"Wageni wanatoka nchi gani?"

Translation:Which country do the visitors come from?

March 28, 2017

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theo_Bromin

How do we know that "nchi" in this context is singular?

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dvdsdr

We don't, I think :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joel158879

in this example, you're right. we don't know. if you wanted to specify plural or singular here you could use the "-pi" version of "which."

plural would look like "wageni wanatoka nchi zipi?"

singular would look like "wageni wanatoka nchi ipi?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ISpeakAlien

For some reason, "What country are the guests from" and "Where are the guests from" are rejected. I reported both as correct answers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dvdsdr

"Where are the guests from?" would be "Wageni wanatoka wapi?" - you lose the specificity of asking for the country by translating this sentence with "where" in English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ISpeakAlien

I know, but it should still be accepted. "What country are the guests from" should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/syystunturi

But shouldn't gani be translated into which anyway?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joel158879

I disagree with @ISpeakAlien (but welcome any counter-example you may have!)

In english, you can say "what pencil do you want?" but the more proper word here is "which." You already know the person wants a pencil and you use "which" to clarify the type or kind of pencil. Where in English these words are, in some cases like this one, interchangeable, in Swahili they are not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ISpeakAlien

In Swahili, "nini" is only used with "to be" or the direct object of a verb. Any other times you want to say "what" would use "gani".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joel158879

I think I can agree with you on that.

What I would say, per your initial comment, is that in all cases you can translate "gani" to "which," and in all cases you can translate "nini" to "what," but there are only a select few cases where "gani" can also be translated to "what." And I would argue that in those select few cases, "which" would probably be a more accurate translation anyway.

Do you agree with me on that? If not, do you have some counter-examples?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ISpeakAlien

I've only ever used "which" for items in an obvious set of things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ISpeakAlien

No. Gani has other meanings, including "what".

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