Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The focus of this lesson is Self Introductions in Swahili


Topic 1: How to introduce yourself in an informal way


Sentence from the lesson:
Habari, Mimi ni Medina. Ninafuraha kukutana na wewe.
"Hi, I'm Medina. Nice to meet you."


  1. Let's break it down. Start with the greeting: Habari, then Mimi ni .... which is followed by your name.
  2. Next, say the phrase Ninafuraha kukutana na wewe.
    "Nice to meet you."




Topic 2: How to introduce yourself in the formal way


Sentence from the lesson:
Shikamoo. Jina langu ni Medina Ninafuraha kukutana na wewe.
"Hello, my name is Medina. Nice to meet you."

  1. It's important to note that habari, can be used in both casual and formal settings. However, it is more formal and respectful to use the word shikamoo especially when addressing an older person. Shikamoo implies "good day" or simply "hello."
  2. You will notice that the section mimi ni ...for "I am" changes to Jina langu ni Medina for "My name is Medina."
  3. During a formal self introduction, it is advisable to mention your last name too.
  4. Finally, Ninafuraha kukutana na wewe. is the same for both. This phrase means "nice to meet you."

Language Tip


When you introduce yourself, it's a good habit to shake hands. Usually, the right hand is accompanied by a slight support by the left hand. If you're concerned about politeness, a slight bend forward while shaking the hand adds to the sign of respect in the Kenyan business world. However, if you speak too formally, people will think you sound unnatural. In Kenya, simplicity is best!

Lesson Transcript

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Welcome to Swahilipod101.com’s “Kiswahili kwa dakika tatu,” The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Swahili.
Hamjamboni. Mimi ni Medina. Shukran kwa kuunga na mimi katika kipindi hii. Hi everybody! I’m Medina. Thank you for joining me! In this series, you’re going to learn basic Swahili expressions. It’s super easy and it only takes three minutes!
And in this first lesson, you’re going to learn how to introduce yourself in Swahili. You’ll learn both an informal and formal way to do it, but unlike many other languages, there is not a very big difference between informal and formal speech in Swahili.
First, let’s see how Kenyan people introduce themselves in an *informal* situation.
Habari, Mimi ni Medina. Ninafuraha kukutana na wewe. Hi, I’m Medina. Nice to meet you.
[slowly] Habari, Mimi ni Medina. Ninafuraha kukutana na wewe.
Let’s break it down. Start with the greeting: Habari, then Mimi ni …. which is followed by your name.
Next, say the phrase Ninafuraha kukutana na wewe. -- Nice to meet you.
Altogether, it is
Habari, Mimi ni Medina. Ninafuraha kukutana na wewe.
And now let’s see the same sentence in formal speech.
Shikamoo. Jina langu ni Medina Maraka. Ninafuraha kukutana na wewe. Hello, my name is Medina Maraka. Nice to meet you.
[slowly] Shikamoo. Jina langu ni Medina Maraka. Ninafuraha kukutana na wewe.
So, what has changed from the previous introduction?
Let’s take a closer look at these together.
It’s important to note that habari, can be used in both casual and formal settings. However, it is more formal and respectful to use the word shikamoo especially when addressing an older person. Shikamoo implies “good day” or simply “hello”.
You will notice that the section mimi ni …for “I am” changes to Jina langu ni Medina for “ My name is Medina.”
During a formal self introduction, it is advisable to mention your last name, so I would say My name is Medina Maraka. Here, you would say your full name.
Finally, Ninafuraha kukutana na wewe.
is the same for both. This phrase means “nice to meet you.”
One more time - The informal way to introduce yourself in Swahili is Habari, Mimi ni Medina. Ninafuraha kukutana na wewe.
And the formal way to introduce yourself is
Shikamoo. Jina langu ni Medina Maraka. Ninafuraha kukutana na wewe.
Now it’s time for Medina’s Insights.
When introducing yourself, it's a good habit to shake hands. Usually, the right hand is slightly supported by the left hand. If you’re concerned about politeness, a slight bend forward while shaking the hand adds a sign of respect in the Kenyan business world. However, if you speak too formally, people will think you sound unnatural. In Kenya, simplicity is best!
Do you know how we say “thank you” in Swahili? You’ll learn how to say this and many other words in the next Kiswahili kwa dakika tatu. Thanks for dropping by and see you next time!
Kwaheri. Tuonane tena.