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  5. "Pundamilia yupo Serengeti"

"Pundamilia yupo Serengeti"

Translation:The zebra is at Serengeti

June 14, 2018



This sentence is not good. We would say in English. There are Zebra in the Serengeti.


The yupo means we're talking about only one zebra though. This would be "The zebra is in the Serengeti" or "A zebra is in the Serengeti".


I guess it could mean the Village Serengeti rather than the plains or the park...but awkward nonetheless when we are chosing the proper English words from a limited menu!


One zebra? Or someone named Zebra?


I think the Swahili is OK here, and represents one way of saying that Serengeti is where you will find zebras, but it is not to be translated word-for-word. And that's why I don't like the English translation. I think I could ask (in Kenya): Wapi naweza kumwona twiga? and the answer could be "Twiga utamwona Tsavo." It is understood that we are not talking about any particular giraffe.


Wapi would usually go at the end of the sentence (unless you make a cleft sentence with a relative phrase), and if you say kumwona, it makes it much more likely that the listener will think you really mean one singular, specific giraffe ("the giraffe"). Object prefixes are not exactly a sign of definiteness, but they are more likely if the object is definite.

Ninaweza kuona twiga wapi?
Ni wapi ninapoweza kuona twiga?


I agree with you on the placement of wapi. As far as object infixes, I feel uncomfortable not using one when the direct object is a person or animal. I'm not sure where that comes from -- maybe the native speakers I used to interact with, maybe just a misconception on my part.


My swahili dictionary tells me that Zebra is 2 words. Punda Milia So who is correct - you or my dictionary?


I see it written both ways


Shouldn't it be "Pundamilia wamo Serengetti"? We are talking about more than one zebra.

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