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  5. "Kiranja ni msafi"

"Kiranja ni msafi"

Translation:A prefect is clean

April 12, 2017



I thought safi was invariable ... wiktionary agrees with me. Is this a noun meaning "clean person"?


I thought that too, but I just asked a Tanzanian Swahili teacher who replied:
"There are a few borrowed adjectives such as tajiri, hodari, masikini etc. which do not require prefixes. For the adjective ‘safi’, it requires the agreement prefix for many nouns (I know there some exceptions where it does not, e.g. maji safi ‘clean water’). Other examples showing agreement between subjects and adjectives are:
Kiti ni kisafi / viti ni visafi
Tunda ni safi / Matunda ni masafi

I was really surprised, as every text book I can find says the adjective 'safi' does not take an agreement prefix. However, I then found lots of examples of "msafi" here:


What does being clean have to do with being a child or a prefect? Is there some other translation of this in English that makes more sense?


'Safi' can also mean pure, honest, genuine, straightforward (among other things), according to Glosbe:


As I understand it, the trick is that the noun 'msafi' and the adjective + singular noun class agreement 'msafi' are spelled the same; therefore one must decide based on context which is a more natural English solution here.


ARABIC ADJECTIVES don't take agreements !!!!!!!!!!! In this case - which " singular noun class agreement " ?????? Doulingo's free variations on a theme " swahili" .


maybe, here, duolingo tries to emphasize KIRANJA belongs to M/WA class.. for safi as a borrowed adj., it is kinda flexible in daily use.

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