Fun Fact Friday – Time

Alright I’ve come up with this idea to try and give all you who read my blog (if any of you are left) a better idea of “the norm” in Tanzania. Welcome to Fun Fact Friday! I will *try* and do a post every week. Some will be short, some will be long, and hopefully all will give you a better idea of life here.

This week I want to talk about time. Not just the lack of timeliness, or “african time” so to speak, but the way Tanzania’s tell time! Who would have thought that telling time could be so different?swahilitime

Swahili time begins at 7 am, which is called “saa moja asubuhi” (one o’clock in the morning). From here it goes up to saa kumi na mbili (twelve o’clock- which is really 6) and then starts over at 1 again. So in a lot of ways it’s similar to standard time (1 to 12 o’clock) except the 1 is 7am/pm (sunrise and sunset). Since we live so close to the equator the sun almost always rises at 7am and sets at 7pm.

So here is your time lesson in Swahili!


Some hints, asubuhi = morning, mchana= afternoon, usiku= night

7am – saa moja asubuhi (1)
8am – saa mbili asubuhi (2)
9am – saa tatu asubuhi (3)
10 am – saa nne asubuhi (4)
11 am -saa tano asubuhi (5)
12noon – saa sita mchana (6)
1 pm- saa saba mchana (7)
2pm – saa nane mchana (8)
3pm – saa tesa mchana (9)
4pm – saa kumi mchana (10)
5pm- saa kumi na moja jioni (11)
6pm- saa kumi na mbili jioni (12)
7pm – saa moja usiku
8pm- saa mbili usiku
9pm- saa tatu usiku
10pm- saa nne usiku
11pm- saa tano usiku
12 midnight- saa sita usiku
1 am- saa saba usiku
2am -saa nane usiku
3 am- saa tesa usiku
4 am -saa kumi usiku
5 am- saa kumi na moja asubuhi
6 am- saa kumi na mbili asubuhi



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