"Ninaomba"

Translation:I ask for

May 24, 2017

21 Comments


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

Could this translate, "May I have"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gazelle1596

In fact, in many places across Tanzania, "Naomba" would be the word for "please", adding for any polite request - like your suggestion! :)


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

'May I have' sounds more gentle. I think your answer is spot on.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanette.N.C

hmm, I literally took that as 'I am praying'... silly me


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

You're right. "Kuomba" is to pray, so when it is used to asked for something, it is asking in the most gentle, respectful, and prayerful way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MBG266009

Yes, back in the 80s in western Kenya, I don't remember "kuomba" being used for anything other than to pray to God. We used "kutaka" for expressing what you want/would like. Ninataka ugali.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katie105911

In Tanzania that would be SO RUDE


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

These are some of the words you're going to have to get used to. Tanzanians are more gentle with their language while Kenyans are more direct/blunt. Learn both.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MBG266009

Ah! And I was used to up-country "kitchen Swahili" which was rougher still. And my experience was around 30 and 50 years ago.. Thank you for this insight.


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

"Ninaomba" is literally "I am asking for" (which is why it's related to praying). I can see that "Ninataka" is supposed to be "I want" and "ninaomba" the more polite "I would like" but it's not technically accurate.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MBG266009

Yes. It feels so weird, but the African Languages Swahili dictionary now gives the meaning of kuomba to be: 1) to ask, 2) to beg or plead, and 3) to pray! I guess it is similar to the old English in sentences like this, spoken to humans: " Show some mercy, I pray!" Only now, to pray is not the primary meaning of kuomba. Maybe I am not remembering correctly, but what I remember is expressions like, "Tutaomba kwako." We will pray for you. (kwa yako, abbreviated)


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

Agreed. It's praying generally as in "tuombe" - let's pray. I think the asking connotation still exists subtly which is why it might make sense to say "Mungu, tunakuomba and tunakushukuru" - God, we pray to/of you and thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MBG266009

Thanks, JustinRsm1! I just wonder why Duolingo would teach "omba" as the prefered way to say "I would like", if it is only subtly around with the asking connotation.! Oh, well. I am glad I am not the only one on here that remembers "omba" to be mainly "to pray."


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

I actually think "kuomba" is a good, and most of all polite, way to ask for something. So I think Duolingo is right to have "ninaomba" as "I would like." It should just be noted that it's not a literal translation and the word can also be used to mean "to pray."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gazelle1596

And also, again: In many (Tanzanian) places "Naomba" would be the primary word used for "please" - any sentence requesting something would (should) start this way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MBG266009

O.K. That is good to know. Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nia338575

Hummmm....so where and when should 'ningependa' be used....I thought those words were -also- more polite than 'ninataka.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MBG266009

"Ningependa" - I wonder if this is used the same way the literal translation is used in English: "I would love..."?


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

It would be easier to learn this if there were just a skosh more context. ninaomba ugali, ninaomba maji. It doesn't have to be a complicated sentence, but it sort of hangs out in space this way and makes it hard to remember.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katie105911

"Please may I have" should be accepted

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