Language

Swahili, also known as Kiswahili, is a Bantu language and the first language of the Swahili people. It is a common language of the African Great Lakes region and other parts of eastern and southeastern Africa, including Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Estimates of the total number of Swahili speakers vary widely, from 50 million to over 100 million.

English

kiSwahili (Swahili)

Welcome Karibu (sg)
Karibuni (pl)
Hello
(General greeting)
Habari (inf)
Hujambo (sg)
Hamjambo (pl)
Sijambo (reply)
How are you? Habari?
Hujambo?
Habari yako?
Habari gani?
Reply to ‘How are you?’ Nzuri
Sijambo
What’s your name? Jina lako ni nani?
My name is … Jina langu ni …
Where are you from? Unatoka wapi?
I’m from … Natoka …
Pleased to meet you Nafurahi kukuona
Nimefurahi kukutana nawe
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Habari ya asubuhi
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Habari ya mchana
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Habari ya jioni
Good night Usiku mwema
Lala salama (sleep well)
Goodbye
(Parting phrases)
Kwaheri
Good luck Kila la kheri!
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Maisha marefu!
Afya!
Vifijo!
Have a nice day Nakutakia siku njema!
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Ufurahie chakula chako (sg)
Furahieni chakula chenu (pl)
Chakula chema
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Safari njema!

English

kiSwahili (Swahili)

I understand Naelewa
I don’t understand Sielewi
I don’t know Sijui
Please speak more slowly Tafadhali sema polepole
Please write it down Waweza kuiandika?
Do you speak English? Unazungumza Kingereza?
Do you speak Swahili? Unazungumza Kiswahili?
Yes, a little
(reply to ‘Do you speak …?’)
Ndiyo, kidogo tu
How do you say … in Swahili? Unasemaje … kwa Kiswahili?
Excuse me Samahani nipishe (to get past)
Samahani (to get attention or say sorry)
How much is this? Hii ni bei gani?
Sorry Samahani
Please Tafadhali
Thank you Asante
Asante sana (sg)
Asanteni (pl)
Reply to thank you Asante kwa kushukuru
No thanks Hapana asante
Where’s the toilet? Choo kiko wapi?
This gentleman/lady will pay for everything Mtu huyu atalipia kila kitu
Would you like to dance with me? Tucheze ngoma?
Utapenda kudansi?
I love you Ninakupenda
Get well soon Ugua pole
Help! Msaada!
No Problem Hakunna Matata
Slowly Slowly PolePole
Go away! Nenda zako!
Leave me alone! Usinisumbue!
Call the police! Mwite polisi!