LESSON #97: Je, wajua? (#11)

On je, wajua? (do you know?) today we are talking about animals, birds, fish and insects in Swahili and the one thing they have in common. These creatures’ names just happen not to have plural versions eg. in English we have the animal name sheep which remains the same in the plural. In Swahili, most of the aforementioned creatures’ names do not change in the plural, they remain the same, just like ‘sheep.’ Pretty cool huh?!

However note that the operative word here is most, which means we do have a few exceptions. Feel free to add any other names that are the exception to this but the two I know of are animals:

Kiboko (hippo) whose plural is viboko

Kifaru (rhino) whose plural is vifaru.

The rest pretty much fall within the rule and therefore remain the same in either singular or plural form.

Here’s a few examples:

Mende (cockroach/es), mbu (mosquito/es), panya (mouse/mice), ng’ombe (cow/s), papa (shark/s), sato (tilapia fish), kuku (chicken/s), bata (duck/s)

Note: In Swahili we have something called noun classes-basically nouns are categorized into different groups depending on certain characteristics they may have. The above nouns all belong to a class called N-class whose main characteristic is that its nouns remain the same in singular and plural form. More on noun classes someday soon-when I have the energy for it-it’s a really heavy topic! Or if you ask me really nicely…. 😉

LESSON #96: Swahili with lyrics…#03 (Nerea)

So to start us off, a good follower of this blog contacted me with suggestions on future lessons and top of his list was lyrics to this song. As a bonus and as we always do we will add a translation as well. Thanks for the suggestions Nico and for always showing interest in my blog.

***Lyrics (with a little bit of tweaking) thanks to Fetterly Consulting

Enjoy!

 Sauti Sol-Nerea

Nakuomba Nerea, Usitoe Mimba Yangu We (I’m begging you Nerea, Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Mungu Akileta Mtoto, Analeta Saa Ni Yake (When God gives a child, He does so in His own time)
Mlete Nitamlea, Usitoe Mimba Yangu We (Give me the child I’ll raise it, Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Mungu Akileta Mtoto, Analeta Saa Ni Yake (When God gives a child, He does so in His own time)

Huenda Akawa Obama, Atawale Amerika (Perhaps he* could become Obama, rule America)
Huenda Akawa Lupita, Oscar Nazo Akashinda (Perhaps she* could become Lupita, win Oscars)

Huenda Akawa Wanyama, Acheze Soka Uingereza (Perhaps he* could become Wanyama play soccer in the UK)
Huenda Akawa Kenyatta, Mwanzilishi Wa Taifa (Perhaps he* could become Kenyatta, the founder of the nation)
Nakuomba Nerea, Usitoe Mimba Yangu We (I’m begging you Nerea, Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Mungu Akileta Mtoto, Analeta Saa Ni Yake (When God gives a child, He does so in His own time)
Mlete Nitamlea, Usitoe Mimba Yangu We (Give me the child I’ll raise it, Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Mungu Akileta Mtoto, Analeta Saa Ni Yake (When God gives a child, He does so in His own time)

Huenda Akawa Maathai, Ayalinde Mazingira (Perhaps she* could become Maathai, protect the environment)
Huenda Akawa Makeba, Nyimbo Nzuri Akatunga (Perhaps she* could become Makeba and pen good songs)

Huenda Akawa Nyerere, Aongoze Tanzania (Perhaps he* could become Nyerere, lead Tanzania)
Huenda Akawa Mandela, Mkombozi Wa Taifa (Perhaps he* could become Mandela, liberate Africa)

Nakuomba Nerea, Usitoe Mimba Yangu (I’m begging you Nerea, Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Mungu Akileta Mtoto, Analeta Saa Ni Yake (When God gives a child, He does so in His own time)
Mlete Nitamlea, Usitoe Mimba Yangu We (Give me the child I’ll raise it, Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Mungu Akileta Mtoto, Analeta Saa Ni Yake (When God gives a child, He does so in His own time)

Nakuomba Nerea, Nerea, Nerea, (I’m begging you Nerea, Nerea, Nerea)
Usitoe MimbaYangu (Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Nerea, Nerea, Nerea
Usitoe MimbaYangu (Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Huenda Akawa Kagame (Atawale) (Perhaps he* could become Kagame, (and) rule)
Jaramogi Odinga (Tuungane) (Jaramogi Odinga, (we) unite)
Huenda Akawa Tom Mboya (Perhaps he* could become Tom Mboya)
Huenda Akawa Rudisha (Perhaps he* could become Rudisha)
Huenda Akawa Malaika, Mungu Ametupatia (Perhaps he* could be an Angel, (that)God has given us)
Huenda Akawa Sauti Sol (Perhaps he* could become Sauti Sol)
Huenda Akawa Amos & Josh (Perhaps he* could become Amos &Josh)
Huenda Akawa……..(Perhaps he* could become)
Huenda Akawa Malaika, Mungu Ametupatia (Perhaps he* could be an Angel, (that)God has given us )

***In Swahili, he can be substituted for she unless it is clearly implied or stated that the gender referred to is female or male

***Lyrics (with a little bit of tweaking by me) thanks to Fetterly Consulting