Swahili: upendi / upendo

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-Epic-

Member
country:israel , language:hebrew,english
I was watching "Lion King 2: Simba's Pride" and there was a song that mentions the word upendi (which according to the song means love).

From which language is it taken?

I found out that akuna matata means no worries in Swahili (an African language), but love is upendo so I figured it must be from somewhere else.
 
  • Chike

    Member
    Canada, English
    Why wouldn't you think it is a variation on "upendo"? I'm pretty sure it's Swahili (I know "penda" is the root form of the verb "to love").
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Simba is Swahili for lion. I imagine all those animals spoke Swahili, but for the American audience, they were portrayed speaking English except when their actual words were important. ;)
     

    sovereignwoman

    New Member
    English - American
    Upendi means bow, bend, bending, or curve according to webster's online dictionary. I checked another website called kamusi dot org and they have a translator. Love does not mean upendi although upendo and upendezi mean love. Type in "love" in the translator on kamusi dot org, which translates to Swahili and also provides several other languages to see what comes up. I was surprised. This website, however, could not find the word upendi.

    My concern is if upendi means bow, is the message in that song "Upendi" telling people to submit? It never says what the definition is, although Simba's daughter asks "Is the meaning of upendi love?" Not an answer to the question, but a question about the meaning also. Hmmm.
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    ...My concern is if upendi means bow, is the message in that song "Upendi" telling people to submit? ...
    Hello soverignwoman,
    Welcome to the forums. Nice try, however I don't feel "bow" (as in "to bow down") fits the mood of the song.
    Part of the problem is the original poster didn't give us enough context to go on. Certainly the film includes a bit of Swahili like "Hakuna Matata!"

    I did find an unofficial transcription of the script of Simba's Pride on-line.
    Just before the song we are told by Rafiki tha t he will take the lions to a imaginary place called Upendi : "To a special place in your heart... called Upendi! "
    The song then narrates a story about this place (for example here's 4 lines ) : "You can beat the bush like there's no tomorrow
    From Tanganyika to Kilimanjaro
    But you'll find Upendi wherever you are
    Oh underneath the sun"
    Further explained by the characters :
    KIARA: Upendi-- it means "love", doesn't it?
    RAFIKI: Welcome to Upendi!

    It may well be just a play on the Swahili word for love.
     

    BigDinBigD

    New Member
    English-Southern U.S.
    Upendi, in the movie, is a specific place, both literally and figuratively. "Upendi" refers to the bend in the river where the scene occurs, though it also refers to the change that occurs in one's life when one finds love and likens it to the change in direction of a river at a bend. It was probably chosen for its similarity to the word "upendo," though they are in two different languages with overlapping areas of speech.
     

    yokumiya

    New Member
    English
    I looked up on the translator on google and found out that while upendi doesnt mean 'love' it DOES mean 'like':)
     

    hMacD96

    New Member
    english
    Upendi actually means " like them " so no worries about it meaning bow or anything. The film is talking about them falling in love hence the song being called Upendi as in they are in love or in love like them
     

    Miru29

    New Member
    Romanian
    Simba is Swahili for lion. I imagine all those animals spoke Swahili, but for the American audience, they were portrayed speaking English except when their actual words were important. ;)

    Simba

    1. A male given name common among the Shonapeoples of southern Africa, from a Shona word meaning "strong".
     

    anahiseri

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain) and German (Germany)
    My teach-yourself-Swahili book says
    penda = love, like
    but it's not easy to find out how verbs work, that is, what endings or prefixes they take.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    We need some basic grammar here. The Swahili root -pend- means "like, love". The root -pind- means "bend". The most basic form of a verb is the imperative singular, which is just the root and the most general verb ending -a, so penda means "love/like!" and pinda means "bend!" (addressed to one person). The infinitive prefix is ku-, so you might also see verbs listed with that: kupenda "(to) like/love".

    The imperative plural changes the ending -a to -eni: so pendeni "love/like!" (addressed to two or more).

    Subjects are indicated by prefixes: nipenda "I love/like", tupenda "we love/like". The second person singular prefix is u-: upenda "you (sg.) love/like". This is the simple or general present, which has no tense marker. Other tenses have a prefix between the person and the verb: ninapenda "I am liking", nilipenda "I liked", etc.

    The negative is basically formed with the prefix ha-. The verb ending changes to -i, so tupenda "we love/like", hatupendi "we do not love/like". But there is some merger: hupendi "you (sg.) do not like/love" (for ha-u-), and sipendi "I do not like/love" (for ha-ni-). Note this is a second verb form that can end in -i; the imperative plural (above) is another. As Wazona says, this hupendi is the closest verb form to a supposed 'upendi'. (Or the subjunctive upende "that you may love".) I don't know where The Lion King got that word.

    Nouns are mostly formed with prefixes, and abstract nouns usually have the prefix u-. Thus a word beginning with u- could be either an abstract noun or a second person singular verb. When verb roots are made into nouns they often take a different vowel suffix too. Thus the noun "love" is upendo (-o is a common suffix for actions), and the noun "bow" (the weapon) is upinde.
     
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