"Sasa ni saa moja na nusu"

Translation:Now it is half past seven

July 1, 2017

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Wanna here a funny story? A friend of mine who went to Kenya for an international assignment while working with some NGO, had a meeting with some local elders. She told them that she will meet them at 10 oclock, which she meant to be 4pm in the afternoon(she thought since you're in kenya, use the time system that these Kenyan elders are familar with). And so, some 15 minutes after 10am, she got a call from someone, saying some elders are waiting for her in a meeting room. Apparently, the elders too thought that this western lady is using her own system and therfore 10 meant 10 am and not 4 pm, as they would've interpreted if they were talking to one of the locals...and so, confusion. Btw, I am originally from Somalia, and we have a similiar time-count to the Swahili system. So I have some advantage here, even though I am just learning Kiswahili


Kenyans always use the Western system when speaking English and Swahili time when speaking Swahili. So, saa kumi is the same as four o'clock, and saa nne is the same as ten o'clock. They seem to juggle these two systems effortlessly.


The answer is "half past seven" yet none of these words actually mean seven according to the translations?


Have you read the tips and notes? If you're on the app you might need to visit the website.

Briefly, the literal translation is "now it is hour one and a half" (or half past the first hour). Swahili time starts at 6am (or 6pm for evening/night times). The first hour after six is seven.

Now it is half past seven.


Oh I see. Yes, I am using the app. Thanks for the clarification


If it helps you or anyone who comes here, I really struggle with maths - I think I have a touch of the number-equivalent of dyslexia, and trying to do something simple like adding or subtracting six while holding other things in my head is really hard for me (I also find it hard to remember words for numbers, probably for a similar reason) ... so the way that's most painless in my head is to visualise a clock and simply think about what's on the opposite side of the clock from the hour. Imagine that the hour hand has a bit projecting backwards as well that shows Swahili time. So if it's 5 o'clock, then I know straight away that that's 11 in Swahili time without any subtraction or addition.

If your brain handles numbers well but is less visual, then this probably sounds completely bizarre, lol.


You know, for the past 3 months I have struggled with that very problem. I will try out this technique.

Learning and using a new language takes so much brain storage... When talking I am thinking about what I just said (and if I said it correctly), what 11-6 is, what I'm about to say next in English, and then how to translate that into Swahili.

Hopefully this helps me. Thank you!


Is half past seven is the different than 7:30? I'm confused because my answer was wrong.


I would rather have said, "it is a half past seven now."

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