Become an Expert in Swahili Overnight! Find out How

June 16, 2023 No Comments


Karibu! (Welcome!) Are you ready to embark on an exciting journey into the beautiful Swahili language? In this beginner’s guide, I will provide you with a foundation in Swahili people’s vocabulary and essential phrases to kickstart your language-learning adventure.

Greetings and Basic Expressions:

Let’s begin by mastering some common greetings and basic expressions to initiate conversations and connect with Swahili speakers:

  • Jambo: Hello
  • Habari: How are you?
  • Nzuri: Fine/good
  • Asante: Thank you
  • Tafadhali: Please
  • Ndiyo: Yes
  • Hapana: No
  • Samahani: Excuse me/sorry

Numbers and Time:

Understanding numbers and telling time are essential skills in any language. Familiarize yourself with these fundamental Swahili numerals and time-related phrases:

  • Moja: One
  • Mbili: Two
  • Tatu: Three
  • Nne: Four
  • Tano: Five
  • Sita: Six
  • Saba: Seven
  • Nane: Eight
  • Tisa: Nine
  • Kumi: Ten
  • Saa ngapi?: What time is it?
  • Saa sita asubuhi: 6:00 AM
  • Saa kumi na mbili jioni: 12:00 PM (noon)
  • Saa tisa usiku: 9:00 PM

Basic Conversational Phrases:

Building a foundation in conversational phrases will empower you to engage in simple interactions. Here are some useful expressions to get you started:

  • Jina lako nani?: What is your name?
  • Jina langu ni…: My name is…
  • Unasema Kiingereza?: Do you speak English?
  • Ninasema kidogo tu Kiswahili: I speak a little Swahili.
  • Naweza kuuliza swali?: May I ask a question?
  • Tafadhali nieleze…: Please explain to me…
  • Ninasikitika, sielewi: I’m sorry, I don’t understand.
  • Asante kwa msaada wako: Thank you for your help.

Essential Vocabulary Swahili People:

Expanding your vocabulary is crucial for effective communication. Here are some essential Swahili words and phrases:

  • Chakula: Food
  • Maji: Water
  • Safari: Journey
  • Hoteli: Hotel
  • Shule: School
  • Kitabu: Book
  • Gari: Car
  • Ndege: Airplane
  • Soko: Market
  • Mimi: I
  • Wewe: You
  • Rafiki: Friend

Swahili People Cultural Tips:

As you learn Swahili, it’s important to respect and appreciate the culture surrounding the language. Here are a few tips to enhance your cultural understanding:

Addressing elders:

Use respectful terms like “Baba” (father) and “Mama” (mother) when addressing older individuals.


Handshakes are a common form of greeting in East Africa. Extend your right hand for a friendly handshake when meeting someone new.


Swahili culture places great importance on politeness. Use “tafadhali” (please) and “asante” (thank you) frequently to show respect.

Swahili People Conclusion:

Congratulations on taking the first steps towards learning Swahili!

To help students understand the basic foundation of Kiswahili, I created a series of products that help students understand consonantsnoun classesverbs, and vowels in Kiswahili. 

Besides the products linked above, I have many other activities in my TPT store that are designed to teach Kiswahili while having fun! 

Want It All? 

Check out The Great Ultimate Bundle, which has 34 products for teaching Kiswahili! 

Swahili Magic

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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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