"Now it is half past seven"
Translation:Sasa ni saa moja na nusu
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.
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.
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 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.