Time: Saa Ngapi?
There is a difference of 6 hours between the Swahili and European methods of counting time. Swahili time like Biblical time begins with sunrise, reckoned as 6 a.m. Thus 7 a.m., one hour after sunrise, is the first hour of daylight, saa moja. The counting continues up to 6 p.m., the 12th hour, saa kumi na mbili. Then the hours of the night are counted in the same way, 7 p.m. being saa moja, until 6 a.m., saa kumi na mbili.
To avoid confusion, a word such as asubuhi, morning; mchana, daytime; alasiri, afternoon; jioni, late afternoon before sunset; or usiku, night (the hours of darkness) may be added to indicate which hour you mean:
saa 12 asubuhi, 6 o'clock in the morning;
saa 12 jioni, 6 o clock in the evening.
(Ni) saa ngapi? What time is it?
(Ni) saa mbili. Eight o clock.
You always tell the hour plus the half-hour:
Saa mbili na nusu half past eight
Saa mbili u nusu
Saa nane na robo a quarter past two
Saa moja kasa robo a quarter to seven
Saa tatu na dakika tano five minutes past nine
Saa tano na dakika ishirini twenty minutes past eleven
Saa tisa kasoro dakika kumi ten minutes to three
Saa kumi na moja kasoro dakika ishirini na tano twenty-five minutes to five
Kasa is used when telling "a quarter to...", and
Kasoro is used when telling the minutes before a complete hour.
Saa nane na dakika thelathini na tano
Saa kumi na mbili na dakika thelathini
Saa mbili na dakika arobaini na tano /content/telling-time