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  5. "Now it is half past seven"

"Now it is half past seven"

Translation:Sasa ni saa moja na nusu

July 3, 2017



Yes! Swahili clocks count the start of the day and the start of the night. (I know, this will be a little confusing to 'the rest of the planet') Example: 6 am is "saa kumi na mbili" (end of night. 7 am is "saa moja" (start of the day) 12 noon is "saa sita" (midday) 6 pm is "saa kumi na mbili" (end of day) 7 am is "saa moja" (start of night)

Makes a little sense, right??? That "1" is at sunrise and again "1" is at sunset.


I knew something like this was happening, and on this exercise, I realized it would work if the day started and ended at 6. And here your comment is. Thank you!

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Is "saa moja" seven o'clock?


As Ben says, the day starts at 6am. This is hour twelve, saa kumi na mbili.

7am is the first hour after 6am, so is hour one in the morning, saa moja asubuhi.

The same is said in the evening. Again, 6pm is hour twelve.

7pm is the first hour after 6pm, so is hour one in the evening/at night, saa moja jioni/usiku.


Yep. The day begins at 6.AM


But it makes some mess. You wanna tell me that some Kenyan/ Tanzanian looking at the watch and seen there 7:30 would tell - sasa ni saa moja na nusu ?


Yeah do applications/clocks in Swahili have custom settings? Could any native Swahili speakers/those working in Swahlili-speaking environments share their exp? Otherwise wouldn't it be quite weird for every Tanzanian to have to switch between two time systems constantly, and wouldn't this traditional system erode very quickly especially in urbanised areas? It's almost as if your language used base 12 and all around you in currencies, products everything is done in decimal. Granted it's exactly 6 hours difference, so it's still quite convenient; just look directly opposite the hour hand, but still...


it's really not hard at all to make the conversion. it's like how in certain U.S. military contexts they only use 24-hour time -- some watches only support 12-hour time, but they make the conversion in their head. i disagree with your assertion that the system would erode in urban areas.


I think their watches follow this time logic, so at 7:00 it should show 1:00 (I could be wrong)


Actually they set their clocks just like the westerners but they read it off according to Swahili time


I think they have various preferences. I know a Tanzanian who wears his watch upside down when he is in Europe. He can still turn up at the wrong time for meetings though.


Saa moja unusu should also be accepted


moja means one, not seven!


Please read the rest of this discussion, starting at the top, to learn about Swahili time. Moja means "one", but not "one o'clock".


Their 24 hours instead of being two halves of 12 (Am) and 12 (pm) .. are four quarters of 6 hours divided if i am not wrong in asubuhi, mchana, jioni and usiku. So it's not about when you start to count but the way you divide the 24hrs of the day.


I think you are describing the concept 'time of day' (e.g. morning, afternoon, evening, night). These are used together with the 12-hour clock time, as shown in juryrigging's examples.

Note that there are more than four of them, e.g. 'alfajiri' = dawn, early morning (about 5 a.m.), 'alasiri' = late afternoon (about 3 p.m.).

According to my Swahili teacher, 'jioni' (evening) starts at 4 p.m. and 'usiku' (night) starts at 8 p.m.

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