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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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