1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swahili
  4. >
  5. "Mother cooks nutritious food"

"Mother cooks nutritious food"

Translation:Mama hupika chakula cha lishe

March 12, 2019



There is no way of knowing from the English sentence that the HU- tense is required here. So "anapika" should be accepted as well as "hupika."


consider these two: 'he cooks rice' versus ' he is cooking rice'. Those two sentences do not mean the same thing; the former is in present simple tense and indicates that cooking rice is a thing 'he' does, while the latter is in present continuous tense and indicates cooking rice is an action 'he' has in progress.

The same goes for the translation. 'Yeye hupika wali' is 'he cooks rice', while '(Yeye) anapika wali' is 'he is cooking rice'. At the risk of stating what you already know, present simple tense can be used for both occurrences happening currently (usually for non-action verbs like 'she looks good' or 'I feel sick') and happening regularly (usually action verbs). For regular/habitual actions, the infix '-hu-' is used. For non-action verbs in present simple tense and action verbs in present continuous tense, '-na-' is used. So, 'he likes to cook rice' would be 'anapenda kupika wali', because the verb is 'to like', not 'to cook'.

There's definitely been some inconsistency in the past with given answers, but we're working towards updating the correct answers. Please feel free to point them out as you do your lessons, the discussion page is regularly monitored to keep up with errors! :)


Thanks for the detailed response. Glad you touched on the subject of inconsistencies in DL Swahili answers. I think in this case, there may also be inconsistencies in choice between HU- or -NA- tenses among native speakers. And that may reflect that there are situations where HU- is the obvious choice, and situations where -NA- is the obvious choice, but also a big "gray area", where either might be used. Consider: "He comes here every day." Some speakers will say "Yeye huja hapa kila siku", but I think others will say "(Yeye) anakuja hapa kila siku." Or am I just confused? :)


I can't speak for Tanzanian speakers, but I (Kenyan) would always say 'huja' for a regular action. Might be different else where, not sure!


Too much nitpicking as to English usage. I think whoever is developing this course may know Swahili but knows very little about Engish usage. Depending on the context "Mama cooks" may absolutely be a one-time event and not habitual, and may have the same meaning as "mama is cooking". The only rational reason for rejecting "anapika" could be that this partcular lesson is emphasizing a particular grammatical structure.


I agree and tell them again


The problem comes with the course - machieng has explained the difference between present simple and present continuous, but there are lots of places in the course which would require you to use 'mama anapika', which is translated as 'mother cooks', not as 'mother is cooking'.

The frustration comes with trying to remember which construction is being asked for by the specific lesson, when the sentences are decontextualised. This is particularly a problem given that this question in is the 'medicine' lesson, which is a whole section of the tree earlier than the 'habitual' lesson, meaning that people literally can't get it right.


Anapika should definitely be accepted.

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