Fun-Lugha

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LESSON #6: Telling the time (wakati)

  • In Swahili culture the day is considered to start at sunrise which in EA normally happens around 6AM. (which in Swahili is 12:00- saa kumi na mbili asubuhi.

Time in Swahili:   12   1   2   3    4     5      6    7   8   9   10   11   12

Time in English:    6    7   8   9   10   11    12   1   2   3    4     5     6

How to tell time (Commonly used words & expressions):

    • Saa– hour(s); time
    • Dakika– minute(s)

  • Sekunde– second(s)
  • Kamili– O’clock
  • Na robo– quarter past
  • Na nusu– half past
  • Kasorobo– quarter to
  • Kasoro dakika……- less ..xxx…..minutes

Saa ngapi?– what time is it?

Examples: 

  • saa sita kamili– 12 o’clock
  • saa kumi na mbili na dakika tano – 6:05
  • saa mbili na robo– 8:15
  • saa kumi na moja na nusu– 5:30
  • saa tisa kasorobo– 2:45
  • saa tatu kasoro dakika nne– 8:56

Long story short, to tell the time either add or substract 6 hours from the given time then change it into the required language.

Kwa mfano:

A) 12am/pm:

substract 6 hours = 6pm/am

translate 6 into Swahili= saa sita usiku/mchana

B) Saa mbili asubuhi/usiku

add 6 hours= saa nane mchana/usiku,

translate ‘nane’ into English= eight am/pm

 28/02/13
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