Swahili language which is also locally referred, to as Kiswahili; is the national language of Kenya as well as other East African countries.

The language is a fusion of Arab language and coastal Bantu dialects; but its believed the language did exist even before the arrival of the Arabs; trade and intermarriage between the Arabs and the local Bantus served as the origin of current day Swahili, which is made up of many borrowed word  from the Arabic and Persian languages.

And after all, Swahili is an Arab word (Sahil) which mean boundary/coastal.
Even though the had a huge presence in the coast of Kenya, the language did not spread to mainland Kenya until the 1800AD, when the rulers of Zanzibar organized trade routes into the mainland East Africa; and the Swahili (waswahili/Coastal people) merchant settled along the trade routes and intermarried with the mainland people; this led to Swahili changing somewhat as the language borrowed word from the local languages.

Learn Swahili

When you arrive in Kenya the first words you will hear are – Karibu Kenya Hakuna Matata-( welcome to Kenya no worries / no trouble )

Greetings                    Salamu                              Response
How are you?            Habari yako?                     Nzuri
Hallo                            Jambo / Hujambo             Jambo / Sijambo
Good Morning?         Habari za asubuhi?          Sibaya / Salama
Good afternoon?        Habari za mchana           Sibaya / Salama
Good evening             Habari za usiku               Sibaya / Salama
Comein / welcome     Karibu / ingia                   Asante(thank you)
Good bye                     Kwaheri                            Kwaheri
Thank you                   Asante

People                                       Watu

Mr / Sir                     –                Bwana
Mum / Mrs, Miss    –                Mama
Boy                            –                Mvulana
Girl                            –                Msichana
Youth / Teenager    –                Kijana (Vijana)
Baby / Kid                –                Mtoto
Grandfather             –                Babu
Grandmother          –                Nyanya
Father                       –                Baba
Mother                     –                Mama
Brother                     –                Ndugu
Sister                        –                 Dada

Basic Phrases

Do you speak English         Una Sema Kiingeleza
My name is                           Jina langu ni
I am from Cananda             Ninatoka Cananda
Where are you from            Umetoka Wapi
I am American                      Mimi ni Mmarekani
I do not speak Swahili         Sisemi Kiswahili
Where can I stay ?                Naweza kukaa wapi?
Thank you very much        Asante sana
money                                   Pesa
How much?                          Ngapi?
What price?                          Bei gani?
How much does it cost?     Pesa Ngapi?

Food and Drinks

Breakfast              – Kifungua kinyua
Lunch                 – Chakula cha mchana
Dinner                – Chakula cha Jioni
Bread                  – Mkate
Eggs                    – Mayai
Chicken              – Kuku
Beef                     – Ngombe
Meat                    – Nyama
Water                  – Maji
Tea                      – Chai
Coffee                 – Kahawa
Wine                   – Mvinyo
Beer                    – Pombe
Fruits                  – Matunda
Cake                   – Keki

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Amanullah is not your average writer, he understands concepts and turns ideas into words. He is a fan of characters and likes to play with letters in the alphabet.

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