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Times Of The Day

Wakati Time
alfajiri dawn (or wee hours of the morning; think 4 AM)
asubuhi morning (arbitrary - any time before noon, really)
adhuhuri noon
mchana daytime (arbitrary-I would say around noon±2 hours)
jioni evening (also arbitrary, I would personally say 4 PM to 7 PM)
alasiri mid to late afternoon (~ between 12 and 4 PM)
magharibi evening/sunset, so 6 PM (magharibi also means 'west', so that's a way to remember that)
usiku nighttime (arbitrary - basically if it's dark out)
usiku wa manane midnight/dead of night

People just tend to say what time it is and follow it up with 'mchana', 'usiku', 'asubuhi' or 'jioni' to make the time of day clear e.g. 'saa nane mchana' to mean '2 PM'.

Some of these terms are relative, and the major ones used on a regular basis are: asubuhi, jioni, usiku, and mchana. The rest are typically used by news channels to mark the different times the news airs; in Kenya at least, most channels air news at 6/7 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, 7 pm, 9 pm, and sometimes 11 pm. For example, the channel Citizen has Citizen Alasiri which is news that airs at 4 pm.

[All credits go to @machieng!]

June 21, 2019



Four of these times of day come from Islam's times of prayer (salat):

Salat al-fajr: dawn, before sunrise. - alfajiri

Salat al-zuhr: midday, after the sun passes its highest. - adhuhuri

Salat al-'asr: the late part of the afternoon. - alasiri

Salat al-maghrib: just after sunset. - magharibi

Src: https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/practices/salat.shtml


great post ! what should however be noted is that, as you pointed out, '2 PM' is 'saa nane mchana', which if literally translated to 'eight (nane) o'clock' would be incorrect.

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