I have had a few visitors lately, many of whom were struggling to get to grips with Swahili.
So here is a beginner's guide to Swahili, the official language of Tanzania and Kenya.
The way you will be welcomed to these two beautiful countries will be quite different and definitely warmer if you know a few phrases in Swahili.
|During the recent visit of my friend from Colombia (myself: left in pink)|
Hello/How are you? Habari/ Habari yako?
Hello back/ I am well Nzuri/safi
Are you OK?
(Literally: peaceful) Salama?
Answer to 'salama' Salama
Habari za asubuhi? Good morning
Habari za leo? Good day/afternoon
Habari za jioni? Good evening
Nzuri/safi/salama Replies to anything starting with 'habari'/ different
versions of 'good'
Shikamoo Respectful greeting to elders (from arabic)
Marahaba Reply to 'Shikamoo'
Haujambo? Are you well?/How are you?
Sijambo I am good, reply to 'haujambo'
Jambo! Tourist version of 'haujambo'
How much? Ngapi?
What does this cost? Shillingi ngapi?/Bei gani?
What is your name? Unaitwa nani?
Where is....... Iko wapi......
Restaurant hotel/ sahemu ya chakula
Thank you! Asante. 1 moja 6 sita
Excuse me Samahani 2 mbili 7 saba
You are welcome Karibu 3 tatu 8 nane
4 nne 9 tisa
Good bye kwa heri 5 tano 10 kumi
See you later baadaye
I will leave it at these for today so as not to fry your brains! Let me know if you would like to know more or if there is anything specific you would like to get into.
Wishing you a great day!