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  5. "Sema baba!"

"Sema baba!"

Translation:Speak father!

April 23, 2017

16 Comments


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

Can't sema also mean say or tell?


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

It can. It's also used to greet, its like the Kenyan 'What's up?"


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

Yes, that's what I'm used to. I'll report next time. I know there are a lot of different modes of speech in swahili, and I'm not saying they should accept every form of sheng or other more local colloquialisms, but I feel these translations are equally valid as speak. Actually I'm used to the word ongea for speaking, like "Naongea kiswahili".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustinRasm1

Yeah that's how I read it. In some settings odd to say to your dad or command someone older in general. Assuming "baba" is literal, "father."


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

Sema means "to say". "To tell" is "kuambia". I think this sentence should use the word "zungumza" instead of "sema".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustinRasm1

I believe "kusema" is used correctly here. In my experience (NW Tanzania), "kuzungumza" is "to converse" so as a command, it would mean "speak together" or "talk amongst yourselves." I agree "kuambia" is "to tell" and "kuongea" to speak.


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

I'm pretty sure kuzungumza means "to speak" and kusema means "to say"... If you're a native speaker, I'll believe you. Otherwise, I can ask a native speaker that I know in real life.


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

Just to be clear, my main point is that "kusema" is transitive, and "kuzungumza" isn't.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustinRasm1

I think we may have gone on a tangent here. I've edited my comment to reflect that "kusema" is used correctly as an imperative and the understanding of an imperative "kuzungumza", in the way you suggest, may vary regionally.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustinRasm1

Yeah, for sure! I just think we can summarize all of these comments above so others who use this forum can understand them more easily.


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

Why did you delete so many previous comments? Quoting my earlier comment:

Maybe we're both correct!

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