Learn Swahili

 

Useful greetings

Jambo/Hujambo how are you?
Response: Jambo or Sijambo...No problems
Habari?/ How are things? (literally"news?")
Response: Nzuri...Fine, good, terrible
Hodi! Hellow? Anyone in? (Said on knocking or entering)
Response: Karibu... Come in, enter, welcome (also said on offering something)
Kwaheri/ ni Goodbye to one/ many

Asante/ ni Thank you to one/ many

SanaVery (a common emphasis)

Bwana Mister, the equivalent of monsieur in French

Mama Like the French Madame or Madamoiselle, for adult women

Kijana Youth, teenager (plural vijana)

Mtoto Child, kid (plural watoto)

Jina lako nani? What’s your name?

Unaitwaje? What are you called?

 

Basics

Jina langu ni/ Ninaitwa My name is / I am called

Unatoka wapi? Where are you from?

Unakaa wapi?  Where are you staying?

Ninatoka I am from

Ninakaa I am staying (at / in).

Tutaonana See you (Lit. "We shall meet")

Ndiyo Yes (Lit. it is so) No Hapana

Sifahamu / Sielewi I don’t understand

Sisemi Kiswahili, lakini I don’t speak Swahili but

Unasemaje na Kiswahili How do you say in Swahili?

Sema tena Could you repeat that? (Lit. speak again)

Sema pole pole Sijui Speak slowly I don’t know

Where? Wapi?

Response: Hapa...Here

When? Lini?

Response: Sasa...Now

Soon Sasa hivi

Why? Kwa nini?

Response: Kwa sababu...Because

Who? Nani?

What? Nini?

Which? Gani?

True kweli

And/Or Na/Au

(It) is (they) are Ni (a useful connector when you can’t think of any)

Isn’t it? Sivyo?

I’m British / American / German / French / Italian Mimi Mwingereza / Mwamerika / Mdachi / Mfaransa / Mwitaliano

  

Daily Needs

Where can I stay? Naweza Kukaa wapi?

Can I stay here? Naweza kukaa hapa?

Room/s Chumba/vyumba Bed/s Kitanda/vitanda

I’m hungry Ninahisi njaa

I’m thirsty Nina kiu

Is there any? Iko… or Kuna?…

Response: Yes there is… Iko…or kuna…

Response: No there isn’t any Hakuna

How much? Ngapi?

Money Pesa

What price? Bei gani?

How much does it cost? Pesa Ngapi?

I want… Nataka

I don’t want Sitaki

Give me/Bring me (can I have?) Nipe/Niletee

Again Tena

Enough Tosha/basi

Chair/s Kiti/viti

Table/s Meza

Toilet, bathroom Choo, bafu

Washing water Maji ya kuosha

Hot/cold water Maji moto/baridi

Expensive Ghali/sana

Cheap (also"easy") Rahisi

Fifty cents Sumni

Reduce the price,come down a little Punguza kidogo

Shop Duka

Bank Benki

Post office Posta

Café,restaurant Hoteli

Telephone Simu

Cigarettes Sigara

I’m ill Mimi mgonjwa

Doctor Daktari

Hospital Hospitali

Police Polisi

Travel and Directions

Bus/es Bas,basi / mabasi

Car /s, Vehicle/ s Gari/ Magari

Taxi Teksi

Bicycle Baiskeli

Train Treni

Plane Ndege

Boat / Ship Chombo / Meli

Petrol Petroli

Road, path Njia/ ndia

Highway Barabara

On foot/ Walking Kwa miguu

When does it leave Inaondoka lini?

When will you arrive? Utafika lini?

Slowly Pole pole

Fast, quickly Haraka

Wait! / hang on a moment! Ngoja!/ ngoja kidogo!

Stop! Simama!

Where are you going? Unaenda wapi?

To where? Mpaka wapi?

From where? Kutoka wapi?

How many kilometers? Kilometa ngapi?

I’m going to Naenda

Move along, squeeze up a little Songa!/ songa kidogo!

Let’s go, carry on Twende, endelea

Straight ahead Moja kwa moja

Right Kulia Left Kushoto

Up Juu

Down Chini

I want to get off here Nataka kushuka hapa

The car has broken down Gari imearibika

 

Time Calendar Numbers

What time is it? Saa ngapi

Four o’clock Saa kumi

Quarter past Na robo

Half past Na nusu

Quarter to Kasa robo

Minutes Dakika

Early Mapema

Yesterday Jana

This yearMwaka huu

This monthMwezi huu

Monday Jumatatu

Tuesday Jumanne

Wednesday Jumatano

Thursday Alhamisi

Friday Ijumaa

Saturday Jumamosi

Sunday Jumapili

Today Leo

Tomorrow Kesho

Day time Mchana

Night time Usiku

Dawn Alfajiri

Morning Asubuhi

Last/ this/ next week Wiki iliopita/ hii/ ijayo

 


1 Moja

2 Mbili

3 Tatu

4 Nne

5 Tano

6 Sita

7 Saba

8 Nane

9 Tisa

10Kumi

11 Kumi na moja

12 Kumi na mbili

20 Ishirini

21 Ishirini na moja

30 Thelathini

40 Arobaini

50 Hamsini

60 Sitini

70 Sabini

80 Themanini

90 Tisini

100 Mia moja

121 Mia moja na ishirini na moja

1000 Elfu

Signs

Danger! Hatari!

Warning! Angalia!/ Onyo!

Fierce dog! Mbwa mkali!
No entry! Hakuna njia!

 

Words Worth Knowing

Good-zuri(with a prefix at the front)

Bad -baya(ditto)

Big -kubwa

Small -dogo

A lot of -ingi

Other/ Another Ingine

Not bad Si mbaya

Ok, right, fine Sawa

Fine, cool Safi

Completely Kabisa

Just, only Tu e.g. just one bed kitanda kimoja tu

Thing/s Kitu/ vitu

Problems, hassles Wasiwasi, matata

No problem Hakuna wasiwasi/ Hakuna matata

Friend Rafiki

Sorry, pardon Samahani

It’s nothing Si kitu

Excuse me(let me through) Hebu

What’s up? Namna gani?

If God wills it/ Inshallah (heard often on the coast)

Please Tafadhali

Take a picture of me! Ni Pige Picha

Help the poor! Saidia maskini!

 

The Flag Of Kenya

   

        kenyaflag      kenyaflag       kenyaflag

Three major and equal width stripes of black, red and green colours running from top to bottom and separated by narrow white stripes, with a symmetrical shield and white spears superimposed centrally.

 

 

The colors: Black represents the people of Kenya. Red represents the bloodshed in the fight for independence. Green represents the fertility of the land. White represents peace. The shield of the warrior represents Kenya's pride and tradition.


The National Anthem

Kiswahili

English

1

1

Ee Mungu nguvu yetu
Ilete baraka kwetu
Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi
Natukae na undugu
Amani na uhuru
Raha tupate na ustawi.

O God of all creation
Bless this our land and nation
Justice be our shield and defender
May we dwell in unity
Peace and liberty
Plenty be found within our borders.

2

2

Amkeni ndugu zetu
Tufanye sote bidii
Nasi tujitoe kwa nguvu
Nchi yetu ya Kenya
Tunayoipenda
Tuwe tayari kuilinda

Let one and all arise
With hearts both strong and true
Service be our earnest endeavour
And our homeland of Kenya
Heritage of splendour
Firm may we stand to defend.

3

3

Natujenge taifa letu
Ee, ndio wajibu wetu
Kenya istahili heshima
Tuungane mikono
Pamoja kazini
Kila siku tuwe na shukrani

Let all with one accord
In common bond united
Build this our nation together
And the glory of Kenya
The fruit of our labour
Fill every heart with thanksgiving.


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