Swahili

Swahili, also known by its native name Kiswahili, is a Bantu language spoken by around 100 million people. It is widely used as a lingua franca in parts of Africa.

Basic Swahili phrases Learn

Swahili holiday phrases ordered by topic.

Swahili Numbers. 1 to 10 Learn

Days Learn

Months Learn

Fruit Learn

Vegetables Learn

Swahili Language

Swahili is an agglutinative language and has a very elegant system used to indicate the Subject (and Object) of a sentence. This is carried out using Subject Prefix's or markers which are attached to the verb.

Swahili verbs are often given in the stem form in dictionaries. An example ois 'lala' meaning 'sleep'. Various markers are then added or prefixed. An example is ku which is equivalent to the english infinitive. So, ku added to the verb stem gives the infinitive, and using sleep as the the example, 'kulala' means to sleep

Articles. Definite and indefinite articles do not exist in Swahili. Instead the meaning of a word within a sentence must be provided by the context. So 'mtoto' means 'child', 'a child' or 'the child'.

Nouns in Swahili have singular and plural.

Adjectives always come after and generally agree with the noun, so in Swahili 'good dog' is 'dog good'.

Resources

Phrases by topic
The Swahili language. An outline of the Swahili language and its grammar.
Internet living Swahili dictionary. A non profit organization dedicated to creating a dictionary of Swahili and other African languages.

Learning Method

Original

Language family

Bantu language

Related

Arabic
Shona
Zulu