"Flowers smell nice"

Translation:Maua yananukia

April 2, 2017

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Why yananukia, what does the ya refer to in this word?

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John M.

The "ya" is referring to the flowers. I was never formally schooled in Kiswahili because I grew up in the US but my parents spoke it around the house. I learned this "ya" to be a possessive of sorts because the flowers "own" the nice smell, even though it isn't a possessive in the same sense that one would think of in English.


The word 'maua' is a class 6 noun. Like jina/majina are in class 5/6. The prefix for class 6 nouns is 'ya' and for class 5, 'li'. So to say the flower/flowers are nice is 'ua limependeza' and 'maua yamependeza'.


Oh, will I ever figure out all these noun classes and prefixes?


Haha of course! it took me a while but they're easy to remember if you have a key/easy example for each claass


Do you know how many noun classes there are? And would you share what key/easy examples you use for each class?


Hope this helps... :)

  1. Mtu (mtu huyu ni mzuri – this person is good/nice)
  2. Watu (watu hawa ni wazuri – these people are good)
  3. Mti (Mti huu ni mzuri – this tree is nice)
  4. Miti (Miti hii ni mizuri – these trees are nice)
  5. Jina (Jina hili ni zuri – this name is nice)
  6. Majina (Majina haya ni mazuri – these names are nice)
  7. Kiti (Kiti hiki ni kizuri – this chair is good)
  8. Viti (Viti hivi ni vizuri – these chairs are good)
  9. Ndizi (ndizi hii ni nzuri – this banana is nice)
  10. Ndizi (ndizi hizi ni nzuri – these bananas are nice)
  11. Ufunguo (Ufunguo huu ni mzuri – this key is good)
  12. Funguo (funguo hizi ni nzuri – these keys are good)
  13. Nyimbo (nyimbo hizi ni nzuri- these songs are good)
  14. Uzuri (uzuri huu ni mzuri – this beauty is good)
  15. Ku (Infinitive verbs (Kusoma huku ni kuzuri – this reading is good)
  16. Mahali noun class 1 – definite location (Mahali hapa ni pazuri – this place is nice)
  17. Mahali noun class 2 – indefinite location (Nyumbani kwangu – at my home)
  18. Mahali noun class 3 – location, inside (chumbani mwangu – in my room)


Thank you so much for going to all this trouble, Nsikan9. I must admit I find Swahili an intimidating language to figure out, but I will keep plugging on and expect it will stick eventually. By doing a web search for "How many noun classes are there in Swahili" I did find some helpful links. Again, my thanks to you.

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