‘English’ in Swahili: Learn How to Say it in Just One Minute

July 19, 2023 No Comments
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You want to learn how to say ‘English’ in Swahili. Well, you’ve come to the right place. In just 60 seconds, you’ll know exactly how to greet someone in Swahili and tell them you speak English. Get ready, set, go!

Swahili is the official language of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Over 100 million people speak Swahili, making it the most widely spoken language in sub-Saharan Africa. To say ‘English’ in Swahili, you only need to know one word: ‘Kiingereza’ (pronounced “kee-een-geh-reh-zah”). See, that was easy!

Now you can confidently travel to East Africa, strike up a conversation in Swahili and tell the other person “Ninasema Kiingereza,” which means “I speak English.” One minute is up – you now know how to say English in Swahili. Hongera (congratulations)

The Swahili Alphabet and Pronunciation

To speak Swahili, you first need to get familiar with the alphabet and pronunciation. Swahili uses the same Latin alphabet as English, but some of the letters are pronounced differently. The vowels ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘i’, ‘o’, and ‘u’ are pronounced as in Spanish or Italian. For example, ‘e’ is pronounced for example ‘eh’, and ‘o’ is pronounced like ‘oh’. The consonants ‘b’, ‘d’, ‘f’, ‘g’, ‘h’, ‘j’, ‘k’, ‘l’, ‘m’, ‘n’, ‘p’, ‘r’, ‘s’, ‘t’, ‘v’, ‘w’, ‘y’, and ‘z’ are also mostly pronounced as in English. Some key differences to note:

  • ‘c’ is pronounced for example the ‘ch’ in ‘chair’
  • ‘q’ is always followed by ‘u’ and pronounced for example ‘kw’
  • ‘x’ is pronounced for example the ‘sh’ in ‘ship’
  • ‘th’ is pronounced for example a plain ‘t’
  • ‘dh’ is pronounced for example a plain ‘d’
  • ‘gh’ is silent at the end of words

With some practice, the Swahili pronunciation will become second nature.

If it’s difficult at first, don’t let yourself become discouraged. Focus on listening to native Swahili speakers and trying to imitate the sounds. You’ll be speaking Swahili in no time! Learning a new language opens you up to a whole new world of opportunities. Swahili, in particular, will allow you to connect with over 100 million speakers across East Africa. So take that first step today – learn how to say ‘English’ in Swahili: ‘Kiingereza’!

‘English’ in Swahili Spelled

Ready to learn some Swahili? In just 60 seconds, you’ll know how to say ‘English’! This fun word is ‘Kiingereza’ (pronounced “kee-in-geh-REH-zah”). Want to spell it out? No problem! In Swahili, the alphabet uses both Latin letters familiar to English speakers as well as additional letters unique to Swahili. To spell ‘Kiingereza’, you’ll need to know: K – pronounced like the ‘c’ in ‘cat’I – pronounced like the ‘ee’ in ‘bee’N – same as in English – always pronounced like the ‘g’ in ‘go’E – pronounced like the ‘e’ in ‘let’R – rolled like in Spanish, similar to ‘rr’ in ‘perro’Z – pronounced like the ‘z’ in ‘zebra’A – pronounced like the ‘a’ in ‘father’See, spelling in Swahili is fun!

You’ve now got the basics to start learning this beautiful language. Jambo! (That’s ‘Hello’ in Swahili). The word ‘Kiingereza’ comes from the word ‘England’, so you can think of it as meaning ‘the English language’. Exciting, huh? Now you’ll be chatting with Swahili speakers in no time. Just remember, pronunciation is key. Practice the different sounds and have fun with them!

Learning a new language opens you up to a whole new world. I hope this quick lesson has inspired you to keep studying Swahili. You can do it – one word at a time! Let me know if you have any other questions. Nakupenda! (That means ‘I love you’!).

How to Pronounce ‘English’ in Swahili

english in swahili

Learning how to say ‘English’ in Swahili is super simple and fun! In just 60 seconds, you’ll be greeting others with ‘Habari’ and impressing them with your Swahili skills. The Swahili Word for ‘English’The Swahili word for the English language is ‘Kiingereza’ (pronounced “keeng-eh-REH-zah”). Now you try saying it – ‘Kiingereza’!

Nicely done, you’ve got it. Kiingereza is a noun in Swahili, so you would say ‘Ninazungumza Kiingereza’ to mean ‘I speak English’. How to Pronounce It Breaking down Kiingereza into syllables, it’s pronounced as “keen-geh-reh-zah”. The double ‘ee’ gives it an ‘ay’ sound. Roll the ‘r’ and emphasize the middle and last syllables. Some tips to help you:•The ‘ng’ cluster has a nasal ‘n’ sound. for example in ‘singing’.•The ‘e’ vowels are pronounced ‘eh’, as in ‘bed’.•The ‘z’ is pronounced ‘zzz’, like the buzzing of a bee!•The ‘a’ at the end is spoken ‘ah’, as in ‘father’.Put it all together and say it with confidence: “Keen-geh-reh-zzzah!”

You’ve totally nailed the Swahili word for English. How cool is that?! Now start casually dropping ‘Kiingereza’ into conversations and dazzle people with your new linguistic skills. In no time, you’ll be conversing comfortably in Swahili. Habari ya Kiingereza – Hello English!

Useful Swahili Phrases Containing ‘English’

Learning just a few simple Swahili phrases can go a long way in Kenya! One of the most useful words to know is ‘English’. To aid your initial progress, I’m providing you with common phrases that include this word.

Vipi Kiingereza Chako?

This means ‘How is your English?’ Use this friendly greeting to ask someone how fluent they are in English.

Unajua Kiingereza?

Meaning ‘Do you know English?’, this is a polite way to ask if someone speaks English.

Ninafahamu kidogo Kiingereza.

To say you only know a little English, use this phrase which means ‘I understand a little English’.

Tafadhali sema polepole, sijui Kiingereza vizuri.

If you need someone to speak slowly because your English isn’t very good, use this phrase meaning ‘Please speak slowly, my English isn’t very good’.

Je, unaweza kutafsiri kwa Kiingereza?

To inquire if someone can render a translation into English, simply ask, “Can you translate into English?” Familiarity with these practical phrases can significantly boost your confidence when conversing with English speakers in Kenya. Feel free to experiment with your Swahili—many Kenyans will value your attempts and readily assist your learning. If needed, a friendly smile accompanied by the phrase “Samahani, sijui Kiingereza vizuri!” (meaning “Sorry, my English isn’t very good!”) can come to your rescue.

Your charm and sense of humor will get you far. Now go out and start a conversation. You’ve got this! Just take a deep breath and dive in. The best way to learn a new language is to start speaking. Kwaheri—goodbye and good luck!

Practice Makes Perfect: Putting It All Together

english in swahili

You’ve learned the Swahili word for ‘English’, now it’s time to put it into practice! The best way to lock in what you’ve learned is to start using it. Listen and Repeat. Find some examples of the word ‘Kiingereza’ in context by listening to native Swahili speakers. Hearing the pronunciation and rhythm of the language will help train your ear. Try repeating what you hear out loud to become accustomed to the sensation of the word on your tongue.

Flashcards. Make some simple flashcards with ‘Kiingereza’ on one side and ‘English’ on the other. Quiz yourself or get a friend to quiz you. Flashcards are a tried-and-true method for quickly memorizing new vocabulary. Use It in a Sentence. One of the best ways to learn a new word is to use it in a sentence. Try saying something like ‘Ninazungumza Kiingereza’ which means ‘I speak English’. You can also describe yourself by saying ‘Mimi ni mzungumzaji wa Kiingereza’ meaning ‘I am an English speaker’.

Using the word in context will strengthen your memory. Find Phrases and Idioms. Familiarize yourself with common English phrases and idioms translated into Swahili. For example, ‘asante sana’ means ‘thank you very much’, and ‘tutaonana baadaye’ means ‘see you later’. Learning whole phrases, not just single words will make you sound more fluent. Practice.

Consistent practice and repetition are the keys to mastery. Keep at it and soon you’ll be impressing native Swahili speakers with your command of their language. Start today because practice makes perfect!


In Conclusion You now know how to say ‘English’ in Swahili. Congratulations! With this tiny bit of new knowledge, you’ve expanded your cultural horizons and added a new tool to your communication toolbox. Who knows when being able to say one word in Swahili might come in handy. Even though it’s just a single word, it opens the door to learning more in the future if you choose.

So go ahead, give it a try – say ‘Kiingereza’ out loud. Let the unique sounds roll off your tongue. You might just find yourself smiling at this small but satisfying accomplishment. And the best part is, you did it in just one minute. Now imagine what else you can achieve if you put your mind to it! The opportunities to learn and grow are endless.

Want to learn about the beautiful Swahili language? I have activities in my TPT store that are fun, interactive, and engaging, designed to help you learn Kiswahili while having fun! 

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I'm an elementary school teacher who loves what she does! I enjoy creating resources in my Native language "kiswahili". My goal is to spread the beautiful language of "Kiswahili" inside and outside the classroom. Thanks for stopping by! Read More

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