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"We were born in the year one thousand nine hundred and eighty"

Translation:Tulizaliwa mwaka elfu moja mia tisa na themanini

November 11, 2017



Why is "na" needed between the hundreds and tens places? In general, when is "na" needed in numbers?


Some sources say only before units, but I've seen/heard native speakers throw na into numbers to disambiguate, making it clear that the following value is added to the preceding value and not a multiplicator.


i think "na" is most natural between the second-to-last and last "number words" in the sentence. so if the year was 1984, it would be "mwaka elfu moja mia tisa themanini na nne" instead.


This was a hard one!


When speaking normally in Swahili, wouldn't someone simply say kumi na tisa themanini for 1980? Or is it normal to say years as the full number (one thousand, nine hundered and eighty)?


In English, when we say "nineteen-eighty" the context lets you know that "nineteen" is an abbreviation for "nineteen hundred." Obviously, "nineteen hundred" equals 1900 equals 1,900 equals "one thousand and nine hundred." You know that, of course.

But in Swahili, "kumi na tisa themanini" would mean "19, 80." I have never heard anyone say "mia kumi na tisa" for 1900 ("nineteen hundred") — "mia kumi na tisa" could as well be "ten hundred and nine" (1009). So what is unambiguous in English usage ("nineteen eighty" is understood as 1980) would be completely ambiguous in Swahili usage.

Thus, yes, it is normal to say the years as the full number.


Thanks! Just wanted to be sure


Tisa mia should also be correct, you need to consult real kiswahili speakers for this

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