"I have to use the bathroom right now!"

Translation:Ninahitaji kujisaidia sasa hivi!

July 8, 2018

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Don't quite understand this: Kujisaidia means "to help yourself". Swahili euphemism for using the bathroom? (which itself is a euphemism :). But how does hivi come in?


sasa = now
sasa hivi = right now


polite way of saying it


"Sasa hivi" means "right now!" It's like an American saying, "I've got to go (right now)!" I love the euphemism of "helping oneself." I think it's pretty ingenious.


Is sasa a ki/vi noun, or is this just an idiom one must learn?


"sasa" = "now" is an adverb and not a noun. i think demonstratives usually agree with vi class when modifying an adverb, because the adverb doesn't have a noun class. you see this with adjectives modifying adverbs as well.


In colloquial 'upcountry' Swahili, as opposed to the more correct 'coastal' version, I was taught the expression "Ninahitaji kwenda haja fupi" - literally "I need to go for a short necessity/requirement", meaning "I need to pee".


So what is the word for bathroom in this sentence please? Can you give me a literal translation of this sentence please? 09032020


Literally: "I need to help myself right now."
As mentioned in this discussion, this is a euphemism. Swahili avoids referring to the toilet (just like American English, which calls it "the bathroom" even when there is no bath in the room).


Both the English and Swahili are euphemisms.


Shouldn't it be kunisaidia instead of kujisaidia?


No, -ji- is the affix for the reflexive pronoun, i.e. referring back to the subject of the sentence. It is always -ji- independent on the subject pronoun. Compare these:

Nimejikata kidole: I have cut my finger (litt. I have cut myself the finger).

Nimekukata kidole: I have cut your finger.

Umenikata kidole: You have cut my finger.

Umejikata kidole: You have cut your finger.


"Ni-" is already provided in the first part: "Ninahitaji" (I need).
The "-ji-" in "kujisaidia" is the reflexive pronoun (to help myself.)

See this useful Swahili cheat sheet:


So, is there a reason that "ninahitaji choo sasa hivi" wasn't accepted?


Daleswords, I think it's because Swahili speakers wouldn't say that. Although your literal translation is correct, it would be bad manners to actually mention the toilet.


Thanks Catriona28475. I just saw you mentioned that months ago. I should have seen it.

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