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DAYS of the WEEK/NUMBERS/TIME

Click on one of the underlined words to hear it's pronunciation...


DAYS OF THE WEEK


In Swahili, Saturday is the first day of the week. The sixth day of the week, Thursday, is mostly pronounced  as "Alkhamisi" to match the way it is pronounced in its Arabic origin. Thursday and Friday both are of Arabic origin. They probably replaced the original Bantu names of those days due to their special place in the Islamic religion. Note that in Arabic, "Alkhamis" means the fifth day of the Arabic week while Thursday is actually the sixth day of the Swahili week! Sort of we ended up with two fifth days of the week: "Jumatano" and "Alkhamisi"!


Saturday...................................................................Jumamosi  (literally: "first day of the week")


Sunday.....................................................................Jumapili


Monday....................................................................Jumatatu


Tuesday....................................................................Jumanne


Wednesday..............................................................Jumatano


Thursday..................................................................Alhamisi


Friday.......................................................................Ijumaa




MONTHS OF THE YEAR


January.....................................................................Januari                July............................................................................Julai


February...................................................................Februari               August.......................................................................Agosti


March.......................................................................Machi                    September.................................................................Septemba


April.........................................................................Aprili                      October.....................................................................Oktoba


May..........................................................................Mei                         November..................................................................Novemba


June.........................................................................Juni                        December...................................................................Desemba




NUMBERS


1 - Moja                                                         20 - Ishirini                                           1000 - Elfu


2 - Mbili                                                        24 - Ishirini na nne                           1997 - Elfu moja mia tisa tisini na saba


3 - Tatu                                                          30 - Thelathini                                     half - Nusu


4 - Nne                                                            40 - Arubaini                                       two and a half - Mbili na nusu 


5 - Tano                                                          50 - Hamsini                                        Quarter - Robo


6 - Sita                                                             55 - Hamsini na tano                      Forty seven & three quarters - Arubaini na saba na robo tatu


7 - Saba                                                           60 - Sitini                                       

                                                               

8 - Nane                                                          70 - Sabini                         


9 - Tisa                                                            80 - Thamanini


10 - Kumi                                                        90 - Tisini


11 - Kumi na moja                                     100 - Mia


12 - Kumi na mbili                                     136 - Mia moja thalathini na sita


17 - Kumi na saba                                       999 - Mia tisa tisini na tisa





TIME


In the Swahili culture the day starts at sunrise (unlike in the Arab world where the day starts at sunset, and in the Western world where the day starts at midnight). Sunrise in East Africa, being exactly at the Equator, happens every day at approximately 6:00 a.m. For that reason, 6:00 a.m. is "0:00 morning" Swahili time the time as spoken in Swahili).


The hands of a watch or clock meant to read Swahili time would always point to a number opposite to the number for the actual time as spoken in English. That is, the Swahili time anywhere in the world (not just East Africa) is delayed by 6 hours; therefore 7:00 a.m. is "1:00 morning"  (saa moja asubuhi) Swahili time; midnight is "6:00 night"  (saa sita usiku) Swahili time. 5:00 a.m. is "11:00 early morning" (saa kumi na moja alfajiri) Swahili time.


Also note that Swahili time does not use "noon" as the reference as in a.m. (before noon) and p.m. (after noon). The time is spoken using the following:


"alfajiri" - the early morning time during which the morning light has started to shine but the sun has not risen yet;


"asubuhi" - the morning time between sunrise and a little before noon;


"mchana" - from around noon to around 3:00 p.m.;


"alasiri" - from around 3:00 p.m. to sunset; 


"jioni" - the entire time period from around 3:00 p.m. up to a little before 7:00 p.m.; and 


"usiku" - the entire time period from around 7:00 p.m. to early morning.




English                                         Swahili                                                         English                                               Swahili    

       

Time/hour/watch/clock............Saa                                                                      8:15 p.m............................Saa mbili na robo usiku


Morning.....................................Asubuhi                                                            7:45 p.m............................Saa mbili kasorobo usiku


Evening......................................Jioni/Usiku                                                    9:30 a.m............................Saa tatu unusu asubuhi (also: Saa tatu na nusu asubuhi)


Afternoon..................................Mchana                                                             Now...................................Sasa


Late Afternoon..........................Alasiri/Jioni                                                   Today................................Leo


Dusk..........................................Magharibi                                                        Yesterday..........................Jana


Night..........................................Usiku                                                                 Tomorrow.........................Kesho


Late night..................................Usiku wa manane                                        Day before yesterday........Juzi


Early morning...........................Alfajiri                                                               Day after tomorrow..........Kesho-kutwa


What time is it?.........................Saa ngapi?                                                       Day....................................Siku


8 o'clock in the morning...........Saa mbili kamili asubuhi                         Week..................................Wiki


8 o'clock sharp..........................Saa mbili barabara                                      Month................................Mwezi


Noon.........................................Saa sita mchana                                            Year....................................Mwaka


4:25 p.m....................................Saa kumi na dakika ishirini na tano alasiri    Century................Karne


6:00 p.m...................................Saa kumi na mbili kamili jioni



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