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Learn Kiswahili

Kiswahili is basically a Bantu language with a very significant Arabic influence. Pure Kiswahili is spoken at the coast, and Nairobi's version, with its many Anglicisms. Kiswahili is the easiest language to pronounce in the word as all the words are pronounced as written, letter for letter. Kenya's other official language is English and is used widely in all walks of life. Kiswahili is a very beautiful and, as grammar books tell you, an easy language to grasp. For serious student the best book is simplified by P.M. Wilson but for the basics you can use Teach Yourself Swahili by Perrott. The following is just but a few to keep you in touch.

General, Food and drink

English

Hello

How are you?

Pepper

I'm fine/good/well

Vegetable

Thank you

Pudding

Please/excuse me

Ice

Yes

Beer

No

Coffee

Now

Tea

More

Water

Today

Milk

Tomorrow

Bread

Yesterday

Meat

Hot

Fish

Cold

Fruit

Anyone at home?

Butter

Come in/Welcome

Sugar

Slowly

Quickly

Numbers

Left

one/two/three

four/five/six

Right

Straight on

seven/eight/nine

The crowd/folk

ten (eleven etc.)

Mister

twenty/fifty

Mrs or Madam

hundred/thousand

Goodbye

half/quater

Phrases/Questions

Where is ... ?

I would like ...

... a good hotel

food

a chemist

to sleep

road or route

a guide

railway station

I don't understand

bus station

Watch out!

the W.C

How many...?

What time is it?

a telephone

 

 

Swahili

Jambo

Habari Yako?

Pilipili

Mzuri

Mboga

Asante sana

Tamu tamu

Tafadhali

Barafu

Ndio

Tembo/Pombe

Hapana

Kahawa

Sasa

Chai

Zaidi

Maji

Leo

Maziwa

Kesho

Mkate

Jana

Nyama

Moto

Samaki

Baridi

Tunda

Hodi?

Siagi

Karibu

Sukari

Polepole

Upesi/haraka

 

Kushoto

moja/mbili/tatu

nne/tano/sita

Kulia

Moja kwa moja

saba/nane/tisa

Wananchi

kumi (na moja etc.)

Bwana

ishrini/hamsini

Memsahib

mia moja/elfu moja

Kwaheri

nusu/robo

 

Wapi ... ?

Ninataka ...

.. hoteli mzuri

chakula

duka la dawa

kulala

barabara

mwongozi

stesheni la gari la moshi

Sifahamu

kituo cha basi

Angalia!

choo

Ngapi?

Saa ngapi?

simu


 

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