Dialogue

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Vocabulary

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asante thank you
sana so much, very much
asante sana thank you so much
shukrani thanks
shukrani sana many thanks

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

Wherever your destination may be, manners are a must! Kenya is no different. So in our very first lesson, we'll be teaching you a simple phrase that is bound to come in handy throughout your trip to Kenya. I can't stress this enough: A little  bit of language can go a long way!

In Swahili, "Thank you" is

Asante.

The word asante literally means "thanks"

You can emphasize Asante by adding sana, which means literally "a lot" or "so much."

That makes Asante sana, which would be equivalent to "Thank you so much," a politer expression than just Asante.

There will be occasions when you will really want to show your appreciation and politeness. On these occasions, you should use the expression shukran. In daily life, however, people use shukrani.

So "Thanks" in Swahili is

Shukrani.

And "Many thanks" is

shukrani sana.

The first word is shukrani, which means something like "thanks."

The second word, sana ("a lot"), is used to make the phrase more polite.

Cultural Insights

Quick Tip 1



By far, Asante is the most common way to say "Thanks." Use the more polite version shukrani sana sparingly, in very special situations, like when you have been helped a lot by somebody. Remember: when in doubt, keeping it simple is always your safest bet. You don't have to worry about formal or informal situations; Asante can be used with just about anyone, anywhere, and anytime. You say Asante when the waiter brings your food or drinks, when the clerk in the hotel takes your luggage to your room, and when somebody welcomes or congratulates you. No matter what the person's profession or age, Asante will always be an appropriate response.

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
Wherever your destination may be, manners are a must! Kenya is no different. So in our very first lesson, we'll be teaching you a simple phrase that is bound to come in handy throughout your trip to Kenya. I can’t stress this enough: A little bit of language can go a long way!
BODY
In Swahili, “Thank you” is
Asante.
Let’s break it down:
(slow) A - sa - n - te.
Once more:
Asante.
The word asante literally means “thanks”
(slow) A - sa - n - te
Asante
This will be:
(slow) A - sa - n - te.
Asante.
You can emphasize Asante by adding sana, which means literally “a lot” or “so much.”
(slow) sa - na
sana
That makes Asante sana, which would be equivalent to “Thank you so much,” a politer expression than just Asante.
Let’s break that down:
(slow) A - sa - n - te sa - na
Once more:
Asante sana.
There will be occasions when you will really want to show your appreciation and politeness. On these occasions, you should use the expression shukran. In daily life, however, people use ‘shukrani’.
So “Thanks” in Swahili is
Shukrani.
And “Many thanks” is
shukrani sana.
Let’s break it down:
(slow) shu - kra - ni sa - na.
.
Once more:
shukrani sana.
The first word is shukrani, which means something like “thanks.”
(slow) shu - kra - ni
The second word, sana (“a lot”), is used to make the phrase more polite.
All together, it’s
(slow) shu - kra - ni sa - na.