Dialogue - Swahili

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Vocabulary

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kimbia to run
mazoezi exercises
kabla before
oga to shower
kiamsha kinywa breakfast
mwenye nguvu energetic
ondoka to leave
chelewa to be late
amka to wake up

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The Focus Of This Lesson Is Using Present Simple Tense to Describe Daily Activities.
Mohamed, mimi hukimbia asubuhi kila siku.

"Mohamed, I run every day in the morning."

1. Learning how to use present simple tense.

Let's start with an example in the dialogue:

  1. Mimi hukimbia asubuhi kila siku.
    "I run every day in the morning."

Verbs in Swahili are words used for action, expression purposes, or a state of form or being. They can be conjugated into present tense, past tense, and future tense.

Present tense verbs explain a current or present time happening.

For example, Naongea Kiswahili meaning "I speak Swahili."

In Swahili, all verbs have the prefix na- used in cases of present continuous tense. For instance, na-enda "I am going," or na-andika "I am writing." For simple present tense the applicable prefix is hu- mimi huenda "I go,"  mimi huandika "I write".

The infinitive verbs here are enda "to go," and andika "to write."

Present simple tense is different from present continuous in Swahili.

Present simple tense expresses something that takes place regularly, in other words, it is a habitual tense. The prefix hu- is used with the verb. A good example is Mimi hupiga mswaki kila siku. meaning "I brush my teeth everyday." Present continuous tense in Swahili is a "now" tense.

Here are other examples:

  1. Unatazama runiga sasa?
    "Are you watching TV now?"
  2. Najiangalilia runinga sasa.
    "I am watching TV now."

2. Adverbs of frequency

  1. kila siku kabla
    "Every day before"

These are Swahili words that modify phrases and verbs related to frequency directly. Swahili has adverbs of manner such as haraka meaning "quickly," and vigumu meaning "difficult." Adverbs of frequency include kila siku "every day," mara kwa mara "sometimes,"or Mara tatu, "three times."

3. Using adjectives to describe activities

In Swahili, some verbal adjectives describe activities and are connected to verbs. A good example of their use in the dialogue is utashinda ukiwa mchangamfu meaning "You will spend the rest of the day feeling happy." The verbal adjective in this case is changamfu, "happy."

Examples from the dialogue:

  1. Kila siku kabla ya kula kiamsha kinywa.
    "Every day before eating breakfast."
  2. Mimi huchelewa kuamka kwa hivyo mimi huoga na kuanza shughuli za siku
    "I usually wake up late and so I just shower and start my daily activities."

Sample Sentences


  1. Mimi huamka saa kumi asubuhi kila siku.
    "I wake up at 4.00 a.m every day."
  2. Sisi hupewa chai bila sukari.
    "We are usually given tea without sugar."
  3. Dada yangu hupika mayai kila siku.
    "My sister cooks eggs every day."

Cultural Insights

Discussing Daily Activities


In Kenya, most people in urban areas jog in the morning to keep fit. On the other hand, their counterparts in the village engage in farming activities which offer exercise benefits. There isn't any specific etiquette about what to wear while jogging in the street.

Useful expression:

  1. Nguo za michezo
    "Sportswear."

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
John: Hi everyone, and welcome to SwahiliPod101.com. This is Beginner Season 1 Lesson 1 - What's Something You Do Every Day in Kenya? John Here.
Medina: Hamjambo, I'm Medina.
John: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use the present simple tense to describe daily activities. The conversation takes place at home.
Medina: It's between Ali and Mohamed.
John: The speakers are friends, so they will use informal Swahili. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Ali: Mohamed, mimi hukimbia asubuhi kila siku
Mohamed: Huh, wewe hufanya hivyo kila siku?
Ali: Kila siku kabla ya kula kiamsha kinywa.
Mohamed: Hiyo ni njia mwafaka ya kuanza siku yako.
Ali: Ukweli. Utashinda ukiskia mwenye nguvu na mchangamfu.
Mohamed: Mimi huchelewa kuamka kwa hivyo mimi huoga na kuanza shughuli za siku.
Ali: Ala! hata kiamsha kinywa haukuli?
Mohamed: Ndio, mimi huoga na kuondoka.
John: Listen to the conversation one time slowly.
Ali: Mohamed, mimi hukimbia asubuhi kila siku
Mohamed: Huh, wewe hufanya hivyo kila siku?
Ali: Kila siku kabla ya kula kiamsha kinywa.
Mohamed: Hiyo ni njia mwafaka ya kuanza siku yako.
Ali: Ukweli. Utashinda ukiskia mwenye nguvu na mchangamfu.
Mohamed: Mimi huchelewa kuamka kwa hivyo mimi huoga na kuanza shughuli za siku.
Ali: Ala! hata kiamsha kinywa haukuli?
Mohamed: Ndio, mimi huoga na kuondoka.
John: Listen to the conversation with the English translation
Ali: Mohamed, I run every day in the morning.
Mohamed: Wow, you do that on a daily basis?
Ali: Every day before eating breakfast.
Mohamed: That's an appropriate way to start your day.
Ali: True. You spend the rest of your day feeling happy and energetic.
Mohamed: I usually wake up late and so I just shower and start my daily activities.
Ali: What! You don't even take breakfast?
Mohamed: Yes, I just take a bath and leave.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
John: Medina, is it common for people in Kenya to go jogging?
Medina: Yes, in Kenya, most people in urban areas jog in the morning to keep fit.
John: What about people who live in the countryside?
Medina: People who live in the villages are usually farmers, so I think that keeps them fit.
John: Is there any specific etiquette about what to wear when you’re jogging?
Medina: No, but common sportswear, or nguo za michezo, is fine.
John: That’s good to know. Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
John: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is..
Medina: kimbia [natural native speed]
John: to run
Medina: kimbia[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Medina: kimbia [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Medina: mazoezi [natural native speed]
John: exercises
Medina: mazoezi[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Medina: mazoezi [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Medina: kabla [natural native speed]
John: before
Medina: kabla[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Medina: kabla [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Medina: mwenye nguvu [natural native speed]
John: energetic
Medina: mwenye nguvu[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Medina: mwenye nguvu [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Medina: chelewa [natural native speed]
John: to be late
Medina: chelewa[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Medina: chelewa [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Medina: amka [natural native speed]
John: to wake up
Medina: amka[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Medina: amka [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Medina: oga [natural native speed]
John: to shower
Medina: oga[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Medina: oga [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Medina: ondoka [natural native speed]
John: to leave
Medina: ondoka[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Medina: ondoka [natural native speed]
John: And lastly..
Medina: kiamsha kinywa [natural native speed]
John: breakfast
Medina: kiamsha kinywa [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Medina: kiamsha kinywa [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
John: Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word is..
Medina: mazoezi
John: meaning "exercises"
Medina: Mazoezi is in plural form. The singular form is zoezi.
John: You use this word when you’re talking about physical activities such as running, dancing, and engaging in sports, among other things.
Medina: This word is usually used in the field of health and fitness.
John: Can you give us an example using this word?
Medina: Sure. For example, you can say.. Ukifanya mazoezi, mwili wako unatoa jasho.
John: ..which means "When you perform exercises, your body produces sweat." Okay, what's the next phrase?
Medina: mwenye nguvu
John: meaning "energetic"
Medina: Mwenye nguvu is one adjectival phrase, singular, made up of mwenye meaning "belonging to something" and nguvu meaning "energy."
John: This phrase is used to refer to the ability to handle tasks requiring body energy or strength. Medina, can you give us an example using this phrase?
Medina: Sure. For example, you can say.. Kukimbia hufanya mtu awe mwenye nguvu.
John: ...which means "Running makes one energetic."
John: Okay, what's the next phrase?
Medina: kiamsha kinywa
John: meaning "breakfast"
Medina: Kiamsha kinywa is a phrase made of two words. Kiamsha means “something that wakes up something” while kinywa refers to the mouth.
John: Literally, the phrase indicates something that wakes up the mouth, so "breakfast." Medina, please give us a sample sentence.
Medina: Sure. For example, you can say Leo nilikula matunda kama kiamsha kinywa changu.
John: .. which means "Today I ate fruits as my breakfast." Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

John: In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the present simple tense to describe daily activities.
Medina: Let’s start with an example in the dialogue, Mimi hukimbia asubuhi kila siku.
John: which means “I run every day in the morning.”
Medina: Like in English, verbs in Swahili are words used for action, expression purposes, or a state of form or being.
John: They can be conjugated into the present tense, past tense, and future tense.
Medina: Present tense verbs explain a current or present time happening. For example, Naongea Kiswahili
John: meaning “I speak Swahili.”
Medina: In Swahili, all verbs have the prefix na- used in cases of the present continuous tense. For instance, na-enda meaning “I am going,” or na-andika meaning “I am writing.”
John: Is simple present different?
Medina: For simple present tense the applicable prefix is hu- mimi huenda ”I go,” mimi huandika meaning“I write”.
John: What are the infinitive forms of these verbs?
Medina: The infinitive verbs here are enda “to go,” and andika “to write.”
John: As we said, present simple tense is different from present continuous in Swahili.
Medina: Present simple tense expresses something that takes place regularly, in other words, it is a habitual tense. The prefix hu- is used with the verb. A good example is Mimi hupiga mswaki kila siku.
John: meaning “I brush my teeth every day.”
Medina: Present continuous tense is a “now” tense and you can recognize it from the na prefix. For example, Unatazama runiga sasa?
John: Which means “Are you watching TV now?” With the present tense, it can be useful to use certain adverbs, such as adverbs of frequency.
Medina: Right, for example kila siku kabla
John: meaning “Every day before”
Medina: Other adverbs of frequency are mara kwa mara meaning “sometimes,” or Mara tatu, meaning “three times.”
John: Finally let’s mention that in Swahili it may be useful also to associate a verb to an adjective.
Medina: Right, those are the verbal adjectives, which describe activities and are connected to verbs. A good example of their use in the dialogue is utashinda ukiwa mchangamfu
John: Which means“You will spend the rest of the day feeling happy.”
Medina: The verbal adjective in this case is changamfu, meaning“happy.”
John: Ok, let’s wrap up the first lesson with a couple of sample sentences.
Medina: Sure thing. Mimi huamka saa kumi asubuhi kila siku.
John: "I wake up at 4.00 a.m every day."
Medina: Dada yangu hupika mayai kila siku.
John: "My sister cooks eggs every day."

Outro

John: Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Medina: Tuonane!