"Mmea haujaota"

Translation:The plant has not germinated

March 31, 2017

This discussion is locked.


again: the -ja- tense should better be translated with "not yet" (bado only places emphasis on the "yet") - unfortunately there is no such tense in English. "The plant has not yet sprouted." (or germinated)


But wouldn't adding "yet" place too much emphasis on the "yet"?
"The plant has not sprouted" still allows the possibility that it will sprout next week (though adding"yet" certainly sounds more optimistic).

Presumably "-ja-" isn't always optimistic? How do you express the idea that the plant has failed to sprout (and never will)?


"Mmea haukuota (na hautaota)." The "-ku-" negative past is an opportunity past/something that did not happen (it does not include the yet and is usually used when the possibility does not reamin). Weird negative example: Our househelp's daughter had been involved in a van kidnapping and my mother asked her if she was harmed to which the answer was "She has not been harmed yet." which sounds extreme to our ears, but she used the "ja"-tense as the perpetrators were still out there, leaving the possibility...


A seed germinates, not a plant


Perhaps "mmea" in Swahili is a more loose term than "plant" in English? ;) Otherwise you could also suggest it with the report function and the mother tongue speakers will correct it if you're right! :)


Farmers often talk in English about other things "germinating" when they are actually sprouting so the fact that ota means both sprout and germinate makes a lot if sense.

For example a potato or a woody cutting of cassava will sprout. When translating to English the farmers normally say germinated.


First they want us to translate -me/ja- tense as "is" even though we've been translating positive -me- as "has" this whole time. Then when I start getting use to translating negative -ja- as "is", suddenly it becomes "has" again!


They could have picked a more useful sentence than this one...

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