See How To Speak Swahili In Just 5 Minutes… Learning how to speak Swahili isn’t difficult, even for complete beginners. Below, you’ll find a chart of essential basic phrases that can help you get started on your way to conversational fluency. You’ll also find a few examples of audio clips so you have some idea of how Swahili sounds like.
Where Do They Speak Swahili
Swahili is a Bantu language spoken in Tanzania, Burundi, Congo (Kinshasa) Kenya, Mayotte, Mozambique, Oman, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, UAE and the USA. Around 5 million people speak Swahili as a native language, and a further 135 million speak is as a second language.
Swahili is an official language of Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, and is used as a lingua franca throughout East Africa.
The majority of people in Tanzania and Kenya speak Swahili as a second language, and most educated Kenyans are fluent in the language, as it is compulsory in schools, and also taught in universities. In the Democratic Republic of Congo Swahili is spoken in the five eastern provinces, and overall almost half of the population speak it. In Uganda Swahili is widely spoken among non-Baganda people, and is taught in schools.
The name Swahili comes from the Arabic word سَوَاحِل (sawāḥil), the plural of سَاحِل (sāḥil – boundry, coast) and means “coastal dwellers”. The prefix ki- is attached to nouns in the noun class that includes languages, so Kiswahili means “coastal language”.
Swahili includes quite a bit of vocabulary of Arabic origin as a result of contact with Arabic-speaking traders and and inhabitants of the Swahili Coast – the coastal area of Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, and islands such as Zanzibar and Comoros. There are also words of German, Portuguese, English, Hindi and French origin in Swahili due to contact with traders, slavers and colonial officials.
How To Speak Swahili
|What’s your name?||Jina lako nani?|
|My name’s …||Jina langu ni …|
|Where are you from?||Unatokea wapi?|
|I’m from …||Ninatokea …|
|How old are you?||Una miaka mingapi?|
|I’m twenty years old.||Nina miaka ishirini.|
|How are you?||Haujambo?|
|I don’t understand.||Sielewi.|
|I don’t know.||Sijui.|