Heri ya mwaka 2018!

Heri ya mwaka mpya wote, happy new year everyone!!

My 4th year running and am still going strong-despite the reduced number of posts and the going offline for almost half a year-poleni sana kwa hilo.

I’ll be back posting again at some point but in the meantime there’s plenty to be learnt with what’s already available so dig in.

Have a great year and many more ahead and lets continue ‘kulonga nami Kiswahili.’


Breaking Fast Swahili Style

Many cultures have different foods they prefer for their meals, eg. I got the shock of my life when I first started watching Asian dramas, movies etc and would see people having rice for breakfast… like really?!! It was such a foreign concept to me but of course now am very used to it.

Same thing for us in Tanzania and most of East Africa I think, when it comes to breakfast a huge percentage of people would have tea and bread (chai na mkate)-that’s like the basics. Others would have chapati, maandazi, vitumbua etc but they would always be accompanied with tea. Tea is such an important part of breakfast that usually the phrase ‘drinking tea’ is taken to mean having breakfast. For example if someone wants to ask you if you’ve had your breakfast they would usually say, umekunywa chai? (have you had tea?) Even if you had porridge or soup or whatever else for breakfast you’ll still answer, ndio nimekunywa chai (yes I’ve had tea).

A cultural note especially for foreigners, offering a guest tea without milk (chai ya rangi) is taken by most people as an insult, it’s like you are giving them low quality tea! In other cultures of course, especially in England where they just love their tea, people don’t feel offended at all and most hosts would ask how you take your tea, with or without milk but even if they give you without milk no one takes it personally. The whole idea behind why we put such importance on the type of tea is that milk to some may be hard to afford hence if someone offers you tea with milk (chai ya maziwa) that means you are important to them/they respect you.

So yeahs keep this in mind next time you offer someone tea, just have milk ready and then ask them how they like their tea and I can assure you most people would say with milk-it’s a status thing ha ha! We also make our tea very differently from our English counterparts who use tea bags. We prefer to actually cook it with plenty of viungo (spices) added to it-comes out oh so refreshing! But that’s another post for another day.

Breakfast today: vitumbua, karanga na chai-with milk of course!!)

Another batch bites the dust!

So I’ve been teaching a bunch of gentlemen from Estim Construction (my clients for a third consecutive year now), and we just finished the course the other day-see how happy they all are (to finally be rid of me I bet ha ha!)

It was a fun 3 months guys, hope you enjoyed it at least half as much as I did! See you around-asanteni na kwaherini!

Dar Ice Cream Masters!

So am starting this new segment rightly titled maakuli na mapochopocho which simply refers to mouth watering, finger licking food & desserts and where to get them. I love my food, I think I spend more money going to nice restaurants and places selling food than buying girly things like bags and shoes-ideal woman hey?!! 😉 🙂 I know there’s plenty of foodies out there so this is especially for us! As I live in Dar and hardly ever get to travel outside the city, I can only talk about places in Dar, sadly.

Dar is certainly not lacking as far as places to eat are concerned-ni mfuko wako tu! Fast food chains have recently also started opening branches here and I can see us soon becoming an obese nation he he! (touch wood).

Today I went to Sno-Cream in the city centre. Boy does this place have history! Apparently they’ve been in business for over 50 years-they are as old as Tanzania is in fact! Funny enough I always used to hear people talk about it growing up but it’s only today, decades later, that I finally went to check them out. The place is small and cosy and also has an outside seating area. They have all sorts of sweet goodies-sundaes, shakes, even juices and hot drinks like drinking chocolate. I certainly am no fan of sweet things-I prefer salty, fried stuff, but once in a while I do like to indulge my sweet cravings, and they did me justice. I randomly ordered a coffee shake-yummy, refreshing, made just right. Forgot to take a proof shot but took a few shots of the actual place instead. Many people have very fond memories of this place-as can be seen on the walls.


So, if you are feeling naughty and looking to indulge yourself, then do visit this place next time you are in Dar-calories be damned!

Have you been to Sno-Cream? When’s the first time you ever visited them and what’s your favourite thing to get? Do share in the comments section below, cheers!



LESSON #104: Je, wajua? (#13)

First of all, we are back and this time for good-yay!

Onto the lesson, as you may or may not know Swahili is mainly made up of Arabic vocabulary and also in small part vocabulary borrowed from other languages mainly English (the name of the language itself is Arabic, Sahil, meaning coast). But generally Swahili tends to borrow from numerous languages and that I have managed to prove over the years as I’ve been teaching students who speak different languages.

I knew a couple of words that were from other languages but the other day I was teaching a class about N class nouns (which as you may or may not know are mostly borrowed nouns i.e. from other languages). Funny thing is when I started listing common nouns my students kept telling me the meaning even before I asked and it turns out not only do we borrow lots of words from Arabic & English but Indian languages as well (mostly Gujarati).

Now here’s the thing, most English words can be ‘Swahilinized’ by adding an I at the end (as a suffix), this is usually done for words ending in a consonant, however if they end in a vowel then the ‘Swahilinization’ is slightly different. So if you are ever in a fix it’s ok (but not encouraged) to ‘Swahilinize’ whatever English word you need to use (all my students get really excited when I tell them this-lazy mode activated ha ha!)

So this is more of an FYI post, am gonna list a number of words that we have managed to borrow from other languages and if you happen to know of others please add them on the comment section. This list is by no means exhaustive and will probably get updated from time to time. Excuse the apparent ignorance but am just gonna classify all Indian origin languages under ‘Indian’ which I know is not a language but hopefully you get what I mean.


Bendera – flag 





Shule – school

Helacoin/s (although generally it just means money)


Motokaa motorcar

Koti coat











Bunduki gun, rifle

Memsabu – madam 

Dawa medicine 

Chupabottle/glass used to make bottles






Sandukutrunk, suitcase, box 




Sita, Saba, Tisasix, seven ,nine

By the way I like to give due credit so instead of sounding oh so knowledgeable (ha ha!) here’s a big list of more Swahili words of Arabic origin


Sorry Post: Website issues


So yeahs my host (is that what you call them?) one.com has been having issues this past week and as a result my little blog hasn’t been accessible for over a week now-bummer! They assure me it’s gonna be fixed soonest but after a week my faith in them is really starting a slow steady nosedive-am not the most patient person in the world but since I just renewed my subscription with them a couple of months ago apparently I’ve no choice but to wait!

Poleni sana and hopefully we’ll be back soon (all possible body parts crossed!)

Happy 4th anniversary to funlughaswahili-long live!!!

So the website’s been down this past couple of days and I was getting really antsy trying to get my host to sort me out. Well they did and just in time for our 4th anniversary too-yay!

Can’t believe it’s been 4 years already like where did the time go?!! I remember sitting on my bed in my sister’s house in Glasgow and having to tell her to shush it cuz I was about to record another audio lesson-using her laptop! She would laugh-as all good sisters are wont to do, and I would always tell her this is what am gonna for work from now on! Sure enough 4 years down the line and I am so chuffed that this little Swahili teaching blog has led to the creation of the biggest language service provider database in the region, Fun-Lugha, which has also become my full time job-well done me ha ha!

So am hoping to keep continuing doing this for the next many years and get more and more people learning my beautiful language that is Swahili.

Asanteni sana & please keep coming back to ‘longa nami Kiswahili’


Happy New Year 2017!

This is very very late but technically it’s still January so happy new year all!-Heri ya mwaka mpya!

I have been too busy for words since December (my Christmas vacation-to Zanzibar no less- is still on hold!) But yes I do hope everyone’s had a fabulous start to the year like I have had and I wish you all only the very best for 2017.

I should resume posting stuff soon but in the meantime you can make sure you master all that’s on here…lather, rinse, repeat!


Lesson #102 : Common Diseases in Swahili (Magonjwa)

Not a fancy, cheerful topic but somebody’s gotta do it so here goes:


Malaria- Malaria

Cancer- Saratani (breast: saratani ya matiti, prostate: saratani ya tezi dume, cervical: saratani ya mlango wa kizazi)

Fever- Homa

Yellow Fever- Homa ya manjano

Typhoid- Homa ya matumbo

Insanity- Kichaa/Wazimu

Epilepsy- Kifafa

Diabetes- Kisukari (sukari-sugar)

TB- Kifua kikuu

Cough- Kikohozi

Cholera- Kipindupindu

Diarrhoea- Kuhara/Kuendesha

Cold- Mafua

Vomiting- Kutapika


Tetanus- Pepopunda

Paralysis- Ugonjwa wa kupooza

Appendicitis- Kidoletumbo

Stomach Ulcers- Vidonda vya tumbo

Asthma- Pumu

Hypertension- Shinikizo la damu

Useful vocabulary:

Disease/Illness- Ugonjwa/Maradhi

Doctor- Daktari/Mganga

Patient- Mgonjwa

Hospital- Hospitali

Nurse- Nesi/Mwuguzi

Treat- Tibu

Syringe- Sindano

Pills- Dawa/Vidonge/Tembe

To be treated- Kutibiwa

To be admitted- Kulazwa

To get better- Kupata nafuu

To get cured- Kupona

To be ill- Kuumwa (kuumwa na tumbo, kuumwa na kichwa, kuumwa na miguu)

To take medication- Kumeza dawa