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MIAS Logo      Maryknoll Institute of African Studies      MIAS Logo

East African Student Handbook

MARYKNOLL INSTITUTE OF AFRICAN STUDIES
OF SAINT MARY'S UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
AND TANGAZA UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, NAIROBI

 

EAST AFRICAN

STUDENT HANDBOOK


INDEX 


ADDENDUM II

A TASTE OF THE LANGUAGE

Almost any village or shop in Kenya will have someone who speaks English, but you will endear yourself to the local people and get a better taste of the culture if you make even a token effort to speak Kiswahili, at least the greetings.

The following are a few helpful phrases in Kiswahili you should know:

General:

Around Nairobi:

Habari gani?

What is the news?

Wapi

where (is . . )

Nzuri

Good

Posta

post office

Si nzuri

(Things are) not good

Posta iko wapi?

Where is the post office?

Habari za asubuhi

News of the morning

soko

market

Habari za mchana

News of the afternoon

mtaa

street

Habari za jioni

News of the evening

barabara

road

Habari njema

The news is fine

njia

path

Sina

I don't have (it / any)

mbele

ahead

Sina pesa

I do not have money

kulia

to the right

Hapana

No

kushoto

to the left

Ndiyo

Yes

Kanisa

Church

Sisemi Kiswahili

I do not speak Kiswahili

sinema

movie house

Pole

Take it easy

basi

bus

Unataka . . ?

Do you want . . ?

matatu

minibus

Unataka chai?

Do you want tea?

duka

small store

Mwislamu

Moslem

kituo cha basi

bus stop

Mkristu

Christian

-

-

Mwafrika

African

In a Restaurant:

Moja

One

hoteli

hotel/restaurant

Mbili

Two

nataka

I want

Tatu

Three

nataka chakula

I want food

Nne

Four

pombe

beer

Tano

Five

maziwa

milk

Sita

Six

chai

tea

Saba

Seven

kahawa

coffee

Nane

Eight

sukari

sugar

Tisa

Nine

mkate

bread

Kumi

Ten

mchuzi

soup/gravy

Tafadhali

Please

samaki

fish

Samahani

Excuse me

kuku

chicken

Asante

Thank you

salad

salad

Karibu

Welcome

nyama

meat

Mzee

Elder/gentleman

mayai

eggs

Mama

Mother

-

-

Msichana

Girl

Time:

Ndugu

Brother/friend

saa ngapi

What time is it?

Bwana

Mr/Sir

saa tatu

9:00 a.m. (third hour)

Bibi

Mrs/Madame

saa sita

noon

Ngoja kidogo

Wait a minute

asubuhi

morning

Jina lako ni nani?

What is your name

jioni

evening

Ninakwenda

I am going

usiku

night

Nyumba

House

leo

today

Ninakwenda nyumbani

I am going home

kesho

tomorrow

Toka

Get away! Go!

jana

yesterday

basi

enough! stop it!

juma pili

Sunday (2nd day)

kwaheri

goodbye

juma mosi

Saturday(1st day)

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