"Suruali ya kijivu"

Translation:The gray pants

July 7, 2017

17 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndyCole9

Pants/trousers are plural. 'a pair of grey pants, some grey pants', or simply 'grey pants' would be correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndyCole9

Interesting. What's the difference between pants and trousers? I wasn't aware of one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenMack8

Pants are underwear and trousers are trousers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndyCole9

Underpants are underwear and pants are American trousers. Two once great nations divided by a common language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenMack8

True but pants is a colloquialism for trousers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Catriona28475

Ben 837613, you are describing British usage only. Here are some explanations from Americans (who know what the word "trousers" means to Brits but almost never use it, unless they are talking about uniforms or dressing for a formal event):
https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/pants-versus-trousers-american-usage-only.2579731/

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/400155/how-common-is-the-word-trousers-in-american-english
I don't think we should assume this question is about dressing smartly. Just allow both "pants" and "trousers" as accepted answers (which I hope they now do).


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

1) Can we have trousers as well as pants as the two are not the same and mean different things in North America and Europe/Asia? 2) Trousers or pants are always plural in English - So "A pair of grey pants" or "grey pants".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blue-oranges

Why is it that the a of association (ya) is used here but often the colour just follows the object directly? What are the rules that I am missing please?


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

Terrible English.


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

As others have pointed out here, in America pants are the same as trousers. In England pants are underwear. Does anyone know if the term pants in Kenya, Uganda or Tanzania equal trousers or underwear? I'm always curious about learning these little cultural differences that might save me some mild teasing later.


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

Does this not mean "pants of gray"? Would'nt gray pants be Surali ni kijivu or even Surali kijivu ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Catriona28475

Yes, it means 'pants of gray', following the same pattern as 'eyes of blue'.

Apart from the adjectives '-eusi' (black), '-eupe' (white) and '-ekundu' (red), Swahili colour terms are nouns based on real things with that colour. The noun 'kijivu' means ash, so gray is 'rangi ya kijivu' = the colour of ash. To use these nouns as a colour you have to include 'ya' (or za/cha/vya /la/wa, depending on the preceding noun).

Here are some other colour examples illustrating this principle:
https://www.spokenswahili.com/blog/colours-swahili/


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

Thank you for the explanation. I speak another Bantu language as a mother tongue you would think this would have been clear to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndyCole9

Very helpful. Thanks for that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Catriona28475

Edit: The basic word for ash is 'jivu' (plural 'majivu', ashes).

The word 'kijivu' seems to have evolved from this to mean the color itself (but they still write 'rangi ya kijivu'). It translates as:
having a color somewhere between white and black, as the ash of an ember
https://glosbe.com/sw/en/kijivu

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