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Difference between revisions of "Swahili phrasebook"

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'''Swahili''' or Kiswahili, is the official language of [[Tanzania]], [[Kenya]], and [[Uganda]]. Swahili speakers can also be found in surrounding countries, such as [[Burundi]], [[Rwanda]], [[Mozambique]], and the [[Democratic Republic of the Congo]]. While only 5-10 million people speak Swahili as their first language, as a second language, there are over 50 million speakers, making it the most widely spoken African language in the world. As a part of the Bantu language family, Swahili is related to a variety of languages from Southern Africa to West Africa. While some Bantu languages, like [[Xhosa phrasebook|Xhosa]] and [[Zulu phrasebook|Zulu]] are click languages, Swahili does ''not'' use clicks, so pronunciation is generally not difficult for English speakers.
+
'''Swahili''' or Kiswahili, is an official language of [[Tanzania]], [[Kenya]], the [[Democratic Republic of the Congo]], and [[Uganda]]. Swahili speakers can also be found in surrounding countries, such as [[Burundi]], [[Rwanda]], and  [[Mozambique]]. While only 5-10 million people speak Swahili as their first language, as a second language, there are over 50 million speakers, making it the most widely spoken African language in the world. As a part of the Bantu language family, Swahili is related to a variety of languages from Southern Africa to Central to West Africa. While some Bantu languages, like [[Xhosa phrasebook|Xhosa]] and [[Zulu phrasebook|Zulu]] are click languages, Swahili does ''not'' use clicks, so pronunciation is generally not difficult for English speakers.
  
  
Line 5: Line 5:
  
 
===Vowels===
 
===Vowels===
Swahili has five vowels: a, e, i, o, u. If you are familiar with [[Spanish]] or [[Japanese]], the vowels are pronounced the same. If not, they are pronounced:
+
Swahili has five vowels: a, e, i, o, u. If you are familiar with [[Spanish]], [[Italian]] or [[Japanese]], the vowels are pronounced the same. If not, they are pronounced:
  
 
'''A''' - ah (Like the "a" in "father")
 
'''A''' - ah (Like the "a" in "father")
 
<br>
 
<br>
'''E''' - eh (Like the "a" in "say")
+
'''E''' - eh (Like the "a" in "say" but without moving your mouth)
 
<br>
 
<br>
 
'''I''' - ee (Like the "ee" in "see")
 
'''I''' - ee (Like the "ee" in "see")
 
<br>
 
<br>
'''O''' - oh (Like the "o" in "cone")
+
'''O''' - oh (Like the "o" in "so" but without moving your mouth)
 
<br>
 
<br>
 
'''U''' - oo (Like the "oo" in "doom")
 
'''U''' - oo (Like the "oo" in "doom")
Line 43: Line 43:
 
;n : like the "n" in "numb"
 
;n : like the "n" in "numb"
  
Although "m" and "n" are pronounced the same in Swahili as they are in English, unlike English, these letters can often be found at the beginning of words followed by other consonants, such as "t", "d", etc. Since Swahili has no silent letters, it is important to pronounce these letters. So for words like "Mchana" (afternoon) and "Ndugu" (sibling/relative), you needs to pronounce the "m" and "n" sounds along with the following consonant sounds.
+
Although "m" and "n" are pronounced the same in Swahili as they are in English, unlike English, these letters can often be found at the beginning of words followed by other consonants, such as "t", "d", etc. Since Swahili has no silent letters, it is important to pronounce these sounds. So for words like "Mchana" (afternoon) and "Ndugu" (sibling/relative), you need to pronounce the "m" and "n" sounds along with the following consonant sounds.
  
 
;r : The "r" sound is not pronounced as it is in English. Actually, like the vowels, the "r" sound is the same as Spanish and Japanese; a soft "r" that sometimes sounds like a "d".
 
;r : The "r" sound is not pronounced as it is in English. Actually, like the vowels, the "r" sound is the same as Spanish and Japanese; a soft "r" that sometimes sounds like a "d".
 
 
 
 
  
  
Line 67: Line 63:
  
 
===Basics===
 
===Basics===
Note that greetings in Swahili are very important, and long and drawn out - you can go back and forth several times, using not one but all of the greetings you know.
+
Note that greetings in Swahili are very important and long and drawn out - you can go back and forth several times, using not one but all of the greetings you know.
 
; Hello. (to one person) :  Hujambo  (response: Sijambo)  
 
; Hello. (to one person) :  Hujambo  (response: Sijambo)  
 
: Hello. (to a group) : Hamjambo (response: Hatujambo)
 
: Hello. (to a group) : Hamjambo (response: Hatujambo)
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;Month : mwezi
 
;Month : mwezi
  
In Tanzania, the names of the months in parenthesis are rarely used. Instead, they refer to them as first month, second month, etc.
+
In Tanzania, the words in parentheses are rarely used. Instead, they refer to them as first month, second month, etc.
  
 
; January : Mwezi wa kwanza (Januari)
 
; January : Mwezi wa kwanza (Januari)
Line 225: Line 221:
  
 
====Seasons====
 
====Seasons====
Swahili speaking countries generally experience 2 seasons: rainy/hot and cold/dry. Swahili does not have words for "autumn" or "spring", etc.
+
Swahili-speaking countries generally experience two seasons: rainy-and-hot and cold-and-dry. Swahili does not have words for "autumn" or "spring", etc.
 
;Season : majira
 
;Season : majira
;Summer : kiangazi
+
;summer : kiangazi
;Winter : majira ya baridi
+
;winter : majira ya baridi
;Spring : majira ya machipuko
+
;spring : majira ya machipuko
;Fall   : majira ya majani kupukukika
+
;fall   : majira ya majani kupukukika
  
 
====Writing time and date====
 
====Writing time and date====
Line 261: Line 257:
  
 
===Transportation===
 
===Transportation===
 
 
  
 
====Bus and train====
 
====Bus and train====
Line 576: Line 570:
 
===On safari===
 
===On safari===
  
; Cheetah Duma
+
; cheetah duma
; Elephant Tembo
+
; elephant tembo
; Giraffe Twiga
+
; giraffe twiga
; Hippo   :  Kiboko
+
; hippo   :  kiboko
; Lion     :  Simba
+
; lion     :  simba
; Ostrich Mbuni
+
; ostrich mbuni
; Snake   :  Nyoka
+
; snake   :  nyoka
; Zebra   :  Punda Milia
+
; turtle  :
 +
; warthog  :
 +
; zebra   :  punda milia
  
 
[[ja:スワヒリ語会話集]]
 
[[ja:スワヒリ語会話集]]

Revision as of 18:47, 21 March 2012

Swahili or Kiswahili, is an official language of Tanzania, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. Swahili speakers can also be found in surrounding countries, such as Burundi, Rwanda, and Mozambique. While only 5-10 million people speak Swahili as their first language, as a second language, there are over 50 million speakers, making it the most widely spoken African language in the world. As a part of the Bantu language family, Swahili is related to a variety of languages from Southern Africa to Central to West Africa. While some Bantu languages, like Xhosa and Zulu are click languages, Swahili does not use clicks, so pronunciation is generally not difficult for English speakers.


Contents

Pronunciation guide

Vowels

Swahili has five vowels: a, e, i, o, u. If you are familiar with Spanish, Italian or Japanese, the vowels are pronounced the same. If not, they are pronounced:

A - ah (Like the "a" in "father")
E - eh (Like the "a" in "say" but without moving your mouth)
I - ee (Like the "ee" in "see")
O - oh (Like the "o" in "so" but without moving your mouth)
U - oo (Like the "oo" in "doom")

Vowels in Swahili always make the same sounds, even when combined with other vowels. There are no silent letters or diphthongs in Swahili, so vowels will always make the same sound, and it is important that you pronounce each vowel, even when one vowel follows another. For example, in the word "daawa" (lawsuit), you must say "dah-ah-wah", pronouncing both of the a's. Simply saying "dah-wah" (dawa) changes the meaning to "drug/medicine".

Consonants

The following consonants are pronounced the same as in English:

like the "b" in "bay"
like the "d" in "dog"
like the "f" in "fun"
like the "g" in "gut"
like the "h" in "hen"
like the "j" in "jam"
like the "k" in "kit"
like the "l" in "lump"
like the "p" in "pot"
like the "s" in "sun"
like the "t" in "tip"
like the "v" in "van"
like the "w" in "win"
like the "y" in "yellow"
like the "z" in "zebra"

Other consonants

like the "m" in "mop".
like the "n" in "numb"

Although "m" and "n" are pronounced the same in Swahili as they are in English, unlike English, these letters can often be found at the beginning of words followed by other consonants, such as "t", "d", etc. Since Swahili has no silent letters, it is important to pronounce these sounds. So for words like "Mchana" (afternoon) and "Ndugu" (sibling/relative), you need to pronounce the "m" and "n" sounds along with the following consonant sounds.

The "r" sound is not pronounced as it is in English. Actually, like the vowels, the "r" sound is the same as Spanish and Japanese; a soft "r" that sometimes sounds like a "d".


Consonant pairings

ch 
like the "ch" in "chat"
ng 
like the "ng" in "sing"
ny 
like the "ni" in "onion"
gh 
officially pronounced similiar to the "ch" in "loch", you can alternatively just pronounce it with a hard "g", like the "g" in "gut" (as mentioned above)
sh 
like the "sh" in "dash"
th 
like the "th" in "thank". It is never pronounced like the "th" in "those". That "th" is spelled "dh" in Swahili.
dh 
like the "th" in "the". It is important not to confuse "dh" with the Swahili "th" above.

Common diphthongs

There are no diphthongs in Swahili; however, foreign names and loan words may contain them.

Phrase list

Basics

Note that greetings in Swahili are very important and long and drawn out - you can go back and forth several times, using not one but all of the greetings you know.

Hello. (to one person) 
Hujambo (response: Sijambo)
Hello. (to a group) : Hamjambo (response: Hatujambo)
Hello to an older person or authority figure. 
Shikamoo (shee-kah-moh) (response: Marahaba). Some people frown on the use of Shikamoo because it started out as a servant's greeting to his/her master.
Hello. (informal
Sasa / Mambo / Jambo (generally said only to tourists). This is 'Sheng' or Swahili slang. Most locals are not impressed if you greet them using Sheng.
Response to informal hello 
Mzuri (fine), Safi (clean/in order), Poa (cool), Poa kichizi kama ndizi (crazy cool like a banana)
How are you? 
Habari yako? (lit.: Your news?)
How are you? (alternative)
Ukoje? Response: Niko salama.
How are you? (alternative)
U hali gani? (lit.: What's your condition?)
How are you today? 
Habari ya leo?
How are you this morning? 
Habari ya asubuhi?
How are you this afternoon? 
Habari ya mchana?
How are you this evening? 
Habari ya jioni?
How was your journey / trip / safari? 
Habari za safari?
How have you been today? 
Umeshindaje leo?
Fine, thank you. 
Nzuri, asante.
What is your name? 
Jina lako ni nani?
My name is ______ . 
Jina langu ni ______.
Where are you from? 
Unatoka wapi?
I am from _______. 
Ninatoka nchi ya _______(your country).
Please. 
Tafadhali.
Thank you (very much). 
Asante (sana).
You're welcome. 
Karibu.
Yes. 
Ndiyo.
No. 
Hapana.
I don't need. (Polite way of saying you don't want to buy anything) 
Sihitaji.
Excuse me. (getting attention
Samahani.
I'm sorry (in the sense of "pardon me"; used for minor transgressions). 
Samahani.
I'm sorry (in the sense of "please forgive me for wronging you"; used for major transgressions). 
Nasikitika.
Goodbye 
Kwa heri.
Good night. 
Usiku mwema.
Sleep well. 
Lala Salama.
Did you sleep well? 
Umelalaje?
Umeamkaje (lit.: did you wake up well?)
See you later. 
Tuonane baadaye.
Later. 
Baadaye.
See you tomorrow. 
Tutuonana kesho.
My Swahili is terrible 
Kiswahili changu ni kibaya sana.
I can't speak Kiswahili. 
Siwezi kusema Kiswahili.
I only speak a little Kiswahili. 
Ninaongea Kiswahili kidogo tu.
Do you speak English? 
Unazungumza Kiingereza?
Bathroom 
Bafu
Toilet 
Choo
Help! 
Msaada!
Where is the _______? 
_____(e.g. bathroom, police station...) iko wapi?

Grammatically, this would depend on the noun class of the object in question. E.g. for bathroom, it would be 'Kiko', not 'Iko'. There are 18 noun classes in Swahili.

Problem(s)

Leave me alone. 
Uniache!
Don't touch me! 
Usiniguse!
I'll call the police. 
Nitaita polisi!
Police! 
Polisi!
Help! 
Msaada!
Stop! Thief! 
(Saying this in Swahili could likely result in violent death for the thief at the hands of self appointed vigilantes. Your item may or may not be recovered.) Simama, mwizi!
I need your help. 
Ninaomba msaada.
I'm lost. 
Nimepotea.
I lost my bag. 
Nimepoteza mfuko wangu.
I lost my wallet. 
Nimepoteza pochi.
I'm sick. 
Mimi ni mgonjwa.
I've been injured. 
I need a doctor. 
Ninahitaji daktari.
Can I use your phone? 
Ninaomba kutumia simu yako?

Numbers

One. 
Moja
Two. 
Mbili
Three. 
Tatu
Four. 
Nne
Five. 
Tano
Six. 
Sita
Seven. 
Saba
Eight. 
Nane
Nine. 
Tisa
Ten. 
Kumi
Twenty. 
Ishirini
Thirty. 
Thelathini
Forty. 
Arobaini
Fifty. 
Hamsini
Sixty. 
Sitini
Seventy. 
Sabini
Eighty. 
Themanini
Ninety. 
Tisini
One Hundred. 
Mia moja
One Thousand. 
Elfu moja

Time

now 
Sasa
later 
Baadaye
before 
Kabla ya
after 
Baada ya
morning 
Asubuhi
afternoon 
Mchana
evening 
Jioni
night 
Usiku

Clock time

What time is it? 
Saa ngapi?

In Swahili, the morning does not begin at midnight (12 AM); instead, it begins at 7:00 AM. Daytime revolves around the rising and setting of the sun, which typically begins to rise around 7 AM and set at 7 PM in the areas where Swahili is spoken. For English speakers, this can be confusing; however, those who learn how to tell time in Swahili will admit that it is more logical than the English system, in which midnight is considered "morning", even though no one begins their day at midnight.

So, to say the time in Swahili, you need to add (or subtract) 6 from the English time. 7:00 in America will be expressed as the first hour (1:00) in Swahili. AM is expressed with asubuhi (morning) and PM is typically marked with usiku (night). Because the daytime begins at 7 AM, hours from midnight to 6 AM will be expressed with usiku, as these are nighttime hours in Swahili. Jioni (evening) can be used in place of usiku for hours that are not so late, such as 7 PM.

7 o'clock AM 
saa moja asubuhi
7.15 AM
saa moja na robo asubuhi
7.20 AM
saa moja na dakika ishirini asubuhi
7.30 AM
saa moja na nusu asubuhi
7.45 AM
saa mbili (kasoro robo = kasorobo)
7.50 AM
saa mbili kasoro dakika kumi asubuhi
8 o'clock AM 
saa mbili asubuhi
9 o'clock AM 
saa tatu asubuhi
Noon (12 o'clock PM) 
saa sita asubuhi
1 o'clock PM 
saa saba mchana
2 o'clock PM 
saa nana mchana
7 o'clock PM 
saa moja usiku
8 o'clock PM 
saa mbili usiku
9 o'clock PM 
saa tatu usiku
Midnight (12 o'clock AM) 
saa sita usiku

Duration

dakika_____ minute(s) 
saa (masaa)_____ hour(s) 
siku_____ day(s) 
wiki_____ week(s) 
mwezi (miezi)_____ month(s) 
mwaka (miaka)_____ year(s) 
duration ____ muda
how long ____ muda gani

Days

In Swahili, the first day of the week is Saturday. The name of Saturday combines juma (week) and mosi (one/first). You can think of it as meaning roughly "the first of the week". The other days are the same, with the exception of Thursday and Friday, which do not follow the pattern.

Saturday 
Jumamosi
Sunday 
Jumapili
Monday 
Jumatatu
Tuesday 
Jumanne
Wednesday 
Jumatano
Thursday 
Alhamisi
Friday 
Ijumaa

Months

Month 
mwezi

In Tanzania, the words in parentheses are rarely used. Instead, they refer to them as first month, second month, etc.

January 
Mwezi wa kwanza (Januari)
February 
Mwezi wa pili (Februari)
March 
Mwezi wa tatu (Machi)
April 
Mwezi wa nne (Aprili)
May 
Mwezi wa tano (Mei)
June 
Mwezi wa sita (Juni)
July 
Mwezi wa saba (Julai)
August 
Mwezi wa nane (Agosti)
September 
Mwezi wa tisa (Septemba)
October 
Mwezi wa kumi (Oktoba)
November 
Mwezi wa kumi na moja (Novemba)
December 
Mwezi wa kumi na mbili (Desemba)

Seasons

Swahili-speaking countries generally experience two seasons: rainy-and-hot and cold-and-dry. Swahili does not have words for "autumn" or "spring", etc.

Season 
majira
summer 
kiangazi
winter 
majira ya baridi
spring 
majira ya machipuko
fall  
majira ya majani kupukukika

Writing time and date

Colors

black 

-nyeusi

blue 

- kibuluu

brown 

- kahawia

colours 

rangi

gray 
kijivu
green 

- kijani

orange 

-machungwa

pink 

-waridi

purple 

-urujuani

red 

-nyekundu

white 

-nyeupe

yellow 

-njano

Transportation

Bus and train

Minibus (Kenya, Uganda) 
Matatu
Minibus (Tanzania) 
Daladala
Passenger 
Abiria
How much is a ticket to _____?

Tikiti ya kwenda ____ shengapi?

One ticket to _____, please. 

Naomba tikiti moja ya kwenda ____.

Where does this train/bus go? 

Treni/basi hii inakwenda wapi?

Does this train/bus stop in _____? 

Treni/basi itakwenda ____?

When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 

Treni/basi itaondoka lini?

When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 

Treni/basi itafika lini _____?

Directions

How do I get to _____ ? 
Je, ninakwenda ____
I want to go to ____ 
Ninataka kuenda ____
Which direction? 
Mwelekeo upi?
...the train station? 
Kituo/stesheni cha treni/gari la moshi
...the bus station? 
Kituo/stesheni cha basi
...the airport? 
Uwanja wa ndegi
...downtown? 
Mjini
Town center 
Katikati ya mjini
...the youth hostel? 
...the _____ hotel? 
Hoteli _____ iko wapi? (but 'hoteli' often refers to a place to eat, especially in Kenya)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
Embassy 
Ubalozi
Consulate 
Balozi ndogo (but probably better to ask for 'Ubalozi')
Where are there a lot of... 
...hotels? 
hoteli
...restaurants? 
migahawa (singular is 'mgahawa')
...bars? 
Baa (same in plural)
Club 
Kilabu
...sites to see? 
Can you show me on the map? 
Unaweza nionyesha katika ramani? (maps are not widely understood; street names and directions are less frequently used than local landmarks, which you need to learn for each area. Bus stations, bus stops, expensive hotels, monuments, and even some very unlikely items, constitute recognized landmarks)
Where is it on the map? 
Iko wapi katika ramani?
street 
Streeti
Highway 
Barabara
Turn left. 
Pinda kushoto
Turn right. 
Pinda kulia
left 
Kushoto
right 
Kulia
straight ahead 
Moja kwa moja
towards the _____ 
close to _____ 
Karibu na
past the _____ 
Baada ya ____/Pita ya _____
before the _____ 
Kabla ya ____
Watch for the _____. 
Angalia kwa ____
intersection 
north 
Kaskazini
south 
Kusini
east 
Mashariki
west 
Magharibi
uphill 
kwenye mlima
downhill 

Taxi

Taxi! 
Take me to _____, please. 

Nipeleke......, tafadhali

How much does it cost to get to _____? 

itakuwa pesa ngapi kunifikisha------?

Take me there, please. 

Tafadhali nipeleke huko basi:

Lodging

Do you have any rooms available? 
Je, unavyo vyumba?/Je, vyumba vipo?
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
Chumba cha mtu moja/watu wawili ni bei gani ?
Does the room come with... 
Self contained (with bathroom) 
Selfi contain
Not self contained (without bathroom) 
Non/not selfi contain
...bedsheets? 
Shuka
...a bathroom? 
Bath 
Bafu
Shower 
Showa/nyunyu/bafu ya manyunyu
...a telephone? 
Simu
...a TV? 
Runinga
May I see the room first? 
Naweza kukiona chumba kwanza?
Do you have anything quieter? 
Kuna nafasi kimya zaidi?
...bigger? 

kikubwa?

...cleaner? 

kisafi?

...cheaper? 

bei nafuu?

OK, I'll take it. 

Sawa basi, nitakichukua.

I will stay for _____ night(s). 

nitakitumia usiku-----.

Can you suggest another hotel? 
Do you have a safe? (...)
...lockers? 
Is breakfast/supper included?
What time is breakfast/supper? 
)
Please clean my room. 
Can you wake me at _____? 
I want to check out. 
Ninataka kuondoka.

Money

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
Do you accept British pounds? 
Do you accept credit cards? 
Can you change money for me? 
Unaweza kubadilia pesa mimi?
Where can I get money changed? 
Ninaweza kubadilisha pesa wapi?
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
What is the exchange rate? 
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 

Eating

A table for one person/two people, please. 
Meza kwa mtu moja/watu wawili, tafadhali.
We are two/three/four. 
Tuko wawili/watatu/wanne.
Can I look at the menu, please? 
Ninaweza kuangalia menu, tafadhali.
Can I look in the kitchen? 
Ninaweza kuona jikoni?
Is there a house specialty? 
Is there a local specialty? 
I'm a vegetarian. 
Mimi ni mla mboga
Vegetarian food 
Chakula mboga mboga
I don't eat pork. 
Sili nyama ya nguruwe/kiti moto (The latter is far more common)
I don't eat beef. 
Sili nyama ya n'gombe
I don't eat goat. 
Sili nyama ya mbuzi
I only eat kosher food. 
Ninakula chakula halali tu.
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
Punguza mafuta/siagi/
No bones. 
Bila mafupa
fixed-price meal 
a la carte 
breakfast 
kifungua kinywa / chakula cha asubuhi
lunch 
chakula cha mchana
Food  
Chakula
tea 
chai
supper 
chakula cha jioni
I want _____. 
Ninataka
I request _____. Naomba _____. (more polite than 'I want', especially in Tanzania)
I want a dish containing _____. 
Banana  
Ndizi
Goat  
Mbuzi
chicken 
Kuku
beef 
N'gombe
fish 
Samaki
ham 
sausage 
cheese 
Jibini
Egg/eggs 
Yai/Mayai
salad 
Saladi
(fresh) vegetables 
Mboga (singular), Maboga (plural)
Fresh 
freshi
(fresh) fruit 
Mtunda (singular), Matunda (plural)
bread 
Mkate
toast 
Tosti (but there is a brand of bread called 'Tosti' so you will also find a 'Toasted toast' entry on some menus!)
noodles/pasta 
Tambi (invariably, spaghetti unless you are in a specialist restaurant)
rice 
Wali (cooked rice), Mchele (uncooked) Mpunga (rice plant)
beans 
Maharage
May I have a glass of _____? 
Ninaomba glasi moja ya ____.
May I have a cup of _____? 
Ninaomba kikombe kimoja cha ____.
May I have a bottle of _____? 
Ninaomba chupa moja ya ____.
coffee 
Kahawa (this will usually be instant coffee. It's rare to find real coffee except in specialist establishments or those frequented by tourists)
tea (drink
Chai
spiced tea 
Chai ya masala (tea is often spiced with masala mix or ginger
Tea with milk 
Chai ya maziwa
Tea without milk 
Chai ya rangi (literally, 'tea with color')
juice 
juici
(bubbly) water 
water 
Maji
beer 
Pombe, Bia (Pombe often refers to a local brew and many of these are unsafe to drink. Better to ask for a beer by brand name or ask 'Bia gani ipo?', 'What beers do you have?'
red/white wine 
Mvinyo/wini nyekundu/nyeupi
May I have some _____? 
Ninaomba
salt 
Chumvi
black pepper 
pilipili manga
butter 
Siagi (But you are likely to get margarine, at best. You will probably need to ask for margarine by a brand name, such as 'Blue Band')
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
Samahani/ebu (the latter is less formal)
Excuse me, waiter? (to a waiter, 'Kaka', to a waitress, 'Dada')
I'm finished. 
Nimemaliza
It was delicious. 
Chakula ni kitamu
Please clear the plates. 
Uondoe masahani tafadhali
The check, please. 
Naomba bili, tafadhali

Bars

Do you serve alcohol? 
Pombe ipo?
Is there table service? 
A beer/two beers, please. 
Bia moja/mbili, tafadhali.
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
Glasi mvinyo/wini nyekundu/nyuepi, tafadhali
A pint, please. 
(Pint measure is not used in East Africa, bottles are usually half litre, sometimes 375ml. People order by the bottle and if there are two sizes, they say 'kubwa' for large or 'ndogo' for small.
A bottle, please. 
Chupa moja, tafadhali.
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
whiskey 
Whiskey
vodka 
Vodka
rum 
water 
Maji
club soda 
tonic water 
orange juice 
juici/maji ya machungwa
Coke (soda
Koka
Do you have any bar snacks? 
Snaki ipo?
One more, please. 
Moja nyingine,tafadhali
Another round, please. 
When is closing time? 
Saa ya kufunga ni lini?
Cheers! 
Maisha marefu

Shopping

Do you have this in my size? 
Kuna hii ya kunitosha?
How much is this? 
Bei gani?
That's too expensive. 
Ni Ghali Sana.
Would you take _____? 
Utakubali-----
expensive 
Ghali
cheap 
Rahisi
I can't afford it. 
Sina pesa za kutosha
I don't want it. 
Sitaki
You're cheating me. 
I'm not interested. 
OK, I'll take it. 
Sawa, nitachukua.
Can I have a bag? 
Nipe mfuko mmoja tafadhali.
Do you ship (overseas)? 
I need... 
Ninahitaji
...toothpaste. 
Dawa ya meno
...a toothbrush. 
Mswaki
...tampons. 
...soap. 
Sabuni
...shampoo. 
shampoo ya nywele
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
dawa ya kupambana na maumivu
...cold medicine. 
Dawa ya mafua
...stomach medicine. 
Dawa ya tumbo
...a razor. 
wembe
...an umbrella. 
Mwavuli
...sunblock lotion. 
...a postcard. 
...postage stamps. 
stempu
...batteries. 
makaa
...writing paper. 
Karatasi ya kuandika
...a pen. 
Kalamu
...English-language books. 
Kitabu cha Kiingereza (singular) / Vitabu vya Kiingereza (plural)
...English-language magazines. 
...an English-language newspaper. 
Gazeti la Kiingereza
...an English-English dictionary. 
Kamusi ya Kiingereza

Driving

I want to rent a car. 
Ninataka kukodi gari.
Can I get insurance? 
Ninaweza kupata bima?
stop (on a street sign
Simama
one way 
yield 
no parking 
Hairuhusiwi kuegesha (parking not permitted)
speed limit 
Slow down 
Punguza mwendo
gas (petrol) station 
Stesheni/stesheni ya mafuta/stesheni ya mafuta ya gari
petrol 
Mafuta/mafuta ya gari
diesel 

Authority

I haven't done anything wrong. 
sijafanya kitu kibaya
It was a misunderstanding. 
Where are you taking me? 
Am I under arrest? 
Je, mimi chini ya kukamatwa?
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
nataka kuogea na wakili
Can I just pay a fine now? 

Country and territory names

United States 
Marekani
Canada 
Kanada
Mexico 
Meksiko
Brazil 
Brazil
United Kingdom 
Uingereza
Ireland 
Eire, Ayalandi
Russia 
Urusi
France 
Ufaransa
Netherlands 
Uholanzi
Germany 
Udachi, Ujerumani
Italy 
Italia


Kenya 
Kenya
Tanzania 
Tanzania
Zanzibar (Tanzanian Island) 
Unguja
Uganda 
Uganda
Democratic Republic of the Congo 
Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo
South Africa 
Afrika Kusini
Nigeria 
Nijeria
Ethiopia 
Uhabeshi
China 
Uchina
Japan 
Japani
Singapore 
Singapuri
South Korea 
Korea Kusini
India 
Uhundi
Israel 
Uyahudi
Australia 
Australia
New Zealand 
Nyuzilandi

On safari

cheetah  
duma
elephant 
tembo
giraffe  
twiga
hippo  
kiboko
lion  
simba
ostrich  
mbuni
snake  
nyoka
turtle  
warthog  
zebra  
punda milia
This is a usable phrasebook. It explains pronunciation and the bare essentials of travel communication. An adventurous person could use it to get by, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

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