"Karibu nyumbani kwangu"
Translation:Welcome to my house
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But if you're welcoming someone to your house, you must be in your house-- so the house is near and specific. Ku- refers to a "general/non-specific/far away place" according to the tips. So why isn't it "pangu" or "mangu"? I don't get how one chooses the correct prefix with possessives.
Kwangu is not really about whether it’s near or far. Pangu can also be used for far away places or to show movement. The main factor is more about precision.
Kwangu is for general, non-specific or imprecise locations. Pangu is used mostly with precise locations like “right at”. A house is not a precise location. A person can be at someone’s house and it may still take you a moment to find them because a house is much larger than a person. For this reason, it’s common to say
nyumbani kwangu = to/at/from my house/home
mlangoni pangu = to/at/from my door
chumbani mwangu = into/in/out of my room
A door is a much more precise location than a house (for a human sized referent), so pangu is more common there. If you go to the door, there the person is. You’ll be expected to find them immediately.
That said, these “rules” really depend on perspective and they’re often broken. It’s best to think of them as guidelines and pay attention to actual use. Many speakers use predominantly the “ku-/kw-” forms.
What is different between "Karibu nyumbani kwangu " and "Karibu nyumbani yangu "? Is the second question also correct?
It's kwangu because nyumbani (with the -ni suffix) is a place, and places are described with ku-, mu- or pu- (correct?). So ku-angu = kwangu, referring to the place that is my home. I think that's one of the most important lessons of this exercise, and it took me a while to grasp.
Karibu also means near. So I am not sure how one can distinguiah this sentence between meaning 'near' or 'welcome'
nyumbani is often translated "home" because it is a specific house and the person is being welcome into it.
To add on to this Nyumba translates to home, and can even refer to a house. The -ni suffix implies a preposition, like 'to' or 'at' the home.
The TUKI dictionary says the opposite:
nyumba = house
nyumbani = home
So the correct translation ought to be "Welcome to my home".