I have never heard the word "paa" used for gazelle, only "swara" or swala." My dictionary does not list the word "paa."
My dictionary contains " paa" - gazelle, roof, and...".blue duiker"- what I don't know what is this. Swara is - gazelle and - swala - as the first meaning is - antelope
The letters "L" and "R" are often interchanged in Swahili, because they have similar pronunciations. So Swara is sometimes spelled Swala, though they mean the same thing, gazelle.
I don't carre about problems with pronouncing but about two different words signed as two different nouns having differend meaning. .)
What exactly are you saying? Of course two different words, which are said differently will have different meanings. Or are you saying they are spelled differently, but pronounced the same and have different meanings? Maybe you did not understand what billhatcher was saying(or I simply don't understand what you are saying, which I fully recognize).
First, it is noteworthy there are still many Waswahili(Swahili speakers) in Tanzania who do not know how to read or to write. The letters 'r' and 'l' sound so strikingly similar, especially in Swahili, that many Waswahili don't understand the distinction. For example, there is a word 'shwari' (roughly meaning level or flat or calm) and my friend and I both heard it and spelled and pronounced it differently. I would pronounce it with 'r' shwari, and he would pronounce it with 'l' shwali(very blatant 'l' in the pronunciation). I one time asked a local, is it shwari, or shwali. The response, it doesn't matter, it's the same word either way(although the offical spelling is 'shwari' if you look it up in dictionaries). So with the words 'swara' and 'swala' will literally sound exactly the same. These word could refer to both gazelle and antelope, since they are similar creature and, as with the 'r' and 'l' conondrum, Swahili does not go out of its way to make distinctions between many things that are similar in nature. I believe that is what he was communicating.