I have encountered a number of problems while learning Zulu with Dingani.
As there seems to be no other way yet of reporting errors, questions or problems related to items of a course, I hope this topic will contribute to the improvement of this one.
I will expose specific issues in separate posts below, please join the conversation.
I have encountered a number of problems while learning Zulu with Dingani.
Here are a few mistakes that need to be corrected by the course creator @Patrick01 (I am still learning isiZulu so please do tell me if I am the one being mistaken here):
The locative “e” fails to be used in a number of phrases. The first one happens in level 24, with the phrase “I will go to the bar” which should translate as “Ngizoya ebha” and not “Ngizoya ibha”. The same happens in level 36, with “Yebo, siya ebha” and “Ngiya ehhotela”.
There is a typo in level 42 with the phrase “Umfana omcane”, which should be written “Umfana omncane”.
The present tense marker ‘-ya-’ is used in several phrases which do not stand on their own, which seems to go against the theory and appears inconsistent with other phrases in the course. For example, in level 30 we find the phrase “Uyafuna ukudlala ibhola?” which I believed should have been “Ufuna ukudlala ibhola?”. Is there a subtlety that I missed here? please do inform me.
The other phrases apparently (to my poor knowledge) misusing “-ya-” are in level 8, for instance “Ngiyaqonda kancane” instead of “Ngiqonda kancane”. I have thought that maybe, as an adverb, “kancane” didn’t count; but in the same level 8 we also have phrases such as “Ngifuna kancane” which does not feature the marker “-ya-”…(is it because in these cases “kancane” is considered a complement and not an adverb? how to tell the difference? it’s confusing…)
A problem encountered in learning this course (as in many others) is that some phrases have identical translations.
- I had to ignore the whole level 14 on Polite/Formal Greetings because it is impossible to tell when reviewing if the expected answer is the formal or informal one.
It would help a lot if the course creator @Patrick01 would differentiate these ambiguous phrases by specifying which is which, for instance “Hello (informal)” vs “Hello (formal)”.
Maybe it would also be interesting to introduce plural greetings “Hello (plural)”, and simply explain in the lesson that plural greetings can be used to be formal…? What do you all think?
- the same issue happens with the introduction of the recent and remote past tenses. It is impossible to tell whether a phrase such as “the boy drank water” is expected to be translated as “umfana uphuze amanzi” or “umfana waphuza amanzi”. Therefore an indication of the tense would be welcome, for example “the boy drank water (recent past)” vs “the boy drank water (remote past)”.
I fear that @Patrick01 is not active on this forum. (If he were his name would get a grey background like this: @MalieP. You can ask one of the staff members (e.g. @Lien) to contact him or you can ask them to make you a contributor. Then you can fix the mistakes yourself. Good luck
I have emailed Patrick01 and invited him to this thread.
Hopefully he can join us here soon.
Thanks a lot for that I am sure most of the “mistakes” I pointed out are are actually my own poor understanding of the language, some expert explanations would be welcome to learn even better.
Thanks for the message @Lien, after the original course forums were deleted I wasn’t aware that there was a new forum. A quick question for you, on the Zulu with Dingani course there has been a problem for about two years with the Vimeo embeds. All the vimeo embeds are half off the page. I reported it a few times but it never seem to have gotten fixed. Do you know if there is any workaround for this? This is what I see: https://s8.postimg.org/evzn95jd1/offscreen.png
Here is the link:
Good point on lesson 14, Ill change the primary definitions to plural so its clear that its a plural word (singular is still as an alternative definition).
In regards to the use of “ya”, im pretty sure its a correct way to say it. If you watch the video “Where are you going?” from the course they use “ya” to say “uyafuna ukudlala ibhola?” : https://vimeo.com/72617345
Whats confusing is that Dingani mentions in the video that “ya” is only used words with nothing after them. Sorry, I dont have enough knowledge to know for sure.
I fixed the typo in Level 42.
I’ll add the locative “e” to the words you mentioned.
Ill add alternative definitions for the remote/recent past problem.
Thanks for the fixes, ill be sure to check back on this forum from now on for anything else.
Thanks a lot for your response and for editing the course
I have chatted with a zulu person and indeed there is no doubt that the “ya” is correct, he just couldn’t really explain why! But it seems that it is often appropriate in questions (that do not involve any interrogative word).
As for the use of “ya” with -qonda, my friend doesn’t use that word so he couldn’t tell either. Maybe it is because it is not an ‘action verb’…?
Seems as if some of the world are wrongly translated like on 19 Vocub builder they say " phuma" means come from but it actually means go away
@ThabaniBenjaminTamba some words encompass several meanings and can have different translations depending on the context.
Regarding “phuma”, in the phrase “ngiphuma eThekwini” for example, it means “I come from Durban”. Now if someone is telling another person “phuma !” it means “get out!” or “come out!”. Therefore we cannot say that the first translation is wrong, it is one of the possible translations of the word.
The opposite is true as well, “come from” can be translated in several different ways in isiZulu (phuma, vela, dabuka…).
That said, I think it would be an improvement to add several possible translations where applicable. It would contribute to the learning process and it would allow more coherence with some other courses which use different translations.
The same would be great for spelling. I have noticed that sometimes spelling can vary and several versions are accepted. It is sometimes frustrating to get a super easy word wrong just because I forgot in which course it is spelled with an extra “h” or not for example (as in “ihotela” vs “ihhotela”, or “itekisi” vs “ithekisi”, or “ikherothi” vs “ikheroti”…).
Thanks a lot for the reply almost quit the course. I especially like your contribution on using other words because it may confuse us the amateurs
Hi, I have a question about the translation of the phrase “my food is here” in Level 12. I’m a beginner, so I might be wrong, but (if I’m reading my grammar charts about noun classes and concords correctly) it seems like it should be “ukudla kwami kulapha” instead of “ukudla wami ulapha”. I was wondering if someone could either confirm this, or if I’m wrong, help me understand why. Thank you!
Thanks for your very relevant comment.
I have asked a Zulu friend about this and he confirmed that in isiZulu “my food is here” is said “ukudla kwami kulapha”/“kulapha ukudla kwami” (or “ukudla kwami kula”/“kula ukudla kwami” for short).
I am also a beginner therefore not 100% sure that “ukudla wami ulapha” is plain wrong (however if it is somehow correct I would also appreciate an explanation from the experts!) but I believe it safe to say that “ukudla kwami kulapha” is certainly not wrong.
@Patrick01, until further explanations can be provided on this example, it would be nice to edit the course (level 12) to at least include “ukudla kwami kulapha” as a possible translation.
Thanks so much, @MalieP!
Afternoon All, I wanted to ask if anyone could recommend a resource that covers the grammar, noun classes, concords etc as I am battling with this?
PS Patrick great course which I am nearing the end of - any plan to continue it or extend it?