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Archive for the 'Swahili Alphabet' Category

Swahili Keyboard: How to Install and Type in Swahili

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You asked, so we provided—easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your electronic devices to write in Swahili! We’ll also give you a few excellent tips on how to use this keyboard, as well as some online and app alternatives if you prefer not to set up a Swahili keyboard.

Log in to Download Your Free Swahili Alphabet Worksheet Table of Contents
  1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Swahili
  2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Swahili
  3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer
  4. How to Change the Language Settings to Swahili on Your Computer
  5. Activating the Swahili Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet
  6. Swahili Keyboard Typing Tips
  7. How to Practice Typing Swahili

1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Swahili

A keyboard

Learning a new language is made so much easier when you’re able to read and write/type it. This way, you will:

  • Get the most out of any dictionary and Swahili language apps on your devices
  • Expand your ability to find Swahili websites and use the various search engines
  • Be able to communicate much better online with your Swahili teachers and friends, and look super cool in the process! 

2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Swahili

A phone charging on a dock

It takes only a few steps to set up any of your devices to read and type in Swahili. It’s super-easy on your mobile phone and tablet, and a simple process on your computer.

On your computer, you’ll first activate the onscreen keyboard to work with. You’ll only be using your mouse or touchpad/pointer for this keyboard. Then, you’ll need to change the language setting to Swahili, so all text will appear in Swahili. You could also opt to use online keyboards instead. Read on for the links!

On your mobile devices, it’s even easier—you only have to change the keyboard. We also provide a few alternatives in the form of online keyboards and downloadable apps.

3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer

1- Mac

1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Check the option “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in Menu Bar.”

3. You’ll see a new icon on the right side of the main bar; click on it and select “Show Keyboard Viewer.”

A screenshot of the keyboard viewer screen

2- Windows

1. Go to Start > Settings > Easy Access > Keyboard.

2. Turn on the option for “Onscreen Keyboard.”

3- Online Keyboards

If you don’t want to activate your computer’s onscreen keyboard, you also have the option to use online keyboards. Here is a good option:

4- Add-ons of Extensions for Browsers

Instead of an online keyboard, you could also choose to download a Google extension to your browser for a language input tool. The Google Input Tools extension allows users to use input tools in Chrome web pages, for example.

4. How to Change the Language Settings to Swahili on Your Computer

Man looking at his computer

Now that you’re all set to work with an onscreen keyboard on your computer, it’s time to download the Swahili language pack for your operating system of choice:

  • Windows 8 (and higher)
  • Windows 7
  • Mac (OS X and higher)

1- Windows 8 (and higher)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Change PC Settings” > “Time & Language” > “Region & Language.”
  2. Click on “Add a Language” and select “Kiswahili.” This will add it to your list of languages. It will appear as Kiswahili with the note “language pack available.”
  3. Click on “Kiswahili” > “Options” > “Download.” It’ll take a few minutes to download and install the language pack.
  4. As a keyboard layout, you’ll only need the one marked as “Kiswahili.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts.

2- Windows 7

  1. Go to “Start” > “Control Panel” > “Clock, Language, and Region.”
  2. On the “Region and Language” option, click on “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods.”
  3. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click on “Change Keyboards” > “Add” > “Kiswahili.”
  4. Expand the option of “Kiswahili” and then expand the option “Keyboard.” Select the keyboard layout marked as “Kiswahili.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

3- Mac (OS X and higher)

If you can’t see the language listed, please make sure to select the right option from System Preferences > Language and Region

1. From the Apple Menu (top left corner of the screen) go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Click the Input Sources tab and a list of available keyboards and input methods will appear.

3. Click on the plus button, select “Kiswahili,” and add the “Kiswahili” keyboard.

Adding a system language

5. Activating the Swahili Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet

Texting and searching in Swahili will greatly help you master the language! Adding a Swahili keyboard on your mobile phone and/or tablet is super-easy.

You could also opt to download an app instead of adding a keyboard. Read on for our suggestions.

Below are the instructions for both iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.

1- iOS

1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.

2. Tap “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”

3. Select “Kiswahili” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by tapping and holding on the icon to reveal the keyboard language menu.

2- Android

1. Go to Settings > General Management > Language and Input > On-screen Keyboard (or “Virtual Keyboard” on some devices) > Samsung Keyboard.

2. Tap “Language and Types” or “ + Select Input Languages” depending on the device and then “MANAGE INPUT LANGUAGES” if available.

3. Select “Kiswahili” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by swiping the space bar.

3- Applications for Mobile Phones

If you don’t want to add a keyboard on your mobile phone or tablet, this is a good app to consider:

6. Swahili Keyboard Typing Tips

As a matter of fact, when typing in Swahili, you can actually just use the English (US) keyboard. The letters are equivalent to the English alphabet, but the Swahili alphabet doesn’t contain the letters Q or X.

A man typing on a computer

7. How to Practice Typing Swahili

As you probably know by now, learning Swahili is all about practice, practice, and more practice! Strengthen your Swahili typing skills by writing comments on any of our lesson pages, and our teacher will answer. If you’re a SwahiliPod101 Premium PLUS member, you can directly text our teacher via the My Teacher app—use your Swahili keyboard to do this!

Log in to Download Your Free Swahili Alphabet Worksheet

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.