Category Archives: Swahili

Quick guide to some common words and sayings in a prevalent language throughout Africa



Although Swahili is not the main language here in the Sudans, Swahili is spoken by a lot of the workers that come here to make money for their families. As I mentioned earlier today, one of the girls that comes in to clean is insistent on teaching me how to speak some of the language. Why not? I have a bad memory and so I thought that I would keep track of what I learn in a blog and that way I can update it regularly. Amazing how many words we already know from the Disney Classic “The Lion King”!!

The map shows the countries within Africa where Swahili is spoken.

Maji – Water

Kiti (kee-tee) – Chair

Mzuri (m-zuri) – good

Habari – morning

Chakala – food

Naenda – I’m going

leo (lay-o)- today

Kesho (kee-sho) – tomorrow

Asante Sana – thank you very much (drop sana for just thank you)

Rafiki – Friend

Karibu (kar-ee-bou) – Welcome

Nja – Hungry

Nahisi – I’m feeling

Nahisi nja- I’m hungry

Kata – Cutting

Nataka – I want

Kukata – to cut

nyuwele – Hair

Yangu – mine

Nataka kukaka nyuwele – I want to cut my hair

Yako – yours

Kuna – It is

Joto – hot

Kuna joto – it is hot

Nafanga – I am

Kaziry – working

Si – not

Nafanga kaziry – I am working

Si nafanga kaziry – I am not working