Translation:I ask for
In fact, in many places across Tanzania, "Naomba" would be the word for "please", adding for any polite request - like your suggestion! :)
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.
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.
"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.
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)
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.
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."
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.
Hummmm....so where and when should 'ningependa' be used....I thought those words were -also- more polite than 'ninataka.
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.