In Kenya and Tanzania, Swahili shares the title of official language with English and primary school children are usually taught in Swahili. Basically it’s the main language for East Africa. So if you’re heading there, here are a few swahili words to guide you through!

EnglishSwahiliLive Examples
HabariHello / Good Morninghabari?
Asubuhi/mchana/jioniMorning, Afternoon & Eveningeg Habari asubuhi, etc
SanaVeryAsante Sana -- Thank you VERY much.
PoleSorryI am sorry
ChakulaFoodI want food -- nataka chakula
Ndiyo / Hapana“Yes” and “No” respectivelyin response to a question
Asante Thank youUse for a greeting
MzuriGood/FineIn response to "habari"
SamahaniExcuse Me
Kwa heriGoodbye
OkSawa or Sawa sawaVery used.
Jina lako ni naniWhat is your name?
Jina langu ni travellerzeeMy name isJina langu ni travellerzee
bas stendiBus Station
unakwenda wapiWhere are you going

Swahili, or Kiswahili, is spoken along the East African coast, largely in Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Mozambique. While over 15 million people speak Swahili as their first language, the widespread multilingualism of most African countries means millions of others speak Swahili as a second or third language; estimates range from 60 million to 140 million. It is also one of the official languages of the African Union. — Source

East Africa is a beautiful place to visit, or even live for a while.



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