"Mfereji wa maji machafu"

Translation:A canal of dirty water

July 21, 2018

This discussion is locked.


I thought it could be Dirty water canal


for direct translation, the answer given is correct. Also, ordinarily no canal is designed for dirty water, which I think 'dirty water canal' implies. Also also, just as a side note, 'mfereji' is also a tap


Why is it machafu here and not mchafu?


Because it's a canal of dirty water, not a dirty canal of water.

maji machafu = dirty water (ma class)
mfereji mchafu = dirty canal (m-mi class)

There's a table showing all the forms here https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/chafu


Thanks for a succinct and perfect contribution which answers the question as well as providing us with a nugget of language wisdom. You've got precision and a sense of proportion.


Thanks! What if i wanted to say exactly that "[canal of water] that is dirty" rather than "canal of [water that is dirty]"? Does the same ambiguity exist in the grammar and it is resolved by the declination bcs of the noun class? Is that a correct sentence: "Mfereji wa maji mchafu"? If it was a grammatical sentence, does it express that we have a "canal of water" where the canal happens to be dirty (and may hold clean water)?


I understand the word Mfereji to be both canal and pipe. Hence Mfereji wa mani machafu should translate as a dirty water pipe ?


What is the difference between 'unclean' and 'dirty'?


Why can't it be "The ditch with dirty water"?


I wrote, a dirty water canal! My answer was accepted but I think it's important to know the correct order.

[deactivated user]

    If "mfereji wa maji machafu" refers to an open sewer, or something similar, as I suspect it does, then I don't think "canal" is the right English translation. I have heard "Mfereji wa Panama" as a translation for Panama Canal -- that makes sense. Here is the old TUKI entry (unfortunately no longer online as far as I can determine):

    mfereji noun mi- ditch, trench, conduit, channel, canal, gutter: ~ wa Suez - Suez Canal

    Another related TUKI entry, as someone mentioned in another comment section:

    mtaro noun mi- [u-/i-] trench, ditch.


    What about "wastewater" canal? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wastewater Would that be a possible translation?

    Learn Swahili in just 5 minutes a day. For free.