Language Puzzles


swahili-pnI’m totally stealing today’s post from another blog.  But I feel OK about that because One, if I don’t do that then there won’t be a post today at all, and Two, it’s a really neat post.

Tanya Khovanova posted this past Thursday on Lingustic Puzzles.  In it, she included five puzzles she’d tranlsated from the Russian book 200 Problems in Linguistics and Mathematics and.   For example, the first problem is:

Problem 1. Here are phrases in Swahili with their English translations:

  • atakupenda — He will love you.
  • nitawapiga — I will beat them.
  • atatupenda — He will love us.
  • anakupiga — He beats you.
  • nitampenda — I will love him.
  • unawasumbua — You annoy them.

Translate the following into Swahili:

  • You will love them.
  • I annoy him.

There’ a lot about linguistics that I find fascinating, and I really enjoyed reading these different puzzles (and I’m totally giving them to the seniors in my Problem Solving class this week).

Photo of Pater Noster in Kiswahili published here under the GNU FDL.

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