1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swahili
  4. >
  5. "I went to the farm then I ha…

"I went to the farm then I harvested tomatoes."

Translation:Nilienda shambani halafu nikavuna nyanya.

October 12, 2018



The notes for this module state that the infix for the first in the sequence should be 'li' as usual, while subsequent verbs take 'ka'. This the case in this example but not in other questions in the exercise. This is an inconsistency that I can't fathom. Can somebody comment please?


I reported this 5/2020


I thought using halafu and -ka- at the same time would be redundant. Is that not the case?


Yeah, it is redundant, but redundant doesn't mean incorrect.

To go off topic and get technical, the plural "s" in "three apples" is redundant too, since the word "three" already tells us explicitly that apples is plural. In some languages, such as Turkish, you don't use the plural form of nouns with a number or some other quantity words because it's redundant and it's simply not done. In English, you have to. I've only mentioned this to indicate that "redundant" doesn't mean "incorrect" or "unnecessary". Some redundancies are obligatory, some are forbidden, and some are optional. It depends on the language and what exactly we're talking about.

Languages often contain a lot of redundancy - too little redundancy means that single sounds can contain a lot of meaning that could make or break whether the message is understood or not, and that adds extra listener strain or causes communication to break down under suboptimal hearing conditions. Often, redundancies like this are used for emphasis ... if you just say nikavuna ... someone might miss that "-ka-" ... it's only one consonant away from ninavuna or nitavuna, but using "halafu" at the same time makes the "and then" sentiment very clear.


While redundancies aren't necessarily incorrect, conciseness isn't necessarily incorrect, either. In this case, omitting the "halafu" is marked as incorrect, but I think the question posed here is whether that would actually be linguistically incorrect.


they can be used together, or you can just use '-ka-' and omit 'halafu' to indicate sequence


Is there any way to know when the first verb in the sequence will be marked -li- and when it will be -ka-?


the first verb in a sequence should always be marked -li-, because -ka- means "and then"


I thought it should be : I harvested - nililima


Nililima means 'I cultivated/I grew'. You have to cultivate the tomatoes first before you can harvest them :)


'Harvest' is plain wrong here:

one is here gathering ('picking') SOME tomatoes subsequent to being at the farm ('nilienda shambani halafu') - just happens to be there;

'harvest' demands going to the farm for the purpose of undertaking the reaping of ALL tomatoes ('nilienda kukavuna,' or 'nilienda nikavune');

thus, here, not 'harvest,' but 'pick,' and the two don't mean the same thing, please.


I think you are assigning more nuanced meaning to the sentence than is implied.

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