"Wakapanda mlima kilimanjaro na wakachoka"

Translation:They climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and they got tired

October 17, 2017



The tense marker 'ka' is used to make sentences in the past tense and it also connects the result of one action in the previous sentence with another result in the next sentence as follows:

[Because] they climbed climbed Mount Kilimanjaro [they therefore] got tired. But these [because] and [therefore] are not spoken in Swahili but I have written them here to express the meaning of tense marker 'ka' which means 'as a result of previous activity in the previous situation in the past.

My suggestion is that NEVER use tense marker 'ka' in both first and second sentence. The above sentence should have been written as follows:

"Wa-li-panda mlima Kilimanjaro na wa-ka-choka.

Which means that they got tired because they climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

In order to avoid unnecessary repetition there is no need of using 'ka' in both section wa-ka-panda and in wa-ka-choka. One of the should use tense 'li' for Simple Past Tense.

The tense marker 'ka' may also function for Present Perfect Tense for Single Person Third Case if used without any of the subject prefix/subject marker as follows:

ka-ondoka sasa hivi which means he has left right now

ka-fa = kafa = he has died

ka-shindwa = kashindwa = he has failed.

By Linguist George Mwidima Kihanda.

May 12, 2018


Thanks for that contribution. You've cleared it up for me a lot.

August 29, 2018


More examples are as follows:

He was shot with a bullet and died.

A-li-pigwa risasi a-ka-fa. NOT Alipigwa risasi alikufa.

Wa-li-kunywa sumu wa-ka-fa. NOT walikunywa sumu walikufa.

Walitoroka gerezani wa-ka-kamatwa.

May 30, 2018


They drank poison and died.

They escaped from prison but were caught.

June 12, 2018


The use of the narrative -ka- here really should have been preceded by a -li- verb, right?

October 17, 2017


I think so, according to what I've read (including what they give us here) and examples I've seen as well, but the sentences were written by native speakers, so ...

October 18, 2017


You cannot use li and then ka in the same word. It's one or the other, never both

April 29, 2018


1) You don't say. 2) This should be Mount, not Mountain. 3) Why is this in the "advanced grammar" section when it uses none of the relevant techniques?

February 23, 2018


Even though mlima translates directly to English as mountain, I would guess that if we refer to a specific mountain, such as Kilimanjaro, that mlima better translates as Mount (or Mt.).

May 29, 2018


What, pray tell, is Mountain Kilimanjaro?

June 21, 2018


There is no need to repeat the subject in English: "They climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and got tired" should be OK.

December 7, 2018
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