Swahili is a Bantu language, and the first language of the Swahili people. It is a lingua franca of the African Great Lakes region and other parts of Southeast Africa, including Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As I will be voluteering in Uganda, I thought it would be interesting to learn bits and pieces of Swahili, even though English is their first language. So far I have learned only a couple of things like:

Samahani (excuse me)
Kiingereza (English)
Bwana (Sir)
Hapana (No)
Ndiyo (yes)
Wewe ni Marekani? (Are you American?)
Nafahamu Kiswahili kidogo (I know a bit of Swahili)
Sifahamu (I don’t know)

I also found a song that I really liked, called Jambo Bwana. It is a song of welcome from Eastern Africa, sung in Swahili. Jambo Bwana means ‘Hello friend!’  (You can learn it here).

Jambo, jambo bwana (Hello friend)
Habri gani?   (How are you?)
Nzuri sana  (Very fine)
Wageni (Visitors)
Mwakari-bishwa (You are welcome)
Afrika yetu (Our Africa)
Hakuna matata (There is no problem!)

Leave a Reply

Post Navigation