LESSON #73: English names translated (Majina kwa Kiswahili)

So I was teaching someone today and we came upon the name David and I said “by the way that’s Daudi in Swahili.” Then I had this brilliant idea to teach you the Swahili versions of some common English names. I feel like am cheating cuz most (if not all) of the names am gonna list come from the Bible. And since I grew up reading the Swahili Bible….yeahs piece of cake! Am no name expert but I can pretty much tell you how we’d say your name in these parts even if it doesn’t have its Swahili equivalent. So ask on. (For instance my other name is Elise but most people call me Elisi- how I cringe!)

Onto the list: (grab ur dusty Bibles!)

Adam- Adamu

Eve- Hawa/Eva

Noah- Nuhu

Ruth- Ruthu

Joseph- Yusufu

Jacob- Yakobo

Samuel- Samweli

Esther- Esta

Job- Ayubu

Isaiah- Isaya

Jeremiah- Yeremia

Ezekiel- Ezekieli

Daniel- Danieli

Joel- Yoeli

Amos- Amosi

Jonah- Yona

Peter- Petro

James- Yakobo

Thomas- Tomaso

Matthew- Matayo

Mark- Marko

Luke- Luka

John- Yohana

Timothy- Timotheo

Titus- Tito

Micah- Mika

Zachary- Zekaria

Philip- Filipo

Joshua- Yoshua

Mary- Maria

Mariam- Mariamu

Anne- Ana

I do admit some names are quite ancient but am pretty sure atleast one person is named or knows someone (dead or alive that is!) with at least one of these names. Found your name on the list? You can now go ahead and proudly start using it- don’t be shy!

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6 Responses to LESSON #73: English names translated (Majina kwa Kiswahili)

  1. Moses says:

    My name is Moses and I know that the swahili version of my name is Musa or Moussa. But I doubt that the swahiliversion of James is Yakobo. After all you have already said, correctly that Yakobo is the swahili version of Jacob, and James is not the same name as Jacob, or is it. I suspect, but am not sure, that the swahili version of James is Hamisi of Khamisi. My suspicion arises from the fact that the latin version of James is Hames.

  2. Moses says:

    According to Wikipaedia, Hamish is a masculine given name in English. It is the Anglicised form of the vocative case of the Scottish Gaelic Seumas: Sheumais. The Scottish Gaelic Seumas is the equivalent to the English James.

  3. fun~lugha says:

    You make an excellent case there and of cuz it all makes sense, but am just going by what the Bible tells me-James in the Swahili version is always referred to as Yakobo. But if you can prove to me otherwise, am sure many of us will be grateful. Thanks for dropping by!

  4. fun~lugha says:

    Thanks, am no expert on names but I think if anyone could solve this James-Yakobo mystery, ur our man!

  5. James says:

    James & Jacob come from the same root: the Latin word iacobus or iacomus. So are the names Jaymes, Jay, Jemy, Jacklyn…in English. They have hundreds translations in various languages around the world. So YAKOBO in Swahili is the correct translation for James. By the way, Swahili is my 1st Language, my mother tongue. Please follow the link: http://www.behindthename.com/name/james

  6. fun~lugha says:

    Thank you James, very informative

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