"Mount Kilimanjaro is visible"

Translation:Mlima Kilimanjaro unaonekana

August 3, 2018

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Why the -na at the end here?


kuonekana is "to be visible"

There's a small group of verbs that get -ekana/ikana instead of just -eka/ika. It kind of looks to me that there's a bit of a link to the concept of "widely" or "by people at large", but it's best to simply remember these verbs as you come across them

kujulikana = to be well-known
kupatikana = to be available
kutakikana = to be needed/wanted
kushindikana = to be unsuccessful
kuwezekana = to be possible
kuonekana = to be visible
kukosekana = to be missing/lacking
kusemekana = to be purported/claimed

cf. kusemeka = to be utterable/speakable/uttered/spoken


They look like they've been modified to be both reciprocal and stative verbs


Why is not 'umeonekana'?


If I understand correctly, the -me- tense is used in Swahili (apart from the past perfect) to describe 'something/someone' as the result of an action, and this 'something/someone' is still in a certain state because of this action:

Nimelewa, because I've been drinking

Umechoka, because you've been running

The visibility of Mt. Kilimanjaro is obviously not the result of an action. Therefore umeonekana should simply mean 'has been visible', i.e. just the past perfect.

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