Swahili – Lesson Two

November 19, 2010  By: Africa Adventure Consultants

Continuing on with useful words and phrases for your trip to East Africa, today we will focus on some more basic expressions. We will focus on questions and some practical phrases for conversing with your new language skills.
Wapi? – where?

Vipi? – how?

Lini? – when?

Nini? – what?

Kwa nini? – why?
Nani? – who?
Iko wapi…? – where is?
Umbali gani? – how far?
Muda gani? – how long?
Bei gani? – how much?
Sema pole pole, tafadhali? – Could you speak more slowly?
Sema tena tafadhali? – Could you repeat that?

Vipi unatamka? – How do you pronounce this?

Nifasirie hii, tafadhali? – Can you translate this for me?

Sifahamu – I don’t understand

Nafahamu – I understand

Note that most Swahili words are pronounced phonetically. One word above that might give you pause is ‘hii’; which is pronounced hee-ee. Give these words and phrases some practice before our next lesson. If you haven’t planned your trip yet, give us a call and we’ll work with you to customize a safari to Kenya, Uganda or Tanzania, so you can get some real-world practice!

Photos by Gretchen Healey