Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Okuganja omu mashi (Counting in Mashi)

0=Bushà(nka ntahyo rhugwerhe) :Zero, Nought/Nil
0=popwe(nka ntahyo hisigire) :Nothing
1=ciguma :One
2=bibirhi(bibiri) :Two
3=bisharu : three
4=bini : four
5=birhanu : five
6=ndarhu :six
7=nda : seven
8=munani : eight
9=mwenda : nine
10=ikumi :ten
11=ikumi na ciguma : eleven
12=ikumi na bibiri(bibiri) :twelve
13=ikumi na bisharu :thirteen
14=ikumi na bini : fourteen
15=ikumi na birhanu : fifteen
16=ikumùi na ndarhu : sixteen
17=ikumi na nda : seventeen
18=ikumi na munani : eighteen
19=içkumi na mwenda :nineteen
20=makumi abirhi(abiri) : twenty
21=makumi abirhi na ciguma : twenty one
22=makumi abirhi na bibirhi(bibiri) : twenty two
23=makumi abirhi na bisharhu : twenty three
24=makumi abirhi na bini : twenty four
25=makumi abirhi na birhanu : twenty five
26=makumi abirhi na ndarhu : twenty six
27=makumi abirhi na nda : twenty seven
28=makumi abirhi na munane :twenty eight
29=makumi abirhi na mwenda:twenty nine
30=makumi asharhu: thirty
40=makumi ani: forty
50=makumi arhanu: fifty
60=makumi gali ndarhu:sixty
70=makumi gali nda : seventy
80=makumi gali munani : eighty
90=makumi gali mwenda : ninety
100=igana : a or one hundred
1.000=Cihumbi: One thousand
2.000= Bihumbi bibirhi: Two thousand
3.1420=Bihumbi bisharhu n'igana magana ani na makumi abirhi.

Note that the you separate figures with a mark ".", not a comma as it is the case in English. Also, when pronouncing the figures, after thousand/hundred/tens "and" is used to separate numbers.

Telling Time

Learners of Mashi should know that there are various words people use in order to demarcate periods of the day. These words correspond to the -time when “the bell is rung at the Parish/Mission”.

Some important words:

 sezi = Morning
 Bijingo = Evening
 Mushi = Day
 Budufu = Night

In fact, Mashi time runs from down to dusk, which is the case for Swahili, for example, which runs from midday to midnight. Learners of Mashi should know that, the day begins with daylight rather than midnight.
When by the English time is less than 6, six is added to it.
 5: 00 = 5 + 6 = 6: 00’
Nsaa Kumi na nguma
(Eleven o’clock)
 3: 00 = 3+6 = 9: 00’
(= There o’clock)
However, if the hour is 6 or more, six is subtracted from it. Thus,

 7: 00 = 7 – 6 = 1: 00’
Nsa nguma (One o’clock)
 8: 00: 8 – 6 = 2: 00’
Ns’ibirhi = Two o’clock.

 Early in the morning: mucherachera (this is used when the sky is red, it comes before sezi sezi, the time when you can see the sun rising eg: 6: 00’)
 From dawn to dusk: Kurengera sezi Kuhika bijingo
 Until dawn: Kuhika sezi
 Nsinga ezo okola ogogwerhe aho?
 What time is it?
 Can you tell the time?

Possible answers

 Zikola midi: It is noon
 Zikola midi yobudufu: It is midnight
 Zikola ns’isharhu n’eminiti isharu : It is three minutes past nine
 Zikola nsa munani n’enusu : It is half pats two
 Zikola ns’ibirhi z’obudufu : It is 8: 00 p.m
 Zikola nguma : It is one o’clock
 Zikola ns’irhanu zibuzire miniti ikumi : It is ten (minutes) to eleven
 Zikola nsa mwenda zibuzire miniti mwenda : It is nine minutes to three.

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