Home ADVANCED LEVEL Kiswahili Study Notes ~ For Beginners and Foreigners

Kiswahili Study Notes ~ For Beginners and Foreigners


Kiswahili, is a Bantu language and the native language of the Swahili people.

It is the official language in Tanzania and Kenya. It is a lingua franca of the African Great Lakes region and other parts of East and Southern Africa, including

  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Rwanda
  • Burundi
  • Kenya,
Also spoken in some parts of:
  • Malawi
  • Somalia
  • Zambia
  • Mozambique
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

KiSwahili is spoken by an estimated 80 million people in East and Central Africa.

The vast majority of speakers of KiSwahili are native speakers of other African languages and use KiSwahili as a lingua franca.

After Arabic, KiSwahili is the most widely understood language in Africa.

Some useful words / phrases:

Hello jambo! / hujambo! Wildebeest nyumbu
How are you? habari? / mambo vipi? (conf.) Cheetah duma
I’m fine (reply) salama / nzuri / poa (conf.) Hippopotamus kiboko
What about you na wewe? Buffalo mbogo
Good salama / nzuri / sawa / safi Rhinoceros kifaru
Thanks Asante Giraffe twiga
You’re welcome Karibu Antelope / gazelle swala
Yes ndiyo Zebra punda milia
No hapana Warthog ngiri
Please tafadhali Crocodile mamba
Goodbye kwa heri Serpent nyoka
I’d like (when ordering in shops) naomba Baboon nyani
How much/how many? ngapi? House nyumba
How much does it cost? shillingapi? / bei? Room chumba
Where? wapi? Hut kibanda
When? lini? Bed kitanda
Here hapa Mountain mlima
There kule Sea bahari
One moja Food chakula


Introduction to the KiSwahili Language

Lesson 1: Classroom Instructions

Lesson 2: Greetings

Lesson 3: Classroom Vocabulary

Lesson 4: Personal Pronouns

Lesson 5: Possessive Pronouns

Lesson 6: School Subjects

Lesson 7: Languages, Countries and Nationality

Lesson 8: Locations

Lesson 9: Noun Classes

Lesson 10: Family

Lesson 11: The Verb -NA

Lesson 12: Various Personalities and Professions

Lesson 13: Tenses

Lesson 14: Numbers and Counting

Lesson 15: Days of the Week

Lesson 16: Months of the Year

Lesson 17: Time

Lesson 18: Courses, Schedules, Routines

Lesson 19: Household Chores and Daily Activities

Lesson 20: Foods

Lesson 21: Fruits

Lesson 22: Drinks

Lesson 23: Buying and Selling

Lesson 24: Adjectives

Lesson 25: Clothes

Lesson 26: Colors

Lesson 27: Decorations and Accessories

Lesson 28: Proverbs

Lesson 29: External Body Parts

Lesson 30: Diseases

Lesson 31: Subject and Object Prefixes

Lesson 32: Interrogatives and Question Formation

Lesson 33: Weather

Lesson 34: Environment

Lesson 35: Seasons

Lesson 36: Housing and Accommodation

Lesson 37: Places

Lesson 38: Transport Mechanisms

Lesson 39: The Conditional Markers -NGE- and -NGALI-

Lesson 40: Locatives

Lesson 41: Compass

Lesson 42: Demonstratives

Lesson 43: Imperatives

Lesson 44: Prepositions

Lesson 45: Possessive Pronouns

Lesson 46: Reversives / Opposites

Lesson 47: Sports

Lesson 48: Tenses

Lesson 49: Negation

Lesson 50: Domestic Animals, Wild Animals & Tourist Attractions

Lesson 51: Connective -A of Association

Lesson 52: States of Being

Lesson 53: Terms of Endearment

Lesson 54: Reduplication

Lesson 55: Subjunctive

Lesson 56: Business: Shopping, Buying and Selling

Lesson 57: Comparatives

Lesson 58: Passive Verbs

Lesson 59: Relative Marker AMBA- and -O- of Reference

Lesson 60: Quantifiers -OTE and -O-OTE

Lesson 61: Conjunctions

Lesson 62: Letter Writing

Lesson 63: Modifiers -INGI and -INGINE

Lesson 64: Relative Marker -PO-

Lesson 65: Musical Instruments



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