Swahili: upendi / upendo

Discussion in 'Other Languages' started by -Epic-, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. -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.
  2. 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").
  3. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    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. ;)
  4. 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.
  5. L'irlandais

    L'irlandais Senior Member

    Dreyeckland/Alsace region
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    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! "
    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.
  6. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    That "bow" translation is not for Swahili.
  7. 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.
  8. yokumiya New Member

    I looked up on the translator on google and found out that while upendi doesnt mean 'love' it DOES mean 'like':)
  9. hMacD96

    hMacD96 New Member

    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
  10. L'irlandais

    L'irlandais Senior Member

    Dreyeckland/Alsace region
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Hello hMacD96,
    Welcome to the forums.
    Do you have a source for that definition of the word Upendi?
  11. Miru29

    Miru29 New Member



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

    anahiseri Senior Member

    Valencia, Spain
    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.

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