LESSON 46: Learn Swahili vocabulary with pictures #9

uwanja wa taifa

Words to learn:

  • Uwanja wa mpira wa miguu (nyanja za mpira wa miguu)- football stadium
  • Mpira wa miguufootball
  • Mpira (mipira)- ball
  • Wachezaji (mchezaji)- players
  • Watazamaji (mtazamaji)- spectators
  • Kocha- coach
  • Michezo (mchezo)– sports
  • Matokeo– results
  • Magoli (goli)– goals
  • Golikipa– goalkeeper

LESSON #45: Hadithi, Hadithi…#2 (Kisima cha Kwanza)

So I came across this animated story on youtube and figured I’d ‘borrow’ it and teach some vocabulary. (I do not own any of this material, all rights belong to BookBox).

Words to learn: Read More

LESSON #44: Vowels (Vokali)

Swahili vowels (vokali) are similar to the ones found in the English alphabet but the big difference comes with the pronunciation. As you may know the 5 vowels in English have multiple ways of pronouncing them depending on a number of things like the letter found before or after them. eg. Man vs Make, Egg vs England, Indiana vs Iris, Post vs Cost, Unity vs Undo…….etc, you get the point. In the case of the Swahili language, the five vowels have just one way of pronouncing them (one sound) no matter where they are placed in a word.

So let’s learn how to pronounce these vowels using the following easy to understand examples:

a= Afrika, Alive, Sad, Alice, Clap, Among……..

e= Elephant, Beg, Envision, Bled, Egg……………

i= Ink, Pig, Immature, Cringe, Intel……………

o= Or, Cost, Lot, Pot, Dot…………

u= Push, Rude, Full……………

Now armed with that knowledge try saying these simple Swahili words, break a leg!

  • Pika [cook]                      
  • Kula [eat]
  • Gari [car]
  • Chai [tea]
  • Fanana [resemble]
  • Nunua [buy]
  • Uza [sell]
  • Pakia [load (v)]
  • Leta [bring]
  • Rudi [return]
  • Elewa [understand]
  • Awali [initially]
  • Ogopa [fear (v)]
  • Ita [call]
  • Uhuru [freedom]


A certain Mr Daniel Brown was kind enough to give us his 2 cents regarding this guide and I much appreciate it. The email below is self explanatory so just have a look and also head on to the very informative page via the provided link.  Many thanks to Mr Brown and I’ll be looking forward to more useful advice, corrections etc from students and experts alike in future-we can only improve.

I humbly ask that you please consider taking another look at the words used as examples for pronunciation LESSON #44: Vowels (Vokali)!

**When those words are spoken by an East African or a native speaker of Spanish, the vowel sounds would sound relatively correct.
However, the vowel sounds in the words given – when spoken by an American or someone else whose pronunciation of English vowels is different from East African pronunciation, the pronunciation would be completely incorrect or at least confusing. For the sound of “a” you offer the following:” a= Afrika, Alive, Sad, Alice, Clap, Among”.
Words such as “far, car or bar would be much better for the Swahili pronunciation of “a”.

There are similar problems with the words used for the other vowels.
The pronunciation guide found at: (http://kamusi.org/content/swahili-pronunciation-guide) is much better. Your guide causes confusion for the new lerner.

AY’s Mademu Watafutaji

An old tune from a couple of years back. Love it to bits cuz the guy is actually giving a shout out to ladies that hustle, ones that don’t wait to be taken care of. Hustling is the new sexy methinks, right up my street that message is 😉 (and RIP to Langa, Bongo Flava just went and lost yet another power lyricist- Mbele Yako Nyuma Yetu…)

Lady Jay Dee’s ‘Siku Hazigandi’

This is undoubtedly Tanzania’s top female singer and one of East Afrika’s finest-makes me proud to be associated! ‘Siku Hazigandi’ roughly means days (or life in general) does not remain stagnant as in it keeps moving. So basically whatever haters say about her it will all pass eventually-cool message! And RIP to Albert Mangwair, Tanzania’s finest rapper, lala kwa Amani kaka…

LESSON 43: Ipi ni ipi?…#6

Word to learn: Uma

Click on the link below to learn the different definitions of the above word…

EPISODE 38: Ipi ni ipi…#6.

(So yeahs our ‘which is which’ segment has been renamed to ‘ipi ni ipi’ which is simply its Swahili translation…)