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Lesson Transcript

Hamjamboni. Mimi ni Medina. Hi everybody! I’m Medina.
Welcome to Swahilipod101.com's “Kiswahili kwa dakika tatu,” The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Swahili.
In the last lesson, we learned how to talk about your plans. In this lesson, we are going to take a look at the verb "ni", which is like "to be" or “am” in English. We will also talk about your nationality.
One of the first questions you might be asked in Kenya is "Wewe ni?" This question means “You are?”, but it is often used to ask “which country are you from?”
Wewe means “you.”
ni means "are."
Altogether we have, Wewe ni?
[slowly] Wewe ni?
There are a few different ways you can answer this question.
You can simply say Mimi ni …
"I am" then add your nationality.
For example “I am American” will be Mimi ni Mwamerika.
[slowly] Mimi ni Mwamerika.
Just replace Mwamerika with your nationality. Here are a few more examples:
"I am Spanish" is Mimi ni mhispania.
"I am Japanese" is Mimi ni mjapani.
"I am Chinese" is Mimi ni mchina.
“I am Swedish” is Mimi ni mswidi.
“I am French.” is Mimi ni mfaransa.
Here’s another way you could answer. Start in the same way, then follow with natoka and the name of the country you are from. Here you're telling what country you're from instead of telling your nationality.
For example, the word for “France” in Swahili is Ufaransa.
To say you are from France, you would say-
Mimi natoka Ufaransa.
[slowly] Mimi natoka Ufaransa.
Here’s another one. “Australia” in Swahili is simply Australia
So to say you are from Australia you would say-
Mimi natoka Australia.
[slowly] Mimi natoka Australia.
To keep the conversation going, you can ask your friend na wewe je? which means “how about you?”
Now it’s time for Medina's Insights.
Usually, nationality is represented by the letter “m". Such as
Mimi ni Mkanada. “I am Canadian.”
To get the country name itself, you can usually just remove the "m".
Mimi natoka Kanada. “I am from Canada.”
Howver, this isn't always the case. For example, Mimi ni mrusi means “I am Russian”. But “I’m from Russia”, is Mimi natoka *Urusi*.
And “I am British” will be Mimi ni Mwingereza. but “I’m from England” will be Mimi natoka Uingereza.
Now you can tell people about your nationality and homeland in Swahili.
In the next lesson, we will learn another usage for the verb ni - it’s also used when talking about locations. Instead of saying “where you are from?”, how would you say “where are you now?” I’ll be waiting to tell you all about it in the next Kiswahili kwa dakika tatu lesson.
Tuonane tena!