Translation Challenge #4…(eng-swa)

“Last night I had a strange dream. In it, I was being strangled by an unknown person. I tried to scream and ask for help but no sound would come out. As I started losing consciousness , I faintly heard mom’s voice calling me. I tried hard to respond but couldn’t………..then I suddenly woke up!”

you may find these helpful: Read More

LESSON #63: Je, wajua? (#8)


You must be familiar with the popular family game, ‘jenga’ as in the tumbling blocks. Funny enough I had my first taste of the game today as that’s how I spent my afternoon, playing solo as usual- story of my life!

But the point of today’s ‘je wajua’ is, did u know ‘jenga’ is a Swahili word? It basically means Read More


In Swahili, we tend to gloss over those crude, ‘unsayables’ and use socially acceptable words in their stead. This we do especially when addressing elders, superiors or generally people that we are not very familiar with.

Below is the short list I could come up with at 3 in the morning, so hopefully when my head’s cleared up I’ll add onto it! Feel free to suggest to me any other polite forms you may have heard of and let’s educate each other. Read More

Translation challenge #3… (swa-eng)

“Mpenzi mama,

Natumaini wewe ni mzima wa afya, mimi pia ni mzima kabisa.

Dhumuni la barua hii ni kukujulia hali kwa kuwa muda mrefu umepita toka tulipowasiliana. Mbali na kukujulia hali, ningependa kukutaarifu kuwa nitapata likizo mwisho wa mwezi ujao ambapo Read More

Je, umelewa, umeelewa au umeolewa?

Got you good didn’t I?!

So that’s 3 totally different verbs that for your sake I pray you never get  mixed up, otherwise- trouble!

Kulewa‘ is what happens when you have had one too many! So for me who only sticks to the juices and the fantas (and the teas!) my answer to the above question will always be, “hapana, sijalewa”.

Kuelewa‘ is simlpy Read More

Translation challenge #2…(swa-eng)

“Jina langu ni Saida, nina umri wa miaka ishirini na mitatu. Ninaishi katika nchi ya Misri jijini Cairo ambapo ndipo nimezaliwa na kukulia. Natokea kwenye familia ya watoto wanne na mimi ndiye kitinda mimba. Nina dada wawili na Read More