How to speak basic Kiswahili: English and Swahili are the official languages of Kenya. While not all of Kenya’s population speaks fluent or Basic English, Nearly all of the Kenyan population speaks Swahili. Swahili is also spoken across many countries in sub Saharan Africa for example Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, and Congo amongst others. We have prepared a list of basic greeting phrases of the two official languages that might be helpful to a foreigner.
Difference between Kiswahili and Swahili
Kiswahili is one of the official language in Kenya while Swahili is of the 42 tribes in Kenya. The Swahili people are located in the coastal region of Kenya.
For example, we have another tribe called KAMBA who speak their local language called Kikamba.
Learn to speak basic Kiswahili in Kenua
Below are basic Kiswahili Greetings and there meanings translated from English to Kiswahili;
- Hello = Habari gani Jambo / hujambo /
- How are you? = habari yako
- I am fine= niko salama/ nzuri/niko poa/sijambo/salama/njema
- I am fine and you= niko salama na wewe je? Sijambo na wewe je?
- Goodbye = Kwa heri /
- Nice to meet you = Nafurahi kukujua/ nimefurahi kukutana na wewe
- Good morning – habari za asubuhi?
- Good afternoon = habari za mchana
- Good evening=habari ya jioni
- Goodnight = Lala salama
- How have you been= unaendeleaje
- How is your day= habari ya leo
- How are things= unaendeleaje
- Long time no see= umepotea sana/ sijakuona kwa muda
- How do you do = unaendeleaje
- Are you okay= uko salama
- What’s up = sasa/vipi/niaje
- Good day mate/ friend= uwe na siku njema rafiki
- Thank you very much = Asante sana
- Please = Tafadhali
- OK = Sawa
- Excuse me = Samahani
- Thank you = Asante
- Have a nice day= uwe na siku njema/ nakutakia siku njema
- Birthday greetings- nakutakia siku njema / nakutakia furaha katika siku yako ya kuzaliwa (to mean I wish you a happy birthday)
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