Useful Swahili phrases

A collection of useful phrases in Swahili. Click on the English phrases to see them in many other languages.

Key to abbreviations: sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person), inf = informal

English kiSwahili (Swahili)
Welcome Karibu (sg) Karibuni (pl)
Hello Habari (inf)
Hujambo (sg) Hamjambo (pl) Sijambo (reply)
How are you?

Fine
Habari? Hujambo?
Habari yako?
Habari gani?
Nzuri / Sijambo
What's your name?
My name is ...
Jina lako ni nani?
Jina langu ni ...
Where are you from?
I'm from ...
Unatoka wapi?
Natoka ...
Pleased to meet you Nafurahi kukuona / Nimefurahi kukutana nawe
Good morning Habari ya asubuhi
Good afternoon Habari ya mchana
Good evening Habari ya jioni
Good night Usiku mwema / Lala salama (sleep well)
Goodbye Kwaheri
Good luck Kila la kheri!
Cheers/Good health! Maisha marefu! Afya! Vifijo!
Have a nice day Nakutakia siku njema!
Bon appetit Ufurahie chakula chako (sg)
Furahieni chakula chenu (pl)
Bon voyage Safari njema!
I understand Naelewa
I don't understand Sielewi
Please speak more slowly Tafadhali sema polepole
Please write it down for me Waweza kuiandika?
Do you speak English? Unazungumza kiingereza?
Do you speak Swahili?
Yes, a little
Unazungumza kiSwahili?
Ndiyo, kidogo tu
Excuse me Samahani nipishe (to get past)
Samahani (to get attention or say sorry)
How much is this? Hii ni bei gani?
Sorry Samahani
Please Tafadhali
Thank you
Response
Asante / Asante sana (sg) / Asanteni (pl)
Asante kushukuru
No thanks La asante
Where's the toilet? Choo kiko wapi?
This gentleman/lady
will pay for everything
Mtu huyu atalipia kila kitu
Would you like to
dance with me?
Tucheze ngoma? Utapenda kudansi?
I love you Ninakupenda
Get well soon Ugua pole
How do you say ... in Swahili? Unasemaje ... kwa Kiswahili?
Help!
Fire!
Stop!
Msaada!
Moto!
Usifanye hivyo!
Call the police! Mwite polisi!
Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year
Krismasi Njema / Heri ya krismas
Heri ya mwaka mpya
Happy Easter Heri kwa sikukuu ya Pasaka
Happy Birthday Nakutakia mema kwa siku yako ya kuzaliwa!
Siku-kuo ya zaliwa njema! Furaha Ya Siku Ya Kuza Liwa!
My hovercraft
is full of eels

What!? Why this phrase?
Gari langu linaloangama limejaa na mikunga
One language
is never enough
Lugha moja haitoshi

Corrections, recordings and some translations by Ylanne Sorrows and Rushomesa Remigius

If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.


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Links

Collections of Swahili phrases (some with soundfiles)
http://www.transparent.com/languagepages/swahili/SwPhrases.htm
http://www.kenya-travels.com/guide/swahili.htm

Phrases in Niger-Congo languages

Ewe, Igbo, Kinyarwanda, Lozi, Ndebele (Northern), Sesotho, Shona, Swahili, Tswana, Tumbuka, Wolof, Xhosa, Yorùbá, Zulu

Phrases in other languages


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