1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swahili
  4. >
  5. "When is he coming?"

"When is he coming?"

Translation:Anakuja lini?

October 2, 2018

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ernst557459

My understanding is that Swahili never uses the present tense for future actions (like English does in this case). So, the correct answer is "Atakuja lini?: i.e. when will he come. Since I'm in Tanzania now, I asked a native speaker to confirm this, and she did :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/machieng

I can't speak for Tanzanian Swahili, but as far as Kenyan Swahili goes, 'anakuja lini?' makes grammatical sense (I'm a native speaker from Kenya)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ernst557459

Swahili was born in Tanzania, grew old in Kenya and died in Uganda.

Maybe this adage explains the difference :) :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AGreatUserName

Swahili originated on the coast of both Tanzania and Kenya, as far south as northern Mozambique and as far north as southern Somalia. It doesn't belong to either country more than the other, it's just that the standardised form of written Swahili was arbitrarily chosen by European colonisers to be the dialect spoken in Zanzibar city. It could easily have been the Mombasa dialect that was chosen to be the standard. Also, for political reasons, Swahili was really pushed in Tanzania, so more people speak it than in Kenya, but neither of these two facts mean that Swahili belongs any more to Tanzania than to Kenya.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/machieng

I'll try not to take offense to that


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AGreatUserName

My understanding is that it can as long as the context is clear, but I don't have a reference for that at hand.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ernst557459

And I can't report this, because the alternative "this Swahili sentence doesn't make sense" is not among the alternatives :(

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