logo of woman with pounder Flag of United Kingdom Nederlandse vlag      

Cawyaŋ Zarma Sanni

Boys on a donkey cart in a Zarma village in western Niger
print page

Grammar help

Days and week

A week (habu) has seven days (jirbi iyye), also in the Songhay-Zarma society. There are several words for 'day'.

  • jirbi (lit. sleep), used for counting the number of days;
    a te jirbi hinka two days ago
  • hane (also han), used in expressions with days (limited use);
    han fo bara maybe (lit. one day exist)
  • zaari (lit. daytime, noon), used for counting days and certain expressions;
    zaari hinka ay mana di a I haven't seen him for two days
    zaari ka kaa zaari from day to day


Days of week

Days of week

The Zarma names of the days are derived from Arab. The first day of a week in Muslim countries is Sunday. Only for Friday, the day Muslims gather to pray at a mosque at noon, the Zarma also have their own name: Han beeri, this means the Big day.
week day Zarma Arabic * English
1 alhadi, alhado Yawm Al-Aḥad Sunday
2 attini, attino Yawm Al-Ithnayn Monday
3 attalaata Yawm Ath-Thulaathaaʼ Tuesday
4 alarba Yawm Al-Arba'aa' wednesday
5 alaamisi, alaamisa Yawm Al-Khamīs Thursday
6 alzuma or Han beeri Yawm Al-Jumu'ah Friday
7 asipti, asipto Yawm As-Sabt Saterday

* source: wikipedia

arrow up

Expressions with days

There are different ways in Zarma to express, for example, last Wednesday, next Wednesday, et cetera. These are similar to the expressions for last and next week.
Zarma English
Alarba wo this Wednesday, Wednesday of this week
Alarba kan bu last Wednesday
Alarba kan ga kaa next Wednesday, this coming Wednesday
hine Alarba next Wednesday
Alarba beene Wednesday after next
There are different ways in Zarma to express days past and days to come.
Zarma English
hunkuna today
bi yesterday
bi fo usually day before yesterday, but may be another yesterday
bifo hendi; bifo yongo the day before bifo, that is, usually 3 day ago
za jirbi hinza since 3 days, 3 days ago
suba tomorrow
subasi day after tomorrow (lit. not tomorrow)
subasi hendi; subasi yongo the day next after subasi, that is 3 days hence
subasi yongo, a cella fa 4 days hence
As explained above, both jirbi and zaari are used for counting days. Both forms are correct and can be used.
Zarma English
a cin fo da zaari hinka Dosso I spent two days and one night in Dosso
zaari hinka a mana di a I haven't seen him for two days
a jirbi hinka ay mana di a I haven't seen him for two days
a na wone no ay se za jirbi way he gave me this ten days ago
arrow up


The Zarma word 'habu' means both week and market. There are different ways in Zarma to express last week, next week, et cetera. This is similar to the expression for last and next Wednesday.
Zarma English
habu week (also: market)
habu wo this week
habu kan bu last week
hino habu next week; next market
habu beene week after next
arrow up


Site Search Site Search
Dictionary Zarma - English
Pronunciation guide
Answer book


        disclaimer contact        
      Dico Fraters, the Netherlands © 2004-2016      
Last updated: 20 Januari, 2016