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Talk About the Weather in Swahili Like a Native

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Did you know that every minute of the day, one billion tons of rain falls on the earth? Hard to believe, considering the climate crisis! Of course, all that rain is not equally shared across the planet.

So, would you mention this fascinating fact to your new Kenyan acquaintance? Well, small talk about local weather is actually a great conversation-starter. Everyone cares about the weather and you’re sure to hear a few interesting opinions! Seasons can be quite unpredictable these days and nobody knows the peculiarities of a region better than the locals.

SwahiliPod101 will equip you with all the weather vocabulary you need to plan your next adventure. The weather can even be an important discussion that influences your adventure plans. After all, you wouldn’t want to get caught on an inflatable boat with a two-horsepower motor in Hurricane Horrendous!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Swahili

Table of Contents

  1. Talking about the weather in Kenya
  2. Words for the first day of spring
  3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?
  4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary
  5. Winter
  6. SwahiliPod101 can prepare you for any season.


1. Talking about the weather in Kenya

Talking About Weather

If you’re like me, your day’s activity plan is likely to begin with a strong local coffee and a chat about what the sky is doing. After all, being prepared could be the difference between an amazing day and a miserable one! Luckily, it’s not difficult to comment on Kenyan weather - just start with these simple words and phrases.

1- The rain is falling on the street - Mvua unanyesha barabarani.

Watercolor artists, take out your paints! You might not be able to venture out on foot today, but just embrace the rain as part of your Kenyan experience. When the rain stops, the air will be clean and colours vibrant.

2- The snow has covered everything - Theluji limefunika kila kitu.

A fresh blanket of snow is irresistibly beautiful. Pull on your boots and beanie, and leave your tracks in this foreign landscape. Don’t resist the urge to build a snowman – you need this!

3- Fluffy cloud - mawingu nyepesi

When you’re waiting for a warm beach day, fluffy white clouds in a blue sky are a good sign. Don’t forget your sunscreen, as clouds will intensify the UV rays hitting your skin.

Fluffy White Cloud in Clear Blue Sky

4- The water froze on the glass - Maji yaliganda kuwa barafu ndani ya bilauri.

Night temperatures can get chilly and might freeze the condensation on your windows. A good way to clear them up is with warm salt water.

5- The heavy rain could cause flash flooding - Hii mvua kubwa inaweza sabasisha mafuriko ya ghafla.

If you’re visiting Kenya in the wet season, it’s important to stay informed when heavy rain sets in, so keep an eye on the weather radar. Avoid river activities and rather spend this time making a home-cooked meal and brushing up on your Swahili weather words.

Heavy Rain in a Park

6- Flood - mafuriko

If you do get caught in a flood, your destination should no longer be ‘home’, but the nearest high ground.

7- The typhoon has hit - Kibunga kimetokea.

Not all countries experience typhoons, but you need to know when to prepare for one! It will be very scary if you’ve never experienced one before. Your local neighbours are the best people to advise you on where to take shelter, as they’ve been doing it for generations. Be sure to get the low-down at the first sign of rough weather!

8- Check the weather report before going sailing - Angalia hali ya hewa kabla ya kuenda kutanga.

When planning an outdoor activity, especially on a body of water, always be prepared for a change in the weather. Ask your hotel receptionist or neighbour where you can get a reliable daily weather report, and don’t forget your sweater!

Two Men on Sailboat

9- Today’s weather is sunny with occasional clouds - Hali ya anga leo ni jua na mawingu hapa na pale.

Sunny weather is the dream when traveling in Kenya! Wake up early, pack the hats and sunblock and go and experience the terrain, sights and beautiful spots. You’ll be rewarded with happy vibes all around.

10- Rainy - kunyesha

Remember when you said you’d save the Swahili podcasts for a rainy day? Now’s that day!

11- Scenic rainbow - mandhari ya upinde wa mvua

The best part about the rain is that you can look forward to your first rainbow in Kenya. There’s magic in that!

12- Flashes of lightning can be beautiful, but are very dangerous - Miale ya radi yaweza kuonekana nzuri lakini ni hatari.

Lightning is one of the most fascinating weather phenomena you can witness without really being in danger – at least if you’re sensible and stay indoors! Did you know that lightning strikes the earth 40-50 times per second? Fortunately, not all countries experience heavy electric storms!

Electric Storm

13- 25 degrees Celsius - digri 25 (Ishirini na tano) Selsiashi

Asking a local what the outside temperature will be is another useful question for planning your day. It’s easy if you know the Swahili term for ‘degrees Celsius’.

14- Fahrenheit - Farenheiti

Although the Fahrenheit system has been replaced by Celsius in almost all countries, it’s still used in the US and a few other places. Learn this phrase in Swahili in case one of your companions develops a raging fever.

15- Clear sky - shwari

Clear skies mean you’ll probably want to get the camera out and capture some nature shots - not to mention the great sunsets you’ll have later on. Twilight can lend an especially magical quality to a landscape on a clear sky day, when the light is not filtered through clouds.

Hikers on Mountain with Clear Sky

16- Light drizzle - manyunyu nyepesi

Days when it’s drizzling are perfect for taking in the cultural offerings of Kenya. You could go to the mall and watch a Kenyan film, visit museums and art galleries, explore indoor markets or even find the nearest climbing wall. Bring an umbrella!

17- Temperature - joto

Because of the coronavirus, many airports are conducting temperature screening on passengers. Don’t worry though - it’s just a precaution. Your temperature might be taken with a no-touch thermometer, which measures infrared energy coming off the body.

18- Humid - unyevu

I love humid days, but then I’m also a water baby and I think the two go
together like summer and rain. Find a pool or a stream to cool off in – preferably in the shade!

Humidity in Tropical Forest

19- With low humidity the air feels dry - Unyevu dhalili hufanya hewa kuwa kavu.

These are the best days to go walking the hills and vales. Just take at least one Kenyan friend with you so you don’t get lost!

20- The wind is really strong - upepo ni kali sana

A strong wind blows away the air pollution and is very healthy in that respect. Just avoid the mountain trails today, unless you fancy being blown across the continent like a hot air balloon.

21- It’s windy outside - Kuna upepo nje.

Wind! My least favourite weather condition. Of course, if you’re a kitesurfer, a windy day is what you’ve been waiting for!

Leaves and Umbrella in the Wind

22- Wet roads can ice over when the temperature falls below freezing - Barabara zilizo na unyevu zaweza kuwa na barafu, wakati pimo la joto linapoanguka chini ya kiwango cha kutunduaa.

The roads will be dangerous in these conditions, so please don’t take chances. The ice will thaw as soon as the sun comes out, so be patient!

23- Today is very muggy - Leo hewa limejaa unyevu.

Muggy days make your skin feel sticky and sap your energy. They’re particular to high humidity. Cold shower, anyone? Ice vest? Whatever it takes to feel relief from the humidity!

24- Fog - ukungu

Not a great time to be driving, especially in unknown territory, but keep your fog lights on and drive slowly.

Fog on a Pond with Ducks

25- Hurricane - tufani

Your new Kenyan friends will know the signs, so grab some food and candles and prepare for a night of staying warm and chatting about wild weather in Kenya.

Palm Trees in a Hurricane

26- Big tornado - kibunga kubwa

If you hear these words, it will probably be obvious already that everyone is preparing for the worst! Definitely do whatever your accommodation hosts tell you to do when a tornado is expected.

27- It’s cloudy today - Ni siku ya mawingu.

While there won’t be any stargazing tonight, the magnificent clouds over Kenya will make impressive photographs. Caption them in Swahili to impress your friends back home!

Cloudy Weather on Beach with Beach Huts

28- Below freezing temperatures - chini ya kipimo cha joto ya kutunduaa

When the temperature is below freezing, why not take an Uber and go shopping for some gorgeous Kenyan winter gear?

Woman with Winter Gear in Freezing Weather

29- Wind chill is how cold it really feels outside - Upepo wa baridi ni namna ya baridi iliyonje.

Wind doesn’t change the ambient temperature of the air, it just changes your body temperature, so the air will feel colder to you than it actually is. Not all your Kenyan friends will know that, though, so learn this Swahili phrase to sound really smart!

30- Water will freeze when the temperature falls below zero degrees celsius - Maji yatakanda wakati kipimo cha joto linapoangu chini ya centigredi sufuri.

If you’re near a lake, frozen water is good news! Forgot your ice skates? Don’t despair - find out where you can hire some. Be cautious, though: the ice needs to be at least four inches thick for safe skating. Personally, I just slide around on frozen lakes in my boots!

Thermometer Below Freezing Point

31- Waiting to clear up - kungoja ili iwe nzuri

Waiting for the weather to clear up so you can go exploring is frustrating, let’s be honest. That’s why you should always travel with two things: a scintillating novel and your Swahili Nook Book.

32- Avoid the extreme heat - epukana na joto jingi

Is the heat trying to kill you? Unless you’re a hardened heatwave hero, definitely avoid activity, stay hydrated and drink electrolytes. Loose cotton or linen garb is the way to go!

Hand Holding a Melting Ice Cream

33- Morning frost - jadili ya asubuhi

Frost is water vapour that has turned to ice crystals and it happens when the earth cools so much in the night, that it gets colder than the air above it. Winter is coming!

34- Rain shower - kunyesha kwa mvua

Rain showers are typically brief downpours that drench the earth with a good drink of water.

35- In the evening it will become cloudy and cold - Jioni, kutakuwa na mawingu na baridi.

When I hear this on the Swahili weather channel, I buy a bottle of wine (red, of course) and wood for the fireplace. A cold and cloudy evening needs its comforts!

Snow in the Park at Night

36- Severe thunderstorm - doruba kali

Keep an eye on the Kenyan weather maps if it looks like a big storm is coming, so you’ll be well-informed.

37- Ice has formed on the window - Barafu limetengenezeka kwenye dirisha.

You could try this phrase out on the hotel’s helpful cleaning staff, or fix the problem yourself. Just add a scoop or two of salt to a spray bottle of water - that should work!

38- Large hailstones - mvua mkubwa wa mawe

As a kid, I found hail crazy exciting. Not so much now - especially if I’m on the road and large hailstones start pummeling my windscreen!

Large Hailstones on a Wooden Floor

39- Rolling thunder - gurumo kubwa

The rumble of rolling thunder is that low-volume, ominous background sound that goes on for some time. It’s strangely exciting if you’re safely in your hotel room; it could either suddenly clear up, or escalate to a storm.

40- Sleet - mvua ya theluji

Sleet is tiny hard pieces of ice made from a mixture of rain and melted snow that froze. It can be messy, but doesn’t cause major damage the way hail does. Pretty cool to know this word in Swahili!


2. Words for the first day of spring

You know the feeling: your heart skips a beat when you wake up and spring has sprung! Spring will reward you with new blossoms everywhere, birdsong in the air, kittens being born in the neighborhood and lovely views when you hit the trails. Pack a picnic and ask a new Kenyan friend to show you the more natural sights. Don’t forget a light sweater and a big smile. This is the perfect time to practice some Swahili spring words!

Spring Vocabulary


3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?

Summer! Who doesn’t love that word? It conjures up images of blue skies, tan skin, vacations at the beach and cruising down the coast in an Alfa Romeo, sunglasses on and the breeze in your hair. Of course, in Kenya there are many ways to enjoy the summer - it all depends on what you love to do. One thing’s for sure: you will have opportunities to make friends, go on picnics, sample delicious local ice-cream and maybe even learn to sing some Swahili songs. It’s up to you! Sail into Kenyan summer with this summer vocab list, and you’ll blend in with ease.

Four Adults Playing on the Beach in the Sand


4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary

Victoria Ericksen said, “If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour,” and I agree. Who can resist the beauty of fall foliage coloring the Kenyan landscape? Birds prepare to migrate; travelers prepare to arrive for the best weather in Kenya.

The autumnal equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator, making day and night almost equal in length. The cool thing about this event is that the moon gets really bright – the ‘harvest moon’, as it’s traditionally known.

So, as much as the change of season brings more windy and rainy days, it also brings celebration. Whether you honor Thanksgiving, Halloween or the Moon Festival, take some time to color your vocabulary with these Swahili autumn words.

Autumn Phrases


5. Winter

Winter is the time the natural world slows down to rest and regroup. I’m a summer girl, but there are fabulous things about winter that I really look forward to. For one, it’s the only season I get to accessorize with my gorgeous winter gloves and snug down coat!

Then, of course, there’s ice skating, holiday decorations and bonfires. As John Steinbeck said, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” Get ready for the cold season with our list of essential Winter words!

Skier Sitting in the Snow


6. SwahiliPod101 can prepare you for any season.

Now that you know how to inquire and comment on the weather in Kenya, you
can confidently plan your weather-ready travel itinerary. How about this for an idea: the next
time you’re sitting in a Kenyan street café, try asking someone local this question:

“Do you think the weather will stay like this for a few days?” If you loved learning these cool Swahili weather phrases with us, why not take it a step further and add to your repertoire? SwahiliPod101 is here to help!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Swahili

The Swahili Calendar: Talking About Dates in Swahili

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Did you know there are many different types of calendars?

As you probably know - a calendar is a system of organizing days in weeks and months for specific purposes, according to Wikipedia.

Worldwide, most countries use the Gregorian calendar. Some just work on the same framework, meaning that time is divided into units based on the earth’s movement around the sun - the “solar calendar”. Other calendars keep time by observing the moon’s movements, a combination of the moon and the sun’s movements, and seasons.

Through SwahiliPod101, you can learn all about this and so much more! Our themed, culturally relevant lessons are skillfully designed so you can do your planning perfectly for a holiday or a date.

Having a good plan for a visit or a trip is like studying well for an exam. You’re just so much better prepared! For that, you could well need specific phrases to plan around appointments and such, especially on business trips. Make sure to use the charts we provide here with the days of the week in Swahili, as well as the months in Swahili to navigate your way as you plan. Great resources!

Also - always remember to have fun!

Table of Contents

  1. Why Will It Help To Know How To Talk About Dates in Swahili?
  2. Talking About your Plans
  3. Can SwahiliPod101 Help You In Other Ways Too?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Swahili


1. Why Will It Help To Know How To Talk About Dates in Swahili?

Days of the Week

Well, that’s not a difficult question to answer. No matter why you’re travelling, it would be best to at least know the names of days and months in Swahili. You don’t want to miss your flight or an appointment because you confused “Ijumaa” (Friday) with “Jumamosi” (Saturday)! Or maybe you planned a holiday for “Julai” (July), but you booked a flight for “Juni” (June) by accident!

Avoid this confusion by learning the Swahili calendar before you leave.

Now, as promised, the 15 phrases to help you make and discuss plans.


2. Talking About your Plans

Months of the Year

Perhaps you’re working in Kenya, or maybe you’re enjoying a prolonged holiday. Fabulous! Memorize these phrases so you can be sure to successfully negotiate meetings, appointments, dates, events, the list goes on!

1. Unafanya nini wikendi hii.

“What are you doing this weekend?”

This question is usually a preamble to inviting someone somewhere. Given that it’s over the weekend, it probably means a casual get-together or another social event. (But not necessarily! A manager or boss could also ask this for entirely different reasons.)

It’s a handy phrase to know when you’ve made Kenyan or expat friends in the country. Or, be the one doing the inviting. Then train your ear to learn the following phrases so you can understand the response.

2. Ninasafiri mwishoni wikendi hii.

“I am traveling this weekend.”

This could be a reply if you’re not available because you’re doing other fun stuff.

No matter why you are visiting Kenya, do take the time to explore the country! It’s beautiful and it has so many wonderful, interesting spots ready to be visited.

Couple at booking in Desk

3. Ninapanga kukaa nyumbani.

“I am planning to stay at home.”

Maybe you feel unwell, but don’t want to give too much information? Or maybe you have work to do? Perhaps you just need some quiet gardening time…it doesn’t matter. This response is polite and honest without oversharing.

It could also be a slightly open-ended response, depending on how you deliver it. Because hey, being home could still mean your plans are flexible, right?

That said - depending on your relationship with the inviter, nuances like these will probably not be so apparent in a foreign culture. So, best to use this excuse for declining an invitation only if you are truly set on staying in.

Woman Doing Gardening

4. Wiki hii nina shughuli mingi.

“This week I am busy.”

Another polite phrase that gives a reason for declining an invitation but without oversharing details.

Don’t decline too many invitations, though! You don’t want people to think that you’re too busy to hang out with them. They will stop inviting you out, and you know how the saying goes - all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…! Being social is good for the soul.

5. Mimi ni huru kesho.

“I am free tomorrow.”

Yay! Perhaps you were approached by that person and they asked about your availability for a date. This would be a fine reply. Not too eager, but still indicating that you’re interested.

Or maybe you’re just replying to a colleague or manager’s request for a meeting. Polite, honest and clear.

Alternatively, you’re just busy right now, and plans are not going the way they were…well, planned. Compromise is a lovely thing! And this phrase sounds just like that.

Use it to indicate that you want to accommodate an invitation or the inviter’s plans, despite your current unavailability. Only if you are really free, of course.

6. Je! tunaweza airisha hii

“Can we reschedule this?”

So, life happened and you are unable to meet obligations or attend a planned meeting. This is a suitable question to ask if you wish to indicate your willingness to still engage with whatever is on the table.

Obviously you should (ideally) not ask to reschedule a party or big meeting! (Unless you’re the boss or it’s your own party, of course.) But if there’s reasonable wiggle room regarding arrangements, then this one’s your question.

Business Man Sitting with Schedule

7. Nitakuwa na muda wa kutosha mwishoni mwa mwezi.

“I will have enough time at the end of the month.”

A go-to phrase when events or activities are likely to take up a lot of your time, such as going away for a weekend, spending the day at a local market, or writing your manager’s quarterly report (with 20 flow-charts in Powerpoint) - anything that won’t only take an hour or two.

8. Ni wakati gani bora unaokufaa?

“When is the best time that suits you?”

Remember phrase #5? That was a possible reply to this question. Asked by your crush, very possibly! Or, it could be asked by any other person for any other reason, doesn’t matter.

If this is addressed to you, it usually means that the person respects your time and schedule, which is a good thing. It probably also means that their own schedule is flexible, another good thing.

This is also a polite question to ask when a manager or senior colleague wants to meet with you. Let them decide on the time, and be as accommodating as possible. This attitude shows respect for seniority - good for career building. (Within reason, of course. You don’t need to postpone your wedding or your paid-up holiday to Australia because your manager wants to see you.)

Screen Tablet Hotel

9. Je, tarehe hii ni sawa na wewe?

“Is this date OK with you?”

But - if the other party insists that you choose a time for a meeting, appointment, or date etc., then do so! Respond with this nice, somewhat casual question that leaves space for negotiation, but only needs a simple reply.

Suitable for friends, and casual acquaintances and colleagues.

10. Je, unapatikana siku hiyo?

“Are you available on that day?”

This is the a-bit-more-formal version of the previous question. Again, it has room for negotiation, but only needs a simple response - nice and neat!

Maybe this is the go-to question when you’re addressing your seniors at work, or a person much older than you.

11. Je, tunaweza kufanya hivyo haraka iwezekanavyo?

“Can we do it as soon as possible?”

This question has an urgency to it that should preferably be responded to with the same. A simple reply will be good - yes or no. Less negotiable, this is still polite because it’s a question that gives you a choice.

But stand ready with one of the phrases in this article to help tie down a time and date!

Couple Getting Engaged on a Bridge

12. Mimi hupatikana kila jioni.

“I’m available every evening”

If you’re going to reply with this phrase, context is everything.

- If it’s your manager asking you to put in a bit of overtime, and you are available to - great reply! When deadlines are tight and everybody is stressing, your willingness to go the extra mile can only improve your relationship with your boss.

(Still, no need to be a doormat! If you get asked to work overtime too often, or if everyone else is goofing around while you have to graft, then re-evaluate the situation. And if you feel you’re being exploited a bit, don’t stress! Equip yourself with the diplomatic, yet assertive responses right in this article.)

- If it’s an old friend or longtime significant other asking to hang out - good reply. You know one another and appearances don’t matter any longer.

- If it’s a new crush who just asked when you’d be available for a date - stop. Not such a great reply. Tone down a bit! “Interested but not overly eager” is what you’re going for here.

Refer back to response #5, or use a counter-question, such as #1. Whatever suits you.

But if they - or anyone else - invite you to scale the Himalayas with them, then the next phrase will probably be the only sane response!

Mountaineer in Snow

13. Ninahitaji kupanga hii vizuri na mapema.

“I need to plan this well in advance.”

So, as said under #9, perhaps you’re invited to join someone conquer the Himalayas.

Or your company manager wants you to plan the Party that Tops All Year-End Parties Forever.

Simply - if you get asked to do something that you know will need a lot of thorough planning, this is a good phrase to respond with.

It’s an assertive phrase that demonstrates two things regarding your attitude:

a) That you know your own abilities, and respect your own schedule.
b) That your respect other people’s time and schedule too.

Then just be sure to actually do that planning well in advance!

14. Tunahitaji kupata tarehe nyingine

“We need to find another date.”

So, you’re in negotiations regarding a date.

This is an assertive statement that should probably not be used with a “My way or the highway” attitude.

That stuff only works in the movies - think sharp-tongued Samuel L. Jackson. Or fierce Kristen Stewart. Yea, they can be scary, so tone down that tone.

Also, be mindful that fickle people who change plans all the time don’t keep friends! Taking others’ needs into consideration, while simultaneously having your way is a delicate art that takes proper cultivation. Use this phrase sparingly - we have better ones here to negotiate with.

Rock Concert Hands in the Air

Of course, if your planned trip to the dentist falls on the same day as the only Billie Eilish concert close by…well, priorities are priorities. Feel free to call the dentist with this phrase. Or even better, use the next one.

15. Siwezi kufanya hivyo siku hiyo.

“I cannot do it on that day.”

This is the low-key-but-still-firm cousin of the previous phrase. You’re stating a personal fact, and depending on your tone, this can be as non-negotiable as you prefer.

Again, only use this when you really mean it, if you’re visiting Kenya or any other foreign country.

So, that’s it, folks! Which phrase did you find the most helpful? Let us know in the comments!


3. Can SwahiliPod101 Help You In Other Ways Too?

Numbers

Well yes, of course!

We think you will find these phrases easy to use when talking about dates and months in Swahili. But knowing how to employ them properly could help you avoid sticky situations!

SwahiliPod101 is uniquely geared to help you with this and so much more.

This InnovativeLanguage.com initiative is one of many online language-learning courses. With us, you’ll find it easy and fun to learn a new language, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Immediately upon enrollment, you’ll receive hundreds of well-designed lessons to get you going.
  • Watch superb recordings of native Swahili speakers in cool slide-shows - the easy way to practice till you sound just like a native speaker yourself!
  • Also immediately upon enrollment, you’ll get access to a huge library of free resources! These include extensive, theme-based Vocabulary Lists and a Word of the Day List (For free, hot bargains!) These alone are sure to give your vocab-learning boxing gloves.
  • You’ll also immediately be able to use an excellent and free Swahili online dictionary. Necessary for quick, handy translations, no matter where you find yourself.
  • For the serious learner, there are numerous enrollment upgrades available, one of which offers you a personal, online Kenyan host. Allow us to hold your hand and support you in your learning!

If you’re serious about mastering Swahili easily yet correctly, SwahiliPod101 is definitely one of, if not the best, online language learning platforms available. Talking about your plans or dates in Swahili need not ever spoil your stay.

So, hurry up—enroll today!

Learn How to Talk About Your Family in Swahili

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Did you know that only some reptiles and birds don’t parent their offspring? Except for crocodiles, all reptiles (and one family of bird species called megapodes) hatch from eggs and grow up alone, without any family.

The rest of us need family if we are to survive and thrive - humans and animals alike!

At SwahiliPod101, we know how important family is. Therefore, we take care to teach you all the important vocabulary and phrases pertaining to family.

Table of Contents

  1. Why Is It Important to Know Swahili Vocabulary about Family?
  2. Learn a New Culture? Learn its Family Vocab first
  3. How SwahiliPod101 Can Help You Learn Swahili Family Terms

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Family Phrases in Swahili


1. Why Is It Important to Know Swahili Vocabulary about Family?

Lioness with Cub

Well, if you’re serious about studying any new language, then learning about the most important social unit in Kenyan culture would be a crucial part of your education.

What is family, though? Strictly speaking, it’s a group of people who live together and are supposed to take care of one another. Some of them are genetically linked.

Family isn’t just about who we’re related to by blood, of course. It’s also one of the main influences in shaping every child’s life.

Family is Important for Children’s Healthy Development

Phrases Parents Say

Family is the single most important influence in a child’s life. Children depend on parents and family to protect them and provide for their needs from the day they were born.

Primary caregivers, which usually comprise parents and family, form a child’s first relationships. They are a child’s first teachers and are role models that show kids how to act and experience the world around them.

By nurturing and teaching children during their early years, families play an important role in making sure children are ready to learn when they enter school.

Families Can Take All Shapes and Sizes

However, the way families are put together is by no means standard.

Mom and Daughter

Single-parent and same-gender households have become a new norm the past few decades, and there’s no shame in this. When there is love, connection and proper care, a child can thrive anywhere.

Everyone also knows that sometimes friends can become like family and remain with us for life, because it’s all about human connection.

After all, we share many commonalities simply because we’re human, and we are programmed to connect with one another and belong to a group. This is very important for our well-being and survival.

It’s All About Feeling Connected

As John Northman, a psychologist from Buffalo, NY, told WebMD - feeling connected to others contributes to mental as well as physical health.

He pointed out that when people feel connected, they feel better physically, and they’re also less likely to feel depressed.

Couples Chatting

Or, if they do feel depressed, they’d be in a better position to get out of it when they feel they are connecting with others. This is because they would be psychologically supported too, Northman said.

There has even been some links drawn between addiction and feeling disconnected from others. According to an article in Psychology Today, research indicates that addiction is not solely a substance disorder, but also affected by people feeling insecurely attached to others.

It showed that securely attached individuals tend to feel comfortable in and enjoy life, while insecurely attached people typically struggle to fit in and connect.


2. Learn a New Culture? Learn its Family Vocab first

So, it’s clear that for most of us, family is our entry point into connection and belonging. This is true of every culture, so in every country, family takes prominence.

For this reason, SwahiliPod101 offers culturally-relevant lessons that will equip you well to understand families in Kenya.

Here are some of the most important Swahili vocabulary and quotes about family and parenting!

A) Swahili Family Vocabulary

Let’s start with the basic vocabulary. Without this collection of words, you’ll have a hard time describing any member of your family at all.

Family Terms
Family
jamaa
Great grandfather
babu mkuu
Mother
mama
Grandmother
nyanya
Father
baba
Grandfather
babu
Wife
mke
Grandchild
mjukuu
Husband
mume
Granddaughter
mjukuu
Parent
mzazi
Grandson
mjukuu
Child
mtoto
Aunt
shangazi
Daughter
binti
Uncle
mjomba
Sister
dada
Niece
mpwa wa kike
Brother
kaka
Nephew
mpwa
Younger sister
dada mdogo
Younger brother
kaka mdogo
Older brother
kaka mkubwa
Great grandmother
nyanya mkuu
Cousin
binamu
Mother-in-law
mama mkwe
Father-in-law
baba mkwe
Sister-in-law
shemeji
Brother-in-law
shemeji
Partner
mpenzi

Family of Three

B) Quotes About Family

Swahili Family Quotes

One of the ways to improve your Swahili language skills is by memorizing quotes from books, or poems.

Either source some from Swahili literature, or make use of ours!

Huwezi kuchagua familia yako. Wao ni zawadi kwako kutoka kwa Mungu, vile ulivyo zawadi kwao.

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” - Desmond Tutu

Familia si jambo muhimu. Ni kila kitu.

“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” - Michael J. Fox

Familia inamaana kuwa hakuna mtu anayewachwa nyuma au kusahaulika.

“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” - David Ogden Stiers

Familia yangu ni nguvu yangu na udhaifu wangu.

“My family is my strength and my weakness.” - Aishwarya Rai

Familia ni mojayapo ya asili maalum ya maumbile.

“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” - George Santayana

Shida ijapo, ni familia yako inayokusaidia.

“When trouble comes, it’s your family that supports you.” - Guy Lafleur

Familia ni chembechembe cha kwanza muhimu katika jamii ya binadamu.

“The family is the first essential cell of human society.” - Pope John XXIII

Hakuna kitu kama vile burudani ya familia nzima.

“There is no such thing as fun for the whole family.” - Jerry Seinfeld

Unapaswa kudhibiti heshima yako. Na familia yako.

“You have to defend your honor. And your family.” - Suzanne Vega

Familia zote zenye furaha hufanana; kila familia isiyo na furaha haina furaha kwa njia yake tofauti.

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” - Leo Tolstoy

C) Test Your Knowledge!

Do you feel you have learned a lot in this blog? Let’s quickly test that!

In the table below, match the Swahili vocabulary on the left with the definition of the relative in the right column.

MY RELATIVES
Relative Name Definition
1. jamaa a. My male child
2. mama b. My older male sibling
3. baba c. My female sibling
4. mke d. My child’s child
5. mume e. My child’s female child
6. mzazi f. My female parent
7. mtoto g. My grandparent’s mother
8. binti h. Mother to one of my parents
9. kijana i. Relatives
10. dada j. My female child
11. kaka k. My younger male sibling
12. dada mdogo l. Male spouse
13. kaka m. The father of one of my parents
14. kaka mkubwa n. My child’s male child
15. nyanya mkuu o. My children’s father or mother
16. babu mkuu p. The sister of one of my parents
17. nyanya q. The brother of one of my parents
18. babu r. My male parent
19. mjukuu s. My sibling’s female child
20. mjukuu t. My sibling’s male child
21. mjukuu u. My male sibling
22. shangazi v. My parents’ sibling’s child
23. mjomba w. Female spouse
24. mpwa wa kike x. The grandfather of one of my parents
25. mpwa y. The person I am a parent to
26. binamu z. My younger female sibling

How did it go? Don’t worry if you had trouble with it - you’ll get there! With a bit of practice, and our help at SwahiliPod101, you’ll soon have these family terms under the belt.

Family Shopping


3. How SwahiliPod101 Can Help You Learn Swahili Family Terms

We hope that we helped you expand your family in Swahili vocabulary!

SwahiliPod101, with its innovative online learning system, stands out among online learning platforms to help you master Swahili easily.

Our lessons are tailored not only to increase your language skills, but to also inform you of Kenyan culture, including the Kenyan family structure.

When you sign up, you will get instant access to tools like:

1 - An extensive vocabulary list, regularly updated
2 - A new Swahili word to learn every day
3 - Quick access to the Swahili Key Phrase List
4 - A free Swahili online dictionary
5 - The excellent 100 Core Swahili Word List
6 - An almost limitless Lesson Library for learners of all levels

Further speed up your learning with the help of a personal tutor, who will first assess your current Swahili language abilities to personalize your training and tailor it to your needs.

Hard work always pays off, and to help you in this, SwahiliPod101 will be there every step of the way toward your Swahili mastery!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Family Phrases in Swahili

Answers: 1.i. 2.f. 3.r. 4.w. 5.l. 6.o. 7.y. 8.j. 9.a. 10.c. 11.u. 12.z. 13.k. 14.b. 15.g 16.x. 17.h. 18.m. 19.d. 20.e. 21.n. 22.p. 23.q. 24.s. 25.t. 26.v.

Everything You Should Know About Jamhuri Day in Kenya

Everything You Should Know About Jamhuri Day in Kenya

The Jamhuri Day celebrations in Kenya reflect the joy Kenyans have in their country’s freedom and independence from British colonial rule. They also reflect the unique and colorful culture of Kenya as a whole.

In this article, you’ll learn about Jamhuri Day in Kenya, including its history and current celebrations. At SwahiliPod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative, starting with this article!

Ready? Let’s go.

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1. What is Jamhuri Day?

Jamhuri Day is Kenya’s celebration of its independence and freedom. The Swahili word jamhuri translates to “republic” in English, and Jamhuri Day is also called “Republic Day” or “Independence Day.”

1- Jamhuri Day History

Germans were the first colonists to Kenya, though in the 1890s, the British colonists who came after them claimed Kenya for themselves. In 1920, the British officially colonized Kenya.

As you can imagine, this led to disputes over time. Such disputes typically had to do with the lack of political involvement allowed the African people, and others were over land or cultural issues.

Finally, in 1952, a group of people—led by Dedan Kimathi, who was later executed—started the Mau Mau Uprising. This led to approximately ten long years of great distress throughout Kenya, though over time, the British colonists did allow room for the African people to address these issues.

Jomo Kenyatta was elected the first President of the Kenyan government in 1957. In 1964, he also served as the first President of the Republic of Kenya.

2. Jamhuri Day Date

Flag of Kenya African National Union

Each year, Kenya celebrates its Independence Day on December 12. This is the date in 1964 that the country officially became a republic.

3. Jamhuri Day Celebrations & Traditions

Different Masks

Jamhuri Day in Kenya holds a colorful variety of celebrations and events.

Some of the more popular and festive Jamhuri Day traditions include parades and air shows, especially in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. Perhaps the most spectacular of these events is the Trooping of the Colour, a British and Commonwealth tradition. Further, Kenya’s President gives a Jamhuri Day speech each year and watches the parade along with the rest of Kenya.

At home, many Kenyans celebrate by rejoining their families for a time of feasting and catching up with each other. Families who choose to spend most of their time at home may watch the Jamhuri Day awards, speeches, and parades on TV together as well.

4. Bungee Jumping

Jamhuri Day parades, fireworks, and a cozy meal with loved ones isn’t quite enough for some Kenyans, though. Do you know how else some people choose to celebrate Jamhuri Day?

To celebrate freedom and independence in a more exhilarating way, some people go bungee jumping. Yes, bungee jumping!

5. Vocabulary for Jamhuri Day in Kenya

Commonwealth

Here’s some Swahili vocabulary you should know for Jamhuri Day!

  • Uingereza — “England”
  • Jomo Kenyatta — “Jomo Kenyatta”
  • Sikukuu ya Uhuru — “Independence Day”
  • Jamhuri — “Republic”
  • Ukoloni — “Colonization”
  • Shirikisho la Kimataifa ya Kenya — “Kenya African National Union”
  • Mapinduzi ya Mau Mau — “Mau Mau Uprising”
  • Hali ya hatari — “State of emergency
  • Jumuiya ya madola — “Commonwealth”
  • Urithi wa kitamaduni — “Cultural heritage”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to visit our Swahili Jamhuri Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

How do you celebrate Independence Day in your country? Are traditions similar or very different from those in Kenya? Let us know in the comments!

Learning about a country’s history and culture is one of the most fascinating and enriching aspects of trying to master its language. If you’re interested in learning more about Kenya and her people, you may find the following pages on SwahiliPod101.com interesting:

Learning Swahili doesn’t have to be a boring or overwhelming task—with SwahiliPod101.com, it can even be fun! If you’re serious about learning the language, but don’t have time for unnecessary hassle, create your free lifetime account today!

Happy Jamhuri Day! :)

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SwahiliPod101’s Essential Swahili Travel Phrase Guide

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Traveling to foreign countries is nearly always an exciting, enriching, and beneficial experience. Yet, some things can be real downers, such as boredom on a lengthy flight to Kenya. Really, binge-watching onboard movies can only be interesting for so long! And jet lag - another huge downer. Did you know that jet lag is more severe when you travel from the West to the East?

Well, we won’t know how to beat that, but there are fortunately plenty of remedies around to investigate.

To beat flight boredom, though, we may have the answer for you at SwahiliPod101! Why don’t you take the time to study Swahili travel phrases? We make this super easy and fun, with great downloadables, like our PDF Cheat Sheets. Quickly memorize these, and impress your Kenyan friends or travel guide with your flawless Swahili!

Table of Contents

  1. Importance Of Learning Travel Phrases
  2. 13 Must-Have Travel Phrases and Words
  3. Good-To-Have Travel Phrases
  4. Ways To Improve Communication in a Foreign Country
  5. SwahiliPod101 Can Help You Master Travel Phrases Easily and Effortlessly!

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1. Importance Of Learning Travel Phrases

Impressing Kenyan people or your travel partners will be the least of the benefits you reap from learning these helpful phrases. These are greater ones:

1) Eliminate Travel Frustration: First of all, you’ll be able to cut out a good chunk of travel frustration and inconvenience due to language barriers.

Know how to pronounce and use at least the basic Swahili phrases, and then just look foreign. This should go a long way to help you get by and win you friends, because locals would be more inclined to help someone who took the trouble to learn a smidgen of their language.

Injured Woman In An Ambulance

2) Emergency Readiness: In case of an emergency, you will be able to get help a lot quicker if you know how to ask for what in Swahili. Imagine miming to a doctor or nurse that you have a sore ear but that you’re allergic to penicillin. Not so easy, right?

Rather, you should know basic emergency travel phrases, especially if you suffer from a serious condition. Also, information about life-threatening allergies you have should always be on your person in the language of the country you’re visiting.

3) Sight-Seeing Readiness: Hopefully, you also travel to learn more about a country’s culture. Visiting the main tourist sites in Kenya will be more interesting if you know how to ask pertinent questions in Swahili.

In this blog, we’ll also be giving you important travel phrases to consider - from the 13 essential must-have phrases to ones that are just generally useful and good to know.

Let’s get cracking!


2. 13 Must-Have Travel Phrases and Words

Preparing to Travel

Seasoned explorers of multiple countries will tell you that certain words and phrases are absolute must-knows in anyone’s travel vocabulary. Learning from them, we collated some of the most essential ones here for you.

If you know these travel phrases and words by heart in Swahili, you will be much better equipped for your visit than most of your movie-binging travel mates.

1) Asante (Thank you)

As a tourist, you will be relying on the kindness of strangers to get by. Repay them with a small acknowledgment of their friendly generosity - know how to say “thank you” in Swahili.

2) Unaweza ongea kingereza? (Do you speak English?)

While it may be a bit of a cop-out, sometimes you just can’t figure out how to communicate. Maybe you’re blanking on one specific word you need, maybe they’re speaking with a heavy accent, or maybe it’s just really late and you really want to get to the hotel. In that case, try asking if they speak English, and hopefully you can make things a little bit simpler for yourself.

Don’t abuse this phrase, though! If you just try to get by without learning any of the local language, not only will you not learn anything - you’ll be out of luck if they can’t speak English!

Man Greeting Someone

3) Je, kuna basi kutoka uwanja wa ndege hadi mjini? (Is there a bus from the airport to the city?)

Public transit is usually cheaper, if slower, than taking a taxi or rideshare. Use this phrase to see if you can get where you’re going when you’re strapped for cash, or just when you’d like to take the scenic route into town!

4) Hii ndio basi ya hakika ya uwanja wa ndege? (Is this the right bus for the airport?)

Likewise, if you’re the kind of person who can get themselves moving early (or maybe you just have a late flight), maybe you want to take the bus to the airport rather than taking a cab. If that’s the case, you’ll want to be sure you’re actually heading the right way! You wouldn’t want to end up at a lookout point half an hour away, watching your flight take off in the distance, would you?

5) Niwie radhi, nauli ni gani? (Excuse me, what’s the fare?)

If you are paying for a cab, you’ll want to know how much. Most legal taxis will have meters, but when dealing with a currency you’re not familiar with, it can be worth asking just to double check that you’re paying the right amount - especially if the currency has cents.

6) Nina hifadhi (I have a reservation)

This one you can expect to use at least a few times throughout your trip, unless you’re the kind of person who travels by the seat of their pants and just goes to whatever hotel, motel, or hostel has rooms available.

7) Je, una nafasi yoyote usiku wa leo? (Do you have any vacancies tonight?)

If that’s the case, you’ll definitely be using this phrase instead. Quite possibly a lot, depending on how lucky you are!

Couple with a Map

8 ) Hicho kituo cha treni kiko wapi? (Where is the train station?)

If you’re in a country with an expansive commuter rail system (or maybe just a fan of other types of locomotives), you may want to know where the closest station is. Just don’t go looking for pennies on the rails!

9) Mimi nina mzio wa karanga (I am allergic to peanuts)

Replace “peanuts” with whatever the word for your allergen may be. If your allergy is serious, you probably already know the importance of stating this very clearly in Swahili.

If the condition is life-threatening, be sure to have a letter or prescription from a medical professional in Swahili on your person at all times. Consider getting a medical alert bracelet specially made in Swahili if your stay will be longer than a month or so.

Person Declining Meat

10) Je, una chakula chochote cha wanavejeteriani? (Do you have any vegetarian dishes?)

If you dislike eating certain things, or you have certain dietary restrictions, it would be best if you knew how to convey this clearly in Swahili.

Remember, though, that saying “I’m vegan” or “I’m diabetic” may not be enough to get you what you want. The rules for veganism and vegetarianism are not standard everywhere in the world. Also, your patron might not understand what “diabetic” means. If you have a medical condition, it would be best to research some in-depth vocabulary beforehand.

11) Je, mimi ningeweza pata ramani? (Could I get a map?)

Planning on exploring your destination? Hopelessly lost? Maybe just an amateur cartographer? No matter the reason, this phrase is sure to come in handy. That said, you’re more likely to get use out of it at some sort of tourist or travel center than you are asking a random passerby on the street.

12) Hii ni pesa ngapi? (How much is this?)

Even if you’re not a big shopper, you’re probably going to need this phrase at some point. Knowing how to count in Swahili will, of course, help a lot with purchases too.

13) Je, wewe huchukua kadi ya mikopo? (Do you take credit card?)

This is another travel phrase that will smooth your monetary transactions considerably.

Man Giving Credit Card to a Clerk


3. Good-To-Have Travel Phrases

Travel Verbs

Unlike the previous phrases, these are not really essential so much as they are useful. Yet, knowing these will still smooth over some bumps on your journey, more than just knowing the crucial phrases would.

1) Hio Wi-Fi ni bure? (Is the Wi-Fi free?)

If you’re abroad, your normal cellular plans probably won’t have any service, and you’ll be totally reliant on publically available Wi-Fi while you’re out and about. Just ask a server, clerk, or attendant, and they’ll be happy to let you know. Just make sure you’re paying attention when they tell you the password!

2) Je, unaweza kuchukua picha ya yangu tafadhali? (Could you take a picture of me please?)

What would a trip be with no photos to commemorate the event? Just be sure to ask this of someone who actually looks like they’d be willing to, unless you’re willing to risk being given the cold shoulder or worse. If you’re at a tourist attraction, you’ll find that most people are more than happy to take one for you, so long as you take one of them as well!

3) Je, una mapendekezo yoyote? (Do you have any recommendations?)

Eating alone in a restaurant? Or going out with new Kenyan friends or business colleagues? Let them help you decide what to have.

4) Ningependa kuwa na kiti chenye hakivutiwi sigara, tafadhali (I’d like to have a non-smoking seat, please)

Though smoking has gone out of fashion in some places, it’s still popular in others. In the event you’re at a restaurant where smoking is allowed on premises, you can always ask this question to the staff and be seated elsewhere.

5) Maji, tafadhali (Water, please)

If you’ve emptied your glass, or are cutting yourself off after a few drinks, you can always ask for some water. It can be especially useful if the restaurant is busy to the point you need to call out to someone to get service.

6) Ningeweza kupata cheki? (Could I have the check?)

To finish off the restaurant related phrases, if you’re eating with friends or really want to impress your colleagues, taking the bill can be a nice treat for them. Of course, this phrase could come in handy as well if you’re eating alone and you’re just impatient to leave.

7) Nini unapendekeza kama kumbusho? (What do you recommend for a souvenir?)

Now that your trip is over, what better way to cap it all off than a memento, or maybe a gift for friends and family at home? It’ll be nicer to have something recommended by the locals than a cheap bauble from the airport store, so go ahead and ask someone you’ve met what they think.


4. Ways To Improve Communication in a Foreign Country

Survival Phrases

When traveling, it’s possible to keep communication smooth when you don’t share a language.

Do so by keeping these five tips in mind. They are aimed to help you communicate with those who cannot speak English very well, and also to keep your traveling experience pleasant!

1. Keep your English simple and easy to understand.
If the person you are talking to speaks very little English, use basic verbs, adjectives, and nouns, and keep sentences short.

However, don’t patronize them by talking in pidgin or like you would address a child. Keep your speech simple but natural, and use the correct grammar.

For instance, don’t say: “You come when?”. If you say: “When will you come?”, you will very likely be understood, and may even help someone who wants to improve their English.

2. Ask someone to write information down.
Apply Rule 1 first at your hotel, where the staff is very likely to be able to speak some English. Get them to write down, in their native language, things like: “I would like to go to the airport, please,” “Please take me to the beach,” or “Where is the closest bathroom?”

These written questions are something you can then give to taxi drivers or any other people who are willing and able to help you. This simple step could make your life a lot easier when you travel to a foreign country!

3. Avoid asking leading questions!
If you want the correct information from a non-native English speaker, that is.

When you need directions, for instance, don’t ask: “To get to the bus stop, do I need to turn left here?” If the person didn’t really understand you, you will probably just get a smile and a “Yes,” which could possibly make you miss your bus.

Rather, you should ask: “Where is the bus stop?” If they understand you, you will get the correct directions.

4. Pick the right person to ask for help.
Time to look at people and think a bit about their appearance! A younger person who looks like they might be a student is more likely to have English skills than the friendly but ancient lady smiling at you from a fruit stall.

If you don’t see anyone like that, head into town to the nearest bank, hospital, pharmacy, or hotel. The staff at those places usually speak a bit of English.

5. Know when to quit.
If you stuck to the above rules, but the person you are talking to only stares at you blankly, say thank you and leave. Hanging around hoping someone will suddenly understand and respond is just wasting your time, and may irritate them as well. Go find someone else.


5. SwahiliPod101 Can Help You Master Travel Phrases Easily and Effortlessly!

So, reader, have you found this article helpful?

Do you feel comfortable enough to use some essential travel phrases in Swahili? We’d also love to hear if you think we left out important travel phrases. Leave your suggestions and opinions in the comments!

SwahiliPod101 takes the lead with many free learning tools to help you master Swahili reading and speaking easily, and in fun ways.

These tools include:

- An extensive vocabulary list, regularly updated
- A new Swahili word to learn every day
- Quick access to the Swahili Key Phrase List
- A free Swahili online dictionary
- The excellent 100 Core Swahili Word List
- An almost limitless Lesson Library for learners of all levels

You will also have access to topic-specific recordings like our Before You Travel: Survival Phrases lesson.

Learn even more efficiently with the help of a personal tutor, after taking an assessment test to personalize and tailor your training.

Getting a tutor is also a good option if you meet challenges in your learning, or need to fast-track correct pronunciation and diction. Your very own friendly, Swahili-speaking teacher will be only a text away on a special app, anywhere, anytime - an excellent option for business persons!

Using a guided learning system that was developed by experts in language and online education, you’ll receive personal feedback and constant support to improve in no time. You’ll also be tasked with weekly assignments in reading, writing, and speaking to hone your Swahili speaking skills.

Imagine how impressed your Kenyan friends or colleagues will be when you display your excellent conversational skills! With SwahiliPod101, getting there will be easy and fun.

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How to Use Swahili Numbers for Daily Usage

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Especially if you’re planning a prolonged visit to Kenya, using the correct Swahili numbers for counting in Swahili could be very important! Number systems are the other alphabet in any language. In fact, it is a language all of its own, and it serves a multitude of excellent purposes.

Table of Contents

  1. A Brief History of Counting and Number Systems
  2. Why is it Important to Learn Swahili Numbers?
  3. Learning Swahili Numbers
  4. Why Choose SwahiliPod101 to Learn all about Swahili Numbers?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Count to One Billion in Swahili


1. A Brief History of Counting and Number Systems

Abacus

1. The Ishango Bone

The origin of counting, and with it numbers, is not clear to historians. While their art showed that prehistoric man had a concept of numbers, the first indication of a formal system was found to be only between 20,000 and 35,000 thousand years old. This discovery came around 1960 in the form of the so-called Ishango Bone found in the Congo, Central Africa.

The 10cm/4 inch piece of bone was a fibula from a baboon. It showed markings with a neat, unified pattern of small lines - far too organized and sophisticated to have formed spontaneously. Archeologists believe that those thin markings were carved to keep score of, or count, something. The lines seemed to represent a sequence of prime numbers and a series of duplications. Some even called it the first-ever pocket calculator!

2. Mesopotamia and Greece

Yet, evidence suggests that it wasn’t until about 4,000 years ago that humans truly started counting and using numbers. Together with the development of civilization came developed agriculture, and the need for measurement and score-keeping was increased.

For this reason, a formal number system and mathematics were developed first in the Middle East, in what was then called Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia was roughly situated in the area of modern-day Iraq and Kuwait. Allegedly, the system was pretty simple at first. Citizens used tokens that represented a certain number of items, such as one token equalling four goats, etc. This eventually evolved into a system of score marks pressed into clay, which ultimately went on to influence Greek mathematics.

3. Hindu-Arabic Numbers

Zero, meanwhile, was conceived later and elsewhere. Inspired by the Hindu religion, which allows for the concept of infinity and eternity, the Indians invented a symbol to represent nothing. The magic of the zero lies not in itself but its combination with other numbers.

The Indians were also the creators of today’s numbers, which are often referred to as Hindu-Arabic numbers. These comprise one or a combination of just ten symbols or digits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 0.

Europe learned of this numeric system only around 1200 A.D., when they were introduced to it by an Italian mathematician called Leonardo Pisano Bigollo.

Pisano, also known as Fibonacci, is famous for the discovery of a mathematical sequence with countless applications. Yes, math buffs, it’s the well-known Fibonacci sequence, also called the Golden Mean.

The Roman numeric system, which was clumsy next to the newer inventions, gradually lost popularity in the West. It’s from here that they “slowly spread to conquer the world,'’ as Steven Law puts it.


2. Why is it Important to Learn Swahili Numbers?

For us at SwahiliPod101, this is an easy question to answer! Because we know that numbers are a global unifier.

Counting and numbers have made our lives easier since they were first formulated, even in their most primitive forms.

Numbers in Industry

Without knowing your numbers, you can’t properly communicate about or deal with the following:

1) Your date/time of birth, i.e., your age: This is vital information to be able to give to people like doctors, employers, law enforcement, and so forth.

2) Banking: Worldwide, our monetary systems are built on numbers. Interest, credit scores, and loans all rely on math beyond simple finger counting.

3) Time: Without knowing how to say numbers, you can’t talk or ask about the time and expect to get a useful response. You don’t want to miss an appointment or schedule something for the wrong hour!

4) Ordering data: Numbers bring order to a mostly random life! Scientists even say that numbers and the way they are organized underpin the whole universe. From using them to count your meals’ calories and the number of likes your posts get on social media, to drawing up intricate data charts and explaining existence itself - numbers are what makes these things possible.

All of the above and more are reasons why it is important to know your numbers if you plan on travelling or becoming a foreign worker abroad, in Kenya or anywhere else!

Little Girl Counting


3. Learning Swahili Numbers

Now, let’s explore the Swahili number system a bit more! Take a look at this infographic.

Language Numbers

Can you make out for yourself what the Swahili numbers between one (1) and nine (9) look and sound like? Easy, right?

Or, if you struggled a bit, no problem. Why not listen to how Swahili numbers one (1) through ten (10) sound when pronounced by our native Swahili speaker and friendly SwahiliPod101 teacher?

Then, share with us in the comments your native language’s romanized pronunciation of your number system. We’d love to see all the different ways the same numbers can be pronounced!

Hand With a Thumbs Up

When you have mastered the first ten numbers, you have basically nailed the most significant part of the number system. Well done! Curious to learn the numbers from eleven upward? No problem! Why not subscribe and enroll with us now to immediately enjoy this lesson, teaching you all about Swahili numbers eleven (11) to one hundred (100)?

Finally, if you’re curious how the numbers look once you’ve broken one hundred, why not check out our Swahili number vocabulary page? You can see the numbers we’ve just covered, all the way up to four thousand (4,000). Plus, you can also see the Swahili words for different numbers used in example sentences, to get an idea of how you can use them in your day-to-day conversations!


4. Why Choose SwahiliPod101 to Learn all about Swahili Numbers?

SwahiliPod101, like all Innovative Language Learning ventures, takes the pain out of learning a new language by adding a lot of fun. It’s never an easy thing to learn a new language, but we formulated all your lessons so they’re nicely bite-sized, and geared to keep you motivated!

Also, we created a great number of fantastic tools to help keep struggle and boredom out of the learning process.

  • Fun and Easy Learning: It’s a commonly-known fact that when learning is made easy and fun, student motivation rises. And as motivation rises, so does the effort to learn - what a beautiful cycle! SwahiliPod101’s language learning system is designed to get you speaking from the onset. Learn at your own convenience and pace with our short, effective, and fun audio podcast lessons. Our Learning Center is comprehensive and state-of-the-art, with a vibrant user community to connect with! Our lessons are recorded with native hosts and voice actors, providing a diverse range of dialects in your lessons. You can be confident that native speakers will understand you when speaking Swahili!
  • Innovative Learning Tools and Apps: We make it our priority to offer you the best learning tools! These include apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Mac OSX; eBooks for Kindle, Nook, and iPad; audiobooks; Roku TV and so many more. This means that we took diverse lifestyles into account when we developed our courses, so you can learn anywhere, anytime on a device of your choice. How innovative!
  • Free Resources: Sharing is caring, and for this reason, we share many free resources with our students. For instance, start learning Swahili with our basic online course by creating a lifetime account - for free! Also get free daily and iTunes lessons, free eBooks, free mobile apps, and free access to our blog and online community. Or how about free Vocabulary Lists? The Swahili dictionary is for exclusive use by our students, also for free. There’s so much to love about SwahiliPod101…!
  • Live Hosts and One-on-One Learning: Knowledgeable, energetic hosts present recorded video lessons, and are available for live teaching experiences if you upgrade. This means that in the videos, you get to watch them pronounce those tongue-twisters as if you’re learning live! Add octane to your learning by upgrading to Premium Plus, and learn two times faster. You can have your very own Swahili teacher always with you, ensuring that you learn what you need, when you need to - what a wonderful opportunity to master a new language in record time!
  • Start Where You Are: You don’t know a single Swahili word? Not to worry, we’ve absolutely got this. Simply enroll in our Absolute Beginner Pathway and start speaking from Lesson 1! As your learning progresses, you can enroll in other pathways to match your Swahili level, at your own pace, in your own time, in your own place!

So, why wait? Sign up with SwahiliPod101 right away! Also, let us know in the comments if you’ve used this blog post, or any of the free lessons anywhere to master Swahili numbers. Or, even better - share your birthdate using what you’ve learned!

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How to Say Sorry in Swahili

Thumbnail

Learn how to apologize in Swahili - fast and accurately! SwahiliPod101 makes it easy for you to make amends. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Swahili Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

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Table of Contents

  1. Common Ways to Say Sorry in Swahili
  2. How To Refuse Something Politely in Swahili
  3. Audio Lesson - Survival Phrases “How to Say Sorry”
  4. Why You Will NOT Be Sorry For Learning Swahili through SwahiliPod101


1. Common Ways to Say Sorry in Swahili

3 Ways to Say Sorry

Nobody’s perfect, not anywhere in the world. Everybody makes mistakes, and does and says regrettable things. Then it’s time to apologize, as saying ‘I’m sorry’ is not in vain. It can be very healing! Did you know that hearing a sincerely-meant apology can have a noticeable effect on a person’s body? Research has shown that it slows down breathing and heart rate, and even causes a drop in blood pressure.

Sometimes we cannot fix what’s broken, but we can make the experience a bit easier for anyone who suffered on account of our thoughtless actions or words.

Here are a number of ways to say sorry in Swahili. In any language, just make sure you really mean it! An insincere apology will not go down well with anyone.

Woman Apologizing

Samahani.
I’m sorry

These words should precede anything else you have to say. Use them sincerely and whenever you are clearly in the wrong. Acknowledging your guilt and apologizing for any wrongdoing will lift your spirits too! Often, remorse can eat away at us, and a simple ‘I’m sorry’, in Swahili or any other language, can open the door for forgiveness and resolution of a bad situation. It can be a true gift!

Ningependa kuomba msamaha.
I would like to apologize.

This is a slightly more formal way to say ‘I’m sorry’ in Swahili. Use this phrase if you’re addressing your superiors and/or elders.

Mimi kwa dhati naomba msamaha.
I sincerely apologize.

If you feel strongly about your apology, this is another slightly more formal phrase to use. Keep it handy for graver errors, or you might come across as insincere!

Sitafanya hivyo tena.
I won’t do it again.

A promise you can only make if you intend to keep it! Few things feel as bad as having to hear repeated apologies from someone for the same behavior - it means the ‘sorry’ is not sincere. Don’t be that person!

Nitahakikisha sitafanya makosa hii tena.
I’ll make sure not to make this mistake again.

A beautifully strong phrase! Again, say this only if you mean it - not just in the moment, but always! A bit more formal, this is an especially good phrase to use when apologizing to superiors and/or elders. It will make an especially good impression at the workplace, where accountability is an excellent quality to display!

Sikumaanisha hivyo.
I didn’t mean that.

This is a tricky one… What did you mean, then?! Clear up any confusion with sincerity. Also, use this phrase only if the harm done or mistake made was due to an accident, and then admit to thoughtlessness on your part, if appropriate.

Ni kosa langu.
It’s my fault.

If the fault is really yours, own up to it. You will gain respect in the eyes of others! However, don’t take the blame when it’s not truly yours. It won’t be good for you, and ultimately you will not be respected much for it.

Samahani kwa kuwa na ubinafsi.
I’m sorry for being selfish.

This is a good phrase to keep handy, especially for your close relationships. It is difficult to admit you’re selfish, isn’t it?! However, it’s good to know when to be honest. We get used to our loved ones, which often means we forget that they need our good manners and unselfish behavior just as much as strangers do.

Natumai umenisamehe mimi.
I hope you will forgive me.

This is a polite and gentle wish that can smooth over many harsh feelings. It also shows that the other person’s opinion and forgiveness are important to you.

Nachukua jukumu kamili.
I take full responsibility.

This strong statement is similar to admitting that an error or transgression was your fault. It speaks of courage and the willingness to take remedial action. Good one to use…if you mean it!

Singefanya hayo.
I shouldn’t have done it.

This phrase is fine to use if you did or said something wrong. It shows, to an extent, your regret for having done or said what you did, and demonstrates that you understand your role in the mistake.

Pole kwa ajili ya kukurudishia pesa yako kama nimechelewa.
Sorry for giving your money back late.

It’s rotten to have to loan money! Yet, it’s equally rotten to have to ask for the repayment of a loan. So, do your best not to pay late in the first place, but if it can’t be helped, this would be a good phrase to use!

Tafadhali usinikasirikie mimi.
Please don’t be mad at me.

Well, this is not a very advisable phrase to use if you are clearly in the wrong. If someone is justifiably angry with you, asking them not to be mad at you would be an unfair expectation. However, if you did something wrong by accident, and if the consequences were not too serious, this request would be OK.

Pole nimechelewa.
Sorry I’m late.

Punctuality is valued in most situations, but if you really cannot help being late, then apologize! This way you show respect for your host, and win their approval.

Samahani kwa kuwa mbaya kwako.
I apologize for being mean to you.

Acknowledging your own meanness towards someone is no small thing, so good for you! Use this apology only if your intention is to seriously address your mean tendencies, or these words could become meaningless over time.


2. How To Refuse Something Politely in Swahili

Woman Refusing

Congratulations! Now you know how to apologize in Swahili! After you have apologized for a mistake, focus on fixing whatever you can, and don’t punish yourself over something that cannot be taken back or reversed. That’s healthy for you! Regret can eat away at the soul, and even destroy it. It is ultimately a useless emotion if it consumes you.

However, in language, we use apologies not only when we’ve transgressed or made mistakes. They come in handy in other situations too, when there has been no wrongdoing. Sometimes we need to express regret for having to refuse a gift, an offer, or an invitation. This can be somewhat tricky. Learn from specialists at SwahiliPod101 about how to use the correct Swahili words for this kind of ‘sorry’!


3. Survival Phrases “How to Say Sorry”

Say Sorry

On the run and need a quick lesson on how to say sorry in Swahili? Don’t fret, just listen and repeat! Click here for a recorded short lesson and learn how to give the perfect apology, with perfect pronunciation in Swahili. A little can go a long way, and you will sound like a native!


4. Why You Will NOT Be Sorry For Learning Swahili through SwahiliPod101

Man Looking at Computer

Online learning is here to stay, that’s a fact. In 2015, the Digital Learning Compass Partnership released a report based on surveys to determine online enrollment trends in US institutions for higher education. Thirty percent of all their students learned online! And the number is growing! However, how can you be sure you will not regret your choice of an online language learning school? First, look at the school’s credentials and what it has to offer…

  • Fun and Easy Learning: It’s a commonly-known fact that when learning is made easy and fun, student motivation rises. And as motivation rises, so does the effort to learn - what a beautiful cycle! SwahiliPod101’s language learning system is designed to get you speaking from the onset. Learn at your own convenience and pace with our short, effective and fun audio podcast lessons. Our Learning Center is comprehensive and state-of-the-art, with a vibrant user community to connect to! Our lessons are recorded with native hosts and voice actors, providing a diverse range of dialects in your lessons. You can be confident that native speakers will understand you when speaking Swahili!
  • Innovative Learning Tools and Apps: We make it our priority to offer you the best learning tools! These include apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Mac OSX; eBooks for Kindle, Nook, and iPad; audiobooks; Roku TV and so many more. This means that we took diverse lifestyles into account when we developed our courses, so you can learn anywhere, anytime on a device of your choice. How innovative!
  • Free Resources: Sharing is caring, and for this reason, we share many free resources with our students. For instance, start learning Swahili with our basic online course by creating a lifetime account - for free! Also get free daily and iTunes lessons, free eBooks, free mobile apps, and free access to our blog and online community. Or how about free Vocabulary Lists? The Swahili dictionary is for exclusive use by our students, also for free. There’s so much to love about SwahiliPod101…!
  • Live Hosts and One-on-One Learning: Knowledgeable, energetic hosts present recorded video lessons, and are available for live teaching experiences if you upgrade. This means that in the videos, you get to watch them pronounce those tongue-twisters, as if you’re learning live! Add octane to your learning by upgrading to Premium Plus, and learn two times faster. Your can have your very own Swahili teacher always with you, ensuring that you learn what you need, when you need to - what a wonderful opportunity to master a new language in record time!
  • Start Where You Are: You don’t know a single Swahili word? Not to worry, we’ve absolutely got this. Simply enroll in our Absolute Beginner Pathway and start speaking from Lesson 1! As your learning progresses, you can enroll in other pathways to match your Swahili level, at your own pace, in your own time, in your own place!

After this lesson, you will know almost every ‘sorry for’ in Swahili, but don’t let it be that you’re sorry for missing a great opportunity. Learning a new language can only enrich your life, and could even open doors towards great opportunities! So don’t wonder if you’ll regret enrolling in SwahiliPod101. It’s the most fun, easy way to learn Swahili!

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Learn How to Confidently Introduce Yourself In Swahili

Start off the year by learning how to introduce yourself properly in Swahili! Learn easily with SwahiliPod101 in this four-minute video!

Table of Contents

  1. 10 Lines You Need for Introducing Yourself in Swahili
  2. Important Tips for Introducing Yourself
  3. Video - How to Introduce Yourself in Swahili
  4. Why SwahiliPod101 is Perfect for Learning all about Swahili Introductions

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1. 10 Lines You Need for Introducing Yourself in Swahili

”About

First impressions are absolutely everything! Right? No, wrong - who you are every day is much more important. But first impressions are definitely not unimportant either. Make sure to introduce yourself correctly, as it could mean the difference between getting a job offer or a polite refusal from an employer. SwahiliPod101 shows you how to read, write and pronounce these self-introductions and conversation-starters like a native speaker!

But first, a tip - wait to be asked before offering personal details such as your age. Good conversation is about unspoken reciprocity, and giving too many personal details too soon can be embarrassing for your Kenyan friend. Rather use phrases that encourage your friend to talk about him or herself - most people like doing that! Also, it shows you take real interest in other people.

1- Hello, it’s nice to meet you.

Hello, ni vyema kukutana na wewe.

This phrase is an excellent way to start an introduction. It is a greeting that immediately expresses interest in the other person.

2- My name is Sharon.

Jina langu ni Sharon.

Self-explanatory - just replace ‘Kevin’ with your own name! Also, pay close attention to what your new Kenyan acquaintance’s name is. Remembering it will make them feel that you are really interested in him/her as a person!

Countries

3- I’m from Kenya.

Mimi natoka Kenya.

Sharing something about yourself is a nice conversation starter. It shows that you’re willing to engage meaningfully with the other person. In an informal setting, you can expect the other person to respond in kind. At work, this is probably information you need to volunteer only if asked. Again, remember to replace ‘Kenya’ with your own country of birth!

4- I live in Nairobi.

Ninaishi Nairobi.

Same as above - replace ‘Nairobi’ with your town or city of abode!

5- I’ve been learning Swahili for a year.

Nimekuwa nikijifunza Kiswahili kwa mwaka mmoja.

Say this only if it’s true, obviously. And prepare to dazzle your audience! If you have indeed worked faithfully at your Swahili for a year, you should be pretty good at it! Use this phrase after your introduction - it is likely to indicate that you wish to engage in Swahili conversation.

Two people talking

6- I’m learning Swahili at SwahiliPod101.com.

Ninajifunza Kiswahili katika SwahiliPod101.com.

This will be the best reply if anyone asks (Very impressed, of course!) where you study Swahili! Simply volunteering this information, especially in a casual conversation, could make you sound like a salesperson, and you want to avoid that. Often, an employer will want this information though, so best to memorize and have this phrase handy!

7- I’m 27 years old.

Nina umri wa miaka ishirini na saba.

This is a line that may just get you a ‘TMI!’ look from a stranger if you volunteer it without being asked. He/she may not be willing to divulge such an intimate detail about him/herself right at the start of your acquaintance, so don’t force reciprocity. However, it’s a good phrase to know in a job interview; again, probably best only if your prospective Kenyan employer asks. Also, remember to give your true age!

First encounter

8- I’m a teacher.

Mimi ni mwalimu.

You’re still offering information about yourself, which lends good momentum to keep the conversation going! Replace ‘teacher’ with your own occupation - and learn the related vocabulary with SwahiliPod101!

People with different jobs

9- One of my hobbies is reading.

Moja ya kozi yangu ni kusoma.

Your hobby is another topic with lots of potential for starting a good conversation! People are often eager to talk about their hobbies, and why they like them!

10- I enjoy listening to music.

Napenda kusikiliza muziki.

If you’re still talking about your hobbies, this would be a good line to go with the previous one. Otherwise, wait for your conversation partner to start talking about what they enjoy doing!

2. Important Tips for Introducing Yourself

Introducing yourself

A correct Swahili introduction will make a good impression upon meeting a person for the first time. Why is this first impression important? Simple - it gives an indication of who you are as a person. So, while you want to be truthful when representing yourself, you also need to be prepared to put your best foot forward!

First impressions are often lingering and difficult to change. In addition, it’s easier to make a negative impression than a good one, often without intending to. So, how can you make sure that your self-introduction will impress Kenyan natives?

1- Research: First, research the culture! Different cultures have different social rules, and you will be halfway towards making a great first impression if you know the proper Kenyan customs for self-introductions. It will also help you avoid social mistakes - sometimes, what is acceptable in one culture is insulting in another, such as making eye contact, or giving a handshake. In your culture, what is appropriate when a person introduces him or herself?

Also, be sure to distinguish between introductions in different situations, such as a formal and a social situation. There are bound to be differences in how you address people! The internet can be an important tool for this endeavor. Alternatively, you could visit your local library to search for books on this topic, or you could ask Kenyan friends to explain and demonstrate their cultural habits for introductions. Honoring someone’s culture shows that you respect it, and as we know - a little respect can go a very long way in any relationship!

Someone studying

2- Study the Correct Phrases and Vocabulary: Be sure to learn Swahili phrases and vocabulary that tell people who you are, and that encourage them to engage in conversation with you. Each situation will determine how to address the person you want to introduce yourself to. Also, make sure your pronunciation is correct! It would be most valuable to have Swahili-speaking friends who can help you with this. Or read on for a quick phrase and video lesson on Swahili introductions right here at SwahiliPod101!

3- Appearance: This is pretty obvious - if you want to make a good impression introducing yourself to anyone for the first time, you need to be neatly dressed and well groomed! A shabby, dirty or careless appearance and bad body odor are to be avoided at all costs; in most cultures, these will not impress!

Also, make sure to dress appropriately, not only for the occasion, but also for the culture. For instance, bare shoulders or an open-necked shirt is an acceptable gear in many Western countries. Yet, in some cultures, dressing like this could deeply offend your host. No amount of good manners and properly expressed introductions is likely to wipe out a cultural no-no! So, be sure to know how to dress, and take care with your appearance when you are about to introduce yourself to someone for the first time!

Following are some neat phrases with which you can introduce yourself in Swahili, and get a conversation started too!

3. Video - How to Introduce Yourself in Swahili

Good, you read and perhaps even memorized the preceding phrases to successfully introduce yourself in Swahili! Watch this short video now to get a quick lesson on Swahili grammar for these introductions, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. You will sound like a native when you can copy the presenter perfectly!


4. Why SwahiliPod101 is Perfect for Learning all about Swahili Introductions

  • Culturally Focused Lessons: All our material is aimed not only to help you learn perfect Swahili, but also to introduce you to the Kenyan culture! Learn here, for instance, a list of favorite Kenyan foods. Alternatively, listen to these audio lessons on Kenyan culture! Studying through us could be very valuable before visiting Kenya for any purpose.
  • Accurate and Correct Pronunciation & Inflection: Our hosts and voice actors are native Swahili speakers of the best quality! It is important for us that you speak Swahili correctly to avoid embarrassing misunderstandings and miscommunications. If you practice and can copy these presenters well, you will sound just like Swahili natives and your introduction will be easily understood!
  • State-of-the-Art Lesson Formats and Methods: Efficacy in learning is our highest priority. You will have access to learning tools that were carefully developed by learning specialists over more than a decade! We use only well-researched, proven lesson formats and teaching methods to ensure fast, accurate, fun and easy learning! Millions of happy subscribers can’t be wrong! Create a lifetime account with SwahiliPod101 for free access to many learning tools that are updated every week.
  • Learn to Read and Write in Swahili: We don’t only teach you to speak, you can also learn to read and write in Swahili! This way you can express your Swahili introduction in more than one way and be thoroughly prepared.
  • A Learning Plan that Suits your Pocket: SwahiliPod101 takes pride in making learning not only easy and fun, but also affordable. Opening a lifetime account for free will offer you a free seven-day trial, after which you can join with an option that suits your needs and means. Learning Swahili has never been easier or more affordable! Even choosing only the ‘Basic’ option will give you access to everything you need to learn Swahili effectively, like thousands of audio and video lessons! However, if you need to learn Swahili fast, the Premium and Premium Plus options will be good to consider, as both offer a vast number of extra tools to ensure efficient learning. This way you can be sure that you will reach your learning goal easily!

Whatever your needs are for learning Swahili, make sure to do it through SwahiliPod101, and you will never have to google: “How do I introduce myself in Swahili” again!

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How to Say I Love You in Swahili - Romantic Word List

Do you often feel lonely and sad? Do you long for romance and are willing to do whatever it takes to meet that special person? Speaking another language could revolutionize your love life! So, why wait? Learning how to say ‘love’ in Swahili could be just what you need to find it.

Or perhaps you were lucky, and have found your Swahili partner already. Fantastic! Yet, a cross-cultural relationship comes with unique challenges. Learning how to speak your lover’s language will greatly improve your communication and enhance the relationship. At SwahiliPod101, our team will teach you all the words, quotes and phrases you need to woo your Swahili lover with excellence! Our tutors provide personal assistance, with plenty of extra material available to make Swahili dating easy for you.

Table of Contents

  1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date
  2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date
  3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary
  4. Swahili Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day
  5. Swahili Quotes about Love
  6. Marriage Proposal Lines
  7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines
  8. Will Falling in Love Help You Learn Swahili Faster?

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1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date

So, you have met your Swahili love interest. Congratulations! Who knows where this could take you…?! However, the two of you have just met and you’re not ready to say the Swahili word for love just yet. Great, it is better to get to know him/her first. Wow your prospective love by using these Swahili date phrases to set up a spectacular first date.

Swahili Date Phrases

Would you like to go out to dinner with me?

  • Je, ungependa kwenda nje kwa chakula cha jioni na mimi?

The important question! In most cultures, this phrase indicates: ‘I’m romantically interested in you’. Flirting in Swahili is no different, so don’t take your date to Mcdonald’s!

Are you free this weekend?

  • Je, uko na muda mwishoni mwa wiki hii?

This is a preamble to asking your love interest on a date. If you get an immediate ‘Yes’, that’s good news!

Would you like to hang out with me?

  • Je, ungetaka kukaa nje na mimi?

You like her/him, but you’re not sure if there’s chemistry. Ask them to hang out first to see if a dinner date is next.

What time shall we meet tomorrow?

  • Ni wakati upi tutakutana kesho?

Set a time, and be sure to arrive early! Nothing spoils a potential relationship more than a tardy date.

Where shall we meet?

  • Tutakutana wapi?

You can ask this, but also suggest a place.

You look great.

  • Wewe unapendeza.

A wonderful ice breaker! This phrase will help them relax a bit - they probably took great care to look their best just for you.

You are so cute.

  • Wewe ni mrembo.

If the two of you are getting on really well, this is a fun, flirtatious phrase to use.

What do you think of this place?

  • Unafikiri nini juu ya eneo hili?

This another good conversation starter. Show off your Swahili language skills!

Can I see you again?

  • Naweza kukuona tena?

So the date went really well - don’t waste time! Make sure you will see each other again.

Shall we go somewhere else?

  • Je, twende mahali pengine?

If the place you meet at is not great, you can suggest going elsewhere. It is also a good question to follow the previous one. Variety is the spice of life!

I know a good place.

  • Najua pahali pazuri.

Use this with the previous question. However, don’t say if you don’t know a good place!

I will drive you home.

  • Mimi nitakuendesha na gari hadi nyumbani.

If your date doesn’t have transport, this is a polite, considerate offer. However, don’t be offended if she/he turns you down on the first date. Especially a woman might not feel comfortable letting you drive her home when the two of you are still basically strangers.

That was a great evening.

  • Hiyo ilikuwa ni jioni ya kupendeza.

This is a good phrase to end the evening with.

When can I see you again?

  • Ni lini naweza kukuona tena?

If he/she replied ‘Yes’ to ‘Can I see you again?’, this is the next important question.

I’ll call you.

  • Mimi nitakupigia simu.

Say this only if you really mean to do it. In many cultures, this could imply that you’re keeping the proverbial backdoor open.

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2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date

You learned all the Swahili phrases to make a date - congratulations! Now you have to decide where to meet, which can be tricky. Discuss these options with your lover to gauge whether you like the same things. Check out romantic date ideas in Swahili below!

Date Ideas in Swahili

museum

  • makumbusho

If you’re looking for unique date ideas that are fun but won’t break the bank, museums are the perfect spot! You won’t be running out of things to say in the conversations.

candlelit dinner

  • Chakula cha jioni kukiwemo msumaa uliowashwa.

A candlelit dinner is perhaps best to reserve for when the relationship is getting serious. It’s very intimate, and says: “Romance!” It’s a fantastic choice if you’re sure you and your date are in love with each other!

go to the zoo

  • kwenda kwa mbuga la wanyama

This is a good choice for shy lovers who want to get the conversation going. Just make sure your date likes zoos, as some people dislike them. Maybe not for the first date, but this is also a great choice if your lover has children - you’ll win his/her adoration for inviting them along!

go for a long walk

  • kwenda kwa matembezi refu

Need to talk about serious stuff, or just want to relax with your date? Walking together is soothing, and a habit you can keep up together always! Just make sure it’s a beautiful walk that’s not too strenuous.

go to the opera

  • kwenda opera

This type of date should only be attempted if both of you love the opera. It can be a special treat, followed by a candlelit dinner!

go to the aquarium

  • kwenda akuariam

Going to the aquarium is another good idea if you need topics for conversation, or if you need to impress your lover’s kids! Make sure your date doesn’t have a problem with aquariums.

walk on the beach

  • kutembea pwani

This can be a very romantic stroll, especially at night! The sea is often associated with romance and beauty.

have a picnic

  • kuwa na piknik

If you and your date need to get more comfortable together, this can be a fantastic date. Spending time in nature is soothing and calms the nerves.

cook a meal together

  • kupika chakula pamoja

If you want to get an idea of your date’s true character in one go, this is an excellent date! You will quickly see if the two of you can work together in a confined space. If it works, it will be fantastic for the relationship and create a sense of intimacy. If not, you will probably part ways!

have dinner and see a movie

  • kula chakula cha jioni na kuona sinema

This is traditional date choice works perfectly well. Just make sure you and your date like the same kind of movies!

3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary

Valentine's Day Words in Swahili

Expressing your feelings honestly is very important in any relationship all year round. Yet, on Valentine’s Day you really want to shine. Impress your lover this Valentine’s with your excellent vocabulary, and make his/her day! We teach you, in fun, effective ways, the meanings of the words and how to pronounce them. You can also copy the characters and learn how to write ‘I love you’ in Swahili - think how impressed your date will be!

4. Swahili Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day

So, you now have the basic Valentine’s Day vocabulary under your belt. Well done! But, do you know how to say ‘I love you’ in Swahili yet? Or perhaps you are still only friends. So, do you know how to say ‘I like you’ or ‘I have a crush on you’ in Swahili? No? Don’t worry, here are all the love phrases you need to bowl over your Swahili love on this special day!

Valentine's Day Words in Swahili

I love you.

  • Nakupenda.

Saying ‘I love you’ in Swahili carries the same weight as in all languages. Use this only if you’re sure and sincere about your feelings for your partner/friend.

You mean so much to me.

  • Una maanisha mengi sana kwangu.

This is a beautiful expression of gratitude that will enhance any relationship! It makes the receiver feel appreciated and their efforts recognized.

Will you be my Valentine?

  • Je, utakuwa Valentine wangu?

With these words, you are taking your relationship to the next level! Or, if you have been a couple for a while, it shows that you still feel the romance. So, go for it!

You’re so beautiful.

  • Wewe ni mrembo sana.

If you don’t know how to say ‘You’re pretty’ in Swahili, this is a good substitute, gentlemen!

I think of you as more than a friend.

  • Nakufikiria sana kama zaidi ya rafiki.

Say this if you are not yet sure that your romantic feelings are reciprocated. It is also a safe go-to if you’re unsure about the Swahili dating culture.

A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

  • Mioyo mia itakuwa chache sana kubeba upendo wangu wote kwako.

You romantic you…! When your heart overflows with love, this would be the best phrase to use.

Love is just love. It can never be explained.

  • Upendo ni upendo tu. Haiwezi kuelezwa.

If you fell in love unexpectedly or inexplicably, this one’s for you.

You’re so handsome.

  • Unasura nzuri sana.

Ladies, this phrase lets your Swahili love know how much you appreciate his looks! Don’t be shy to use it; men like compliments too.

I’ve got a crush on you.

  • Nimekupenda.

If you like someone, but you’re unsure about starting a relationship, it would be prudent to say this. It simply means that you like someone very, very much and think they’re amazing.

You make me want to be a better man.

  • Unanifanya nataka kuwa mwanamume bora.

Gentlemen, don’t claim this phrase as your own! It hails from the movie ‘As Good as it Gets’, but it is sure to make your Swahili girlfriend feel very special. Let her know that she inspires you!

Let all that you do be done in love.

  • Wacha yote unayofanya, ufanye kwa upendo.

We hope.

You are my sunshine, my love.

  • Wewe ni mwanga wangu, upendo wangu.

A compliment that lets your lover know they bring a special quality to your life. Really nice!

Words can’t describe my love for you.

  • Maneno hayawezi kueleza upendo wangu kwako.

Better say this when you’re feeling serious about the relationship! It means that your feelings are very intense.

We were meant to be together.

  • Tunakusudiwa tuwepamoja.

This is a loving affirmation that shows you see a future together, and that you feel a special bond with your partner.

If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you’re definitely in love.

  • Kama unafikiri kuhusu mtu unaposoma hii, hakika uko kwa penzi.

Here’s something fun to tease your lover with. And hope he/she was thinking of you!

5. Swahili Quotes about Love

Swahili Love Quotes

You’re a love champ! You and your Swahili lover are getting along fantastically, your dates are awesome, your Valentine’s Day together was spectacular, and you’re very much in love. Good for you! Here are some beautiful phrases of endearment in Swahili that will remind him/her who is in your thoughts all the time.

6. Marriage Proposal Lines

Swahili Marriage Proposal Lines

Wow. Your Swahili lover is indeed the love of your life - congratulations! And may only happiness follow the two of you! In most traditions, the man asks the woman to marry; this is also the Swahili custom. Here are a few sincere and romantic lines that will help you to ask your lady-love for her hand in marriage.

7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines

Swahili Break-Up Lines

Instead of moving towards marriage or a long-term relationship, you find that the spark is not there for you. That is a pity! But even though breaking up is never easy, continuing a bad or unfulfilling relationship would be even harder. Remember to be kind to the person you are going to say goodbye to; respect and sensitivity cost nothing. Here are some phrases to help you break up gently.

  • We need to talk.
    • Inapaswa tuongee.

    This is not really a break-up line, but it is a good conversation opener with a serious tone.

    It’s not you. It’s me.

    • Si wewe. Ni mimi.

    As long as you mean it, this can be a kind thing to say. It means that there’s nothing wrong with your Swahili lover as a person, but that you need something different from a relationship.

    I’m just not ready for this kind of relationship.

    • Mimi siko tayari kwa uhusiano kama huu.

    Things moved a bit fast and got too intense, too soon? Painful as it is, honesty is often the best way to break up with somebody.

    Let’s just be friends.

    • Hebu tuwe marafiki tu.

    If the relationship was very intense, and you have sent many ‘i love u’ texts in Swahili, this would not be a good breakup line. Feelings need to calm down before you can be friends, if ever. If the relationship has not really developed yet, a friendship would be possible.

    I think we need a break.

    • Nadhani tunahitaji kupumzika.

    This is again honest, and to the point. No need to play with someone’s emotions by not letting them know how you feel. However, this could imply that you may fall in love with him/her again after a period of time, so use with discretion.

    You deserve better.

    • Unastahili bora.

    Yes, he/she probably deserves a better relationship if your own feelings have cooled down.

    We should start seeing other people.

    • Tunapaswa tuanze kuona watu wengine.

    This is probably the least gentle break-up phrase, so reserve it for a lover that doesn’t get the message!

    I need my space.

    • Nahitaji nafasi yangu.

    When a person is too clingy or demanding, this would be an suitable break-up phrase. It is another good go-to for that lover who doesn’t get the message!

    I think we’re moving too fast.

    • Nadhani tunasonga kwa kasi sana.

    Say this if you want to keep the relationship, but need to slow down its progress a bit. It is also good if you feel things are getting too intense for your liking. However, it is not really a break-up line, so be careful not to mislead.

    I need to focus on my career.

    • Nahitaji kuzingatia kazi yangu.

    If you feel that you will not be able to give 100% in a relationship due to career demands, this is the phrase to use. It’s also good if you are unwilling to give up your career for a relationship.

    I’m not good enough for you.

    • Mimi si nzuri wa kutosheleza kwako.

    Say this only if you really believe it, or you’ll end up sounding false. Break-ups are usually hard for the receiving party, so don’t insult him/her with an insincere comment.

    I just don’t love you anymore.

    • Sikupendi tena.

    This harsh line is sometimes the best one to use if you are struggling to get through to a stubborn, clingy lover who won’t accept your break up. Use it as a last resort. Then switch your phone off and block their emails!

    We’re just not right for each other.

    • Hatupatanishani.

    If this is how you truly feel, you need to say it. Be kind, gentle and polite.

    It’s for the best.

    • Ni kwa ubora.

    This phrase is called for if circumstances are difficult and the relationship is not progressing well. Love should enhance one’s life, not burden it!

    We’ve grown apart.

    • Tumekuzwa sehemu tofauti.

    Cross-cultural relationships are often long-distance ones, and it is easy to grow apart over time.

  • 8. Will Falling in Love help you Learn Swahili faster?

    Most people will agree that the above statement is a no-brainer - of course it will! Your body will be flooded with feel-good hormones, which are superb motivators for anything. SwahiliPod101 is one of the best portals to help help make this a reality, so don’t hesitate to enroll now! Let’s quickly look at the reasons why falling in love will speed up your learning of the Swahili language.

    Three Reasons Why Having a Lover will Help you Learn Swahili Faster!

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    1- Being in a love relationship with your Swahili speaking partner will immerse you in the culture
    SwahiliPod101 uses immersive methods and tools to teach you Swahili, but having a relationship with a native speaker will be a very valuable addition to your learning experience! You will gain exposure to their world, realtime and vividly, which will make the language come alive even more for you. The experience is likely to expand your world-view, which should motivate you to learn Swahili even faster.

    2- Having your Swahili romantic partner will mean more opportunity to practice speaking
    Nothing beats continuous practice when learning a new language. Your partner will probably be very willing to assist you in this, as your enhanced Swahili language skills will enhance the relationship. Communication is, after all, one of the most important pillars of a good partnership. Also, you will get to impress your lover with the knowledge gained through your studies - a win/win situation!

    3- A supportive Swahili lover is likely to make a gentle, patient teacher and study aid!
    With his/her heart filled with love and goodwill for you, your Swahili partner is likely to patiently and gently correct your mistakes when you speak. This goes not only for grammar, but also for accent and meaning. With his/her help, you could sound like a native in no time!

    Three Reasons Why SwahiliPod101 helps you learn Swahili Even Faster when you’re In Love

    Start with a bonus, and download the ‘How To be a Good Lover Cheat Sheet’ for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to be a Good Lover in Swahili

    1- All the Resources and Materials Will Help Both of You
    Falling in love with a man or woman speaking Swahili is an opportunity for both of you to learn a new language! For this reason, every lesson, transcript, vocabulary list, and resource at SwahiliPod101 is translated into both English and Swahili. So, while your partner can help you learn Swahili faster, you can potentially also help him/her learn and master English!

    2- Lessons Are Designed to Help You Understand and Engage with Swahili Culture
    At SwahiliPod101, our focus is to help our students learn practical vocabulary and phrases used by everyday people in Kenya. This means that, from your very first lesson, you can apply what you learn immediately! So, when your Swahili partner wants to go out to a restaurant, play Pokemon Go, or attend just about any social function, you have the vocabulary and phrases necessary to have a great time!

    3- Access to Special Resources Dedicated to Romantic Swahili Phrases
    You now have access to SwahiliPod101’s specially-developed sections and tools to teach you love words, phrases, and cultural insights to help you find and attract your Swahili soul mate. A personal tutor will assist you to master these brilliantly - remember to invite him/her to your wedding!

    Secret Revealed: The Best Way to Learn a Language on Your Own

    Learning A Language on Your Own

    Can You Really Learn Swahili Alone?

    Learning a language on your own or without traditional classroom instruction may seem quite daunting at first. What if you run into questions? How do you stay motivated and on track to achieving goals?

    Don’t worry, not only is it possible to learn Swahili or any language without traditional classroom instruction: SwahiliPod101 has created the world’s most advanced and extensive online language learning system. Not only is SwahiliPod101 specifically designed to help you with learning a language on your own, it’s actually faster, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom options!

    Let’s look at some of the benefits of learning Swahili or any language alone.

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!

    Also, don’t forget to download your free cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills too!

    3 Reasons to Learn a Language Alone

    Learning Alone

    1. Learn at Your Own Pace and On Your Schedule

    In today’s fast-paced world, there just isn’t time for traditional classroom instruction. Between getting to class and studying on some professor or teacher’s schedule, traditional classroom learning is simply impossible to fit in. But when you learn Swahili alone, you can study in bed if you like and whenever suits your schedule best, making it far easier to actually reach your goal of learning and mastering the language.

    2. Learning a Language on Your Own Reduces Stress and Anxiety

    Speaking in front of a class, pop quizzes, and tests are just a few of the stressors you will encounter when you learn a language in a traditional classroom setting. Specifically, these are external stressors that often derail most people’s dream of learning a new language. But when you learn Swahili alone, there are no external stressors. Without the external stress and anxiety, it becomes much easier and more exciting to study Swahili and reach your very own goals—all on your own!

    3. Learning Swahili Alone Helps Improve Cognitive Function and Overall Success

    Learning a language on your own is indeed more challenging in some ways than being taught in a traditional classroom setting. In fact, while classroom instruction requires more rote memorization and following instructions, studying a language on your own requires more problem-solving and higher cognitive function to self-teach lessons and hit goals. So while it’s more challenging and requires higher levels of cognition, teaching yourself a language pays dividends throughout life by better preparing you for social/work opportunities that arise.

    How to Learn a Language on Your Own with SwahiliPod101

    Learning with SwahiliPod101

    1. Access to the World’s Largest Collection of Swahili Audio & Video Lessons

    The best way to learn a language on your own is to study from native speaking instructors. Ideally, you want audio and/or video lessons that teach vocabulary, grammar, and provide actual Swahili conversations and dialogue to help you with pronunciation. SwahiliPod101 has hundreds of hours of HD audio and video lessons created by real Swahili instructors and every lesson is presented by professional Swahili actors for perfect pronunciation. Plus, all lessons can be accessed 24/7 via any mobile device with Internet access. And, if you download the PDF versions of each lesson, you can even study without Internet access once the lesson is stored on your device!

    2. “Learning Paths” with Swahili Courses Based Upon Your Exact Needs & Goals

    Although SwahiliPod101 has more than thousands of video and audio lessons, you need not review each and every one to learn the language. In fact, SwahiliPod101 has developed a feature called “Learning Paths”. You simply tell us your goals and we will identify the best courses and study plan to help you reach them in the shortest time possible. So even though you are technically learning a language on your own, our team is always here to help and make sure you reach your goals FAST!

    3. Advanced Learning Tools Reduce Learning Time and Boost Retention

    When you have the right tools and Swahili learning resources, it’s actually easy to teach yourself a language! In the past 10+ years, SwahiliPod101 has developed, tested, and refined more than 20 advanced learning tools to boost retention and reduce learning time, including:

    • Spaced Repetition Flashcards
    • Line-by-Line Dialogue Breakdown
    • Review Quizzes
    • Voice Recording Tools to Help Perfect Pronunciation
    • Teacher Feedback and Comments for Each Lesson
    • Swahili Dictionary with Pronunciation
    • Free PDF Cheat Sheets
    • And Much More!

    Armed with our growing collection of advanced learning tools, it’s truly a breeze to learn Swahili alone and reach your goals!

    Conclusion

    Learning a language on your own is not only possible, it’s actually easier and more beneficial for you than traditional classroom instruction. In fact, when you learn Swahili on your own you can study at your own pace, eliminate stress, and actually increase cognitive function.

    SwahiliPod101 is the world’s most advanced online language learning system and a great resource to help you teach yourself a new language. With the world’s largest collection of HD audio and video lessons, more than 20 advanced learning tools, and customized “Learning Paths”, SwahiliPod101 makes learning a new language easier, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom instruction.

    And the best part is: With SwahiliPod101, you can study in bed, your car, or wherever you have a few spare minutes of time. Create your Free Lifetime Account now and get a FREE ebook to help “kickstart” your dream of learning a language on your own below!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!