"Kisu na kijiko na chakula"

Translation:A knife and a spoon and food

April 18, 2017

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Is it really common in kiswahili to use multiple ands like this to list different things? It sounds a bit awkward in English, but I know some languages do this.


It is not, at least in my experience of living in Kenya for nearly 4 years


Why is it na here, not cha?


Because it's "a knife and a spoon and food". The word na means and, and the word cha means of.

(thx. @lund.mikkel for noticing my mistake)


It's actually not fork, but food. I have no idea, why we are not learning the word for fork as well!


Yeah. It's strange, especially in this combination. Who eats food with a knife and a spoon? It's more common with a knife and a fork.

But I think it's because traditionally, food was eaten with the hands, without forks, and is often still done many places in East Africa. If you think about it, the fork is the least useful utensil we have. Everything you use a fork for can either be done with your hands, or the tip of a sharp knife. It is also the youngest one, precisely for that reason. A knife can be used to cut with, while a spoon can be used to eat liquids with, like soup. Both of those are hard to do with your bare hands. At least without making a mess.


I really like this language! I can't wait until I hit a milestone of having learned 1000 words!

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