a question I had not thought of before in this course: Do they not use puncuation in Swahili? i.e. In English, we would have a comma between the phrase and the main clause. "If it is not suitable, we will not sleep." Does Swahili also use commas, or have we just not gotten to that point yet?


    Punctuation rules in Swahili are more or less the same as in English. But because Swahili is an agglutinative language, many sentences consist of fewer 'words' than their English counterparts (2 vs. 9 in this case). So, my guess is that Swahili doesn't insert a comma in a sentence like this.

    Also, DL ignores all punctuation marks like commas, full stops, question marks, etc. So, they simply cannot teach the proper use of commas in other languages!


    It does; the course just doesn't bother with them


    We will not sleep where it's not suitable

    [deactivated user]

      Interesting! You have interpreted a negation of the conditional -ki- tense, which is -sipo-, as a negative statement involving a relative of place -po-, with no conditional. Only thing is (I believe) that sentence would have to be written in Swahili as Hatutalala (mahali) pasipofaa.


      According to my dictionary - sipo - means : when I am not . nipo - I am there.


      Here -sipo- is the negative form of the conditional infix, translating as "if it is not."

      Nipo is completely different. Obviously ni- indicates it indicates first person, but here -po is a locative, indicating a definitive location. So the word Nipo means "I am here." If you would make this negative it would be Sipo, "I am not here."


      When things are not suitable, it keeps me up all night!


      https://africanlanguages.com/swahili/ translates -faa as to suit, to be convenient and to be useful. In English, this sentence makes more sense to me if translated as 'If it is not convenient, we will not sleep.' Can anyone explain why this is not accepted (unless is is just one more in the infinite list of translation problems on this course...)


      What's marking the conditional tense here? "Pa-"?

      [deactivated user]

        -sipo- is the negative form of the -ki- conditional. So, "ukisema" means "if you speak" and "usiposema" means "if you don't speak". It is potentially confusing because -po- by itself is the relative infix for time and place.


        Thanks, that's very helpful I understand now. "Pa-" must be Mahali class marker then.


        Yes, it’s the relative/reference pronoun for class 16, the “precise location” class. It is also used for time.

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