"Buibui ni mdogo"

Translation:A spider is small

5/5/2017, 1:29:23 AM

3 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/billhatcher

How about, " Spiders are small"?

5/5/2017, 1:29:23 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/AGreatUserName
  • 15
  • 14
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3
  • 3

Because spiders are animate, the adjective is inflected like a person so it tells us that this is singular. Plural would be

Buibui ni wadogo. "(The) spiders are small."

5/5/2017, 12:27:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/_ro_ha
  • 14
  • 12
  • 12
  • 8
  • 7
  • 5
  • 3

I've noticed a few like this. I think that most English speakers would translate it to 'The spider is small' though. 'A spider is small' is almost speaking in the abstract (not referring to one particular spider), and if talking in the abstract I think most people would to say 'Spiders are small'.

But, as BenUserName notes, in this case the adjective indicates it's singular. Of course as I've said in other discussions here, a perfect English translation is less important than actually learning Swahili words and structure. However, I think 'the spider is small' should be accepted (and I have reported thusly).

7/9/2017, 12:50:30 AM
Learn Swahili in just 5 minutes a day. For free.