Favorite Swahili Phrases You Should Learn!

Favorite Swahili Phrases You Should Learn!

A Collection of 40 Wise Swahili Phrases and Sayings

The Zanzibari people speak Swahili, an East African Bantu language. Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, and the DRC are nations where this language is spoken. Swahili has a lot of basic Swahili phrases inspired from people speaking the language, between 2 and 15 million. 

Swahili Phrases Tanzania Has That are a Must Know

Twelve of Tanzania’s most beautiful Swahili phrases as well as useful phrases in Swahili proverbs are featured in this collection of common Swahili phrases. Kiswahili lingo ties Tanzanians. There are many borrowed Swahili common phrases and words from Arabic to Persian and Portuguese, Hindi, English, and German in this Bantu language.

Common Phrases in Swahili

The key Swahili phrases are divided into multiple categories such as: The famous Swahili phrases, the funny Swahili phrases, Swahili phrases about life, romantic Swahili phrases, Inspirational phrases in Swahili, etc. Tourists can learn Swahili by visiting the lion guard Swahili phrases website where tourists can download  Swahili phrases pdf documents or even a Swahili phrases audio, per the needs. 

Famous Swahili Phrases

Swahili is the most widely spoken language in East Africa, and is also an official language of Tanzania and Kenya. It is a Bantu language, with roots in both Arabic and Portuguese.

Swahili phrases are often poetic and expressive, and can be quite poetic. Here are some popular tanzania swahili phrases to get you started:

Love Phrases in Swahili

When it comes to expressing love, there are few languages that can rival the beauty and romance of romantic Swahili Phrases.

Swahili love phrases are some of the most beautiful and poetic in the world. If you’re looking to impress your special someone with some romantic words, then learning a few Swahili to english phrase translation is a great place to start.

Here are some of the most popular Swahili romantic phrases to help you get started:

Swahili phrases I love you – Nakupenda

I’m in love with you – Naku penda

You’re my everything – Wewe ni kwangu kote

I can’t live without you – Sijali kuwa na wewe

You’re the light of my life – Wewe ni kiboko kwangu

Sheng Swahili Phrases in Kenya

Sheng Swahili Phrases in Kenya
Sheng Swahili Phrases in Kenya

Sheng is a dialect of Swahili spoken in Kenya. It is a mixture of Swahili basic phrases and English, with a little bit of local languages thrown in. The name “sheng” comes from the word for “street” in Luo. Sheng is spoken by people of all ages, but is most commonly used by young people. It is used as a lingua franca in Kenya’s urban areas, and is also used in music and popular culture.

There are no set rules for how to speak sheng, but there are some common features. For example, sheng speakers often use English words when they can’t think of the equivalent cool Swahili phrases, and they often use made-up words or english to swahili phrases.

Is It Easy to Learn Swahili Phrases

Swahili conversation phrases are said to bethe easiest among all east african countries to grasp. The basic swahili words and phrases are useful in day to day communication. For instance, It is not unusual to come across wise and inspirational swahili phrases written on famous buildings, restaurants or even “kanga” which is a type of clothing worn around the waist by women in east africa. 

Visitors to East Africa often come across swahili travel phrases, which are also known as popular swahili phrases. They are largely used across the region thus easy to grasp and remember. For instance, swahili phrases like hakuna matata are widely known and were even featured in the famous movie- The Lion King. “Hakuna matata” is a swahili phrase meaning no worries.

Tourists can translate Swahili to English phrases using translation apps such as google translate. For instance, the name kwanzaa comes from a swahili phrase meaning what is the first fruit, swahili phrase meaning no worries wsj crossword can be translated into “hakuna matata”.

Wise Swahili Phrases and Sayings 

  1. “Adui wa mtu, ni mtu.”

“Man’s adversary is man.”

  1. “Afya ni bora kuliko mali.”

Health is preferable to possessions.

  1. “Ahadi ni deni .”

“A promise is an obligation.”

  1. “Akili ni mali.”

“Being knowledgeable is wealthiness.”

  1. “Akili nyingi huondoa maarifa.”

“An excess of ideas suffocates wisdom.”

  1. “Baada ya dhiki faraja.”

“Following adversity, there is relief.”

  1. “Bilisi wa mtu ni mtu.”

“A man’s wicked spirit is himself.”

  1. “Chema chajiuza, kibaya chajitembeza.”

“Profitable things sell, and Unprovitable once advertise.”

  1. “Daima bidii, kamba hukata jiwe.”

“Persistence in the face of adversity, and rope cuts through stone.”

  1. “Dalili ya mvua mawingu.”

“Hovering cloudiness is an indication of impending rainfall.”

  1. “Damu nzito kuliko maji.”

Indeed, blood is more viscous than water.

  1. “Debe tupu haliachi kuvuma.”

“The loudest noise is made by an empty pot.”

  1. “Elfu huanzia moja.”

“One begins a thousand.”

  1. “Elimu haina mwisho.”

Education never comes to an ending.

  1. “Haba na haba hujaza kibaba”

“Little fills the measure gradually.”

  1. “Hapana marefu yasio na mwisho

“Never a thing as an infinite distance exists.”

  1. “Heri kuliko kufa moyo kuliko kufa macho

“It is preferable to lose one’s eyes than one’s heart.”

  1. “Heri kujikwa kidole kuliko ulimi.”

“It is preferable stumbling with one’s toe than with one’s tongue.”

  1. “Hiari ya shinda utumwa.”

“Voluntary action is preferable to coercion.”

  1. “Jina jema hungara gizani.”

“In the dark, a good name shines.”

  1. “Jitihadi haiondoi kudura.”

“Effort cannot be a substitute for faith.”

  1. “Kila chombo kwa wimblile.”

“Each ship has its own set of waves.”

  1. “Kinywa ni jumba la maneno.”

“Words have their home in the mouth.”

  1. “Kuishi kwingi ni kuona mengi.”

“To live a long life entails seeing a great deal.”

  1. “Kupoteya njia ndiyo kujua njia.”

“To get disoriented is to discover the path.”

  1. “Kutoa ni moyo usambe ni utajiri.”

Generosity is a heart matter, not a financial one.

  1. “Lipitalo, hupishwa.”

“Nothing happens by chance.”

  1. “Majumba makubwa husitiri mambo.”

“Large mansions conceal a great deal.”

  1. “Mchezea zuri, baya humfika.”

“Whoever ridicules the good, evil will overcome him.”

  1. “Mchimba kisima hungia mwenyewe.”

“He who digs a hole will eventually fall into it.”

  1. “Mfuata nyuki hakosi asali.”

“A beekeeper will never be without honey.”

  1. “Msema pweke hakosi.”

“One who converses with oneself cannot be mistaken.”

  1. “Mwamini Mungu si mtovu.”

“Whoever trusts in God has nothing to lack.”

  1. “Mwekaji kisasi haambiwi mwerevu.”

“He who seeks vengeance is not referred to be wise.”

  1. “Paka akiondoka, panya hutawala.”

“When the cat departs, the mice take over.”

  1. “Si kila mwenye makucha huwa simba.”

“Everyone with claws isn’t a lion.”

  1. “Taratibu ndiyo mwendo.”

“Walking slowly is undoubtedly the prudent course of action.”

  1. “Ukupigao ndio ukufunzao.”

“When you are beaten, you are indeed taught a lesson.”

  1. “Umoja ni nguvu.”

“Strength comes from unity.”

  1. “Wapingapo fahali wawili, ziumiazo ni nyasi.”

“The grass suffers when two bulls battle.”

Swahili Phrases for Beginners

Kiswahili is spoken just as it’s penned. The penultimate syllable is nearly always stressed when an apostrophe foregoes a vowel, for instance: ng’ombe; cattle, it is emphasized, almost as if it were a gasp.

The proficiency to sprinkle useful Swahili phrases and proverbs (methali) across dialogue is likewise highly regarded in Tanzania, as it is throughout Africa. Pithier Tanzania swahili phrases or sayings even make their way onto women’s kangas, where they are used to communicate thoughts that would be considered taboo if stated aloud.

Several of our Favorite Swahili Phrases are Included in This Rough Guide Below:

  1. “Kila ndege huruka na mbawa zake.”

“Each bird has its own set of wings.”

2. “haraka haraka haina baraka.”

“Hurrying has no gain.”

3. “Atangaye na jua hujuwa.”

“He who spends a great deal of time wandering around during the day learns significantly.

4. “Moyo wa kupenda hauna subira.”

A heart infatuated with love lacks patience.

5. “Fadhila ya punda ni mateke.”

A donkey’s gratitude is endearing.

6. “Heri kufa macho kuliko kufa moyo.”

It is preferable to lose one’s eyes than one’s heart.

7. “Asifuye mvuwa imemnyea.”

“He who extols the virtues of rainfall has rained on.”

8. “Asisa firie nyota ya mwenzio.”

“Never set sail with another person’s star.”

9. “Fumbo mfumbe mjinga mwerevu huligangua.”

Give an idiot a riddle; it will be solved by the intelligent.

10. “Penye nia ipo njia.”

“There is a path where there is a will.”

11. Ukipenda boga penda na ua lake.

If you adore a pumpkin, you will also adore its bloom.

12. “Mwenye pupa hadiriki kula tamu.”

“Hasty individuals overlook the lovely.”

13. “Heri kujikwa kidole kuliko ulimi.”

“It is preferable stumbling with one’s toe than with one’s tongue.”

14. “Kizuri chajiuza kibaya chajitembeza.”

“A good product sells itself, but a lousy product advertises itself.”

Basic Phrases in Swahili Greetings

For tourists who are planning to travel to Tanzania, or any other East African country, it is important to learn some basic Swahili greetings and phrases. Swahili is the most widely spoken language in East Africa, and even if you don’t speak it fluently, making an effort to learn some simple swahili phrases will show your respect for the local culture. One of the most widely known phrases is the swahili phrase no worries.

In addition, learning some Swahili words and phrases will help you to communicate with the locals and make your trip more enjoyable. Tanzania is a beautiful country with friendly people, and being able to communicate with them in their own language will make your experience even richer.

Here are some commonly used english to swahili phrase translation on  Greetings and Swahili language phrases that will come in handy during your travels:

Jambo – Hello

Habari – How are you?

Nzuri – I’m fine

Asante – Thank you

Tafadhali – Please


The basic Swahili Phrases pdf guide to Tanzania also has additional information about Tanzania. Research tours, compare flights, reserve hostels and accommodations for your trip, and don’t forget to obtain travel insurance before departure.

For more articles related to Tanzania Swahili language click here!

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