Swahili Volunteer Programs

Swahili Language


Swahili Language Swahili is a typical trade language; you will find a mixture of Arab, Bantu and English words in it. The pronunciation is phonetic, that makes it easier to speak.

Many words have just been taken from another language and have been given a Swahili sound to it. For example Dereva meaning Driver, Gari meaning Car, Manispa meaning Municipal etc. There are not so many irregularities in the language but if anybody tells you that Swahili is an easy language DO NOT BELIEVE IT!! There are many ways to say the same thing and a word can have many meanings.

If you want to study Swahili you can do so on Zanzibar at the Taasisi School for Languages, the official name is SUZA but here everybody still calls it Taasisi. You can hire a private teacher or you can do a course. A good website to help you is the Kamusi Project http://www.yale.edu/swahili/ with a dictionary and a learning guide.

If you just want to be able to communicate a little bit than these following words may help you: Greeting Greetings in Africa are very important and should not be rushed. The Tourist way to greet is Jambo but it is not good Swahili. The proper way to greet is: Hujambo answer Sijambo (it means do you have any problems and the answer is I don’t have any problems)

For many people the question is Hamjambo and the answer should be Hatujambo.

Then the long questions start: How is your morning/afternoon/evening? Habari za Asubuhi/Jioni/Usiku.

How is your day? Habari za Leo How is your trip? Habari ya safari? How is home? Habari za nyumbani? And so on and so on. (Family, land, health, children, business, works etc.)

Habari means what is the news of. And the answer is “Nzuri” (Good).

If things are particularly good, then the answer might be “Nzuri sana” (Very good). So remember Habari za….Nzuri!

The formal greeting is Shikamoo to one person and the answer should be Marahaba.

It is very impolite not to answer a Shikamoo. To a group you will say Shikamoni, the answer is Marahaba. The “Cool”way of greeting is also very important: Mambo? / Mambo vipi? Means Hey, what’s up! You can answer in three different ways:

1. Poa! (Cool)

2. Freshi! (Fresh)

3. Bomba! (Fantastic)

Some other important words: Asante (sana) – Thanks (very much), plural is Asanteni Karibu – You are welcome, plural is Karibuni Kwaheri – Bye,plural is Kwaherini Lala salamaGoodnight,

Pole Pole – Take it Easy, Hakuna Matata – No problems,

Nakupenda – I love you.Sikupendi – I don’t love you.

Ninapenda (or Napenda) – I like it Sipendi – I don’t like it

Ninataka (or nataka) – I want

Sitaki – I don’t want

Introducing yourself :The Easiest way is: Mimi ni Peter, na wewe? I am Peter and you?

A nicer way is: Gina lako Nani? What is your name? Gina langu ni Peter? My name is Peter.

Unatoka wapi? Where do you come from? Ninatoka ulaya. I come from Europe.

Ordering a drink There are different ways of ordering:

1.Naomba coke moja (tafadhali) I am asking for a coke (please) 2.Lete chai rangi – bring black tea.

Nataka kulipa – I want to pay

Bei gani? – How much is it?

To get the waiters attention says: Samahani (excuse me)

Buying things Bei Gani? What is the price? Elfu tatu – three thousand

Swahili Courses


Beginner Courses

We divided the beginner course into three levels: COURSE CODE: KBL – 11 COURSE TITLE: Kiswahili Beginner Low In this level we provide basic instruction on how to greet people at different times and at different levels of social status, preparing students for simple conversations in an authentic manner.

In addition to that we offer other basic language skills such as speaking, writing, listening and reading; within those areas, grammar is introduced throughout. COURSE CODE: KBM – 12 COURSE TITLE: Kiswahili Beginner Mid At the level of Beginner Mid we integrate the student with Swahili culture and values.

We direct the student to use the language in real situations so that the student builds self-confidence in using the language in a variety of different contexts. COURSE CODE: KBH – 13 COURSE TITLE: Kiswahili Beginner High At this level we develop the student’s communicative writing skills.

We encourage the student to be independent by participating in conversations with a variety of Swahili speakers and interacting with people in different contexts. Need more info about Swahili courses? Please call us now or follow us on facebook or Skype to book your special course and save up to 20% Bonus for your next Visit to Zanzibar Islands.

Intermediate Courses
We divided the Intermediate Course into three levels:
COURSE CODE: KIL – 20COURSE TITLE: Kiswahili Intermediate Low
At the intermediate level, the course is designed for the student to learn language through the environment, and to learn grammar through context. Also, content is integrated with the language. This level provides various reading, listening and writing skills to those who have a fair amount of knowledge of the language. This will help the students to immerse the Swahili language community.
COURSE CODE: KIM – 21COURSE TITLE: Kiswahili Intermediate Mid
At this level, we design the course to engage the student in functional usage of the language for meaningful purpose, developing appropriate strategies for initiating conversation, giving and receiving directions, asking and responding, reading passages and enabling him/her to give simple opinions.
COURSE CODE: KIH – 22COURSE TITLE: Kiswahili Intermediate High
In this level, our focus is to engage the student in full participation in academic, social and work contexts in Swahili. It is designed to enable the student to evaluate ideas and responses.
Need more info about Swahili courses? Please call us now or follow us on facebook or Skype to book your special course and save up to 20% Bonus for your next Visit to Zanzibar Islands.

Advanced Courses
We divided the Advanced Course into two levels:
COURSE CODE: KAL – 30COURSE TITLE: Kiswahili Advanced Low
At this level we develop listening skills. Through different books, this level is designed for the student to expand vocabulary and to evaluate and analyze the Swahili language in different situations and purposes.
COURSE CODE: KAH – 31COURSE TITLE: Kiswahili Advanced High
This level is designed according to the needs of the student. We direct the student to identify the main ideas, discuss and present them through Swahili language.
COURSE CODE: KLT – 40COURSE TITLE: Kiswahili Literature
This course is designed for the student who qualifies for the Advanced Course. We provide different literature books to the student so that he/she can analyze Swahili literature.
COURSE CODE: KFR – 50COURSE TITLE: Kiswahili For Research
This course provides an opportunity to use the language for official purposes, research, training, participation in meetings and translations.
This course enables students to undertake research in Kiswahili literature, traditions and culture of the Swahili people in East Africa, together with historical and comparative studies of Kiswahili. This course will help the student communicate effectively with people from different culture, traditions, custom and values.
COURSE CODE: KFT – 11COURSE TITLE: Kiswahili For Tourists
This is only a one-week course that is provided for tourists who visits the Zanzibar islands just for few days. It is intended to help them to communication with local people. We provide the basic language needed for greetings, buying, bargaining and asking directions.
Need more info about Swahili courses? Please call us now or follow us on facebook or Skype to book your special course and save up to 20% Bonus for your next Visit to Zanzibar Islands.