Swahili Anyone?

I just wanted to share this latest great find with you!

As many of you may already know, Swahili is the main native language spoken in Tanzania. Many clients express a desire to learn a few fun words and phrases in Swahili ahead of time.

There are many basic Swahili-English two-way dictionaries on the market. But most of them contain only the spelling of the Swahili translation, which is fine for spelling the words correctly but can still be difficult to pronounce the words, especially if you’ve never heard them spoken in Swahili before.

We finally found such a book that ALSO contains the PHONETIC spelling, so actually teaches you how to SAY the word, not just spell it!  And a cute travel-size to boot!  Dimensions are a mere 5.6 x 3.7 x 0.5 inches, and it weighs in at only 5 oz!  So it might be teenie-tiny in size, but it’s big on information!

It’s published by Lonely Planet.  But beware, Lonely Planet makes more than one version, and most of them do not contain the ‘phonetic spelling’.  So be sure to pick up the correct one!

For example, “Hello” in Swahili is “Habari”.  This is pronounced “ha-ba-ree”

“Thank you” is “Asante.”  This is pronounced “a-san-tay”

“Goodbye” is “Tutaonana.”  This is pronounced “too-ta-oh-na-na”

Again, the title of the book is simply “Swahili” by Lonely Planet Phrasebooks and Dr. Martin Benjamin (4th Edition, July 2008)

Look for it at your local bookstore or purchase online at Amazon.com: Swahili – Lonely Planet Phrasebook 

3 Responses to Swahili Anyone?

  1. Dave Krohn says:

    Learning Kiswahili was quite easy. After 3 weeks on safari, Amy and I were able to have basic Kiswahili conversations without using English. The last day, at the My. Meru hotel, we almost never spoke English. The trick – just start speaking Kiswahili as best you can, to the staff at the lodge or camp where you are staying. We found that it took a little time for them to see it was proper to correct us and then EVERYONE on the staff got into the fun. We got hundreds of words thrown at us each day and a lot of help. We enjoyed it and I think the staff almost had more fun than we did.

    One evening, Jessica at Buffalo Lodge and our guide Reggie got into a demo conversation for our benefit. She loved it when we used our new words.

    Just dont be afraid of ego or being corrected.

  2. Bill says:

    Thank you Dawn for posting this, we received it last week, Irene has been in it a lot since then, I’ll have time once we’re up in the air.
    Thanks for the advise Dave, we will put it into action starting this weekend when we arrive at Mt Meru Hotel & then Buffalo Springs, thanks for the word of encouragement.
    Asante Sana

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