8. Say – 31 days TZ

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Say it in SWAHILI!

I was thankful to arrive in Tanzania with some Swahili under my belt from my time here with Cross Fire in early 2012. However, the small bit I knew was quickly exhausted and people were always testing my brain for how much I knew. It was like a pop quiz, every interaction.

Incase you feel like learning some Swahili I’m using this post as a small dictionary of sorts. So Karibu (welcome) to Swahili 101.

Borrowing this pronunciation guide from my friend Brenda

Habari? – what’s the news? or more informally as how are things?
Nzuri – Good
Mambo? – What’s up
Poa. – Response to mambo, meaning it’s cool
Shikamoo – greeting to elders

Iko wapi choo ? – Where is the bathroom?
Shi ngapi ? – How much (does something cost)
Saa ngapi ? – What time?
Wapi ? – Where?
Nini ? – What?
Chakula – Food

Kula – to eat
Kulala – to sleep
Kupiga – to hit
Kuanguka – to fall down
Kucheza – to play/dance
Kutaka – to want
Kaa – sit
Simama – Stand up
Acha – stop

Mama – Mother, Baba – father, Kaka – brother, Dada – Sister
Mtoto/Watoto – child/ children
Mgeni/Wageni – Visitor/visitors
Mzungu/Wazungu – White person/people

Zawadi – Gift
Tumaini – Hope
Riziki – Destiny
Bahati – Luck
Baraka – Blessing
Neema – Grace

And so concludes Swahili 101!

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One thought on “8. Say – 31 days TZ

  1. Pingback: 31 Day challenge | Send Kelly

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