Useful Swahili phrases

A collection of useful phrases in Swahili, a Bantu language spoken in much of east Africa by about 140 million people.

Click on the English phrases to see them in many other languages.
Key to abbreviations: sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person), inf = informal 

EnglishkiSwahili (Swahili)
WelcomeKaribu (sg) Karibuni (pl)
HelloHabari (inf)
Hujambo (sg) Hamjambo (pl) Sijambo (reply)
How are you?Habari? Hujambo?
Habari yako?
Habari gani?
Fine thanks, and you?Nzuri / Sijambo
What's your name?Jina lako ni nani?
My name is ...Jina langu ni ...
Where are you from?Unatoka wapi?
I'm from ...Natoka ...
Pleased to meet youNafurahi kukuona / Nimefurahi kukutana nawe
Good morningHabari ya asubuhi
Good afternoonHabari ya mchana
Good eveningHabari ya jioni
Good nightUsiku mwema / Lala salama (sleep well)
GoodbyeKwaheri
Good luckKila la kheri!
Cheers/Good health!Maisha marefu! Afya! Vifijo!
Have a nice dayNakutakia siku njema!
Bon appetitUfurahie chakula chako (sg)
Furahieni chakula chenu (pl)
Bon voyageSafari njema!
I understandNaelewa
I don't understandSielewi 
Please speak more slowlyTafadhali sema polepole
Please write it downWaweza kuiandika?
Do you speak English?Unazungumza kiingereza?
Do you speak Swahili?>Unazungumza kiSwahili?
Yes, a littleNdiyo, kidogo tu
How do you say ... in Swahili?Unasemaje ... kwa Kiswahili?
Excuse meSamahani nipishe (to get past)
Samahani (to get attention or say sorry)
How much is this?Hii ni bei gani?
SorrySamahani
PleaseTafadhali
Thank youAsante
Asante sana (sg)
Asanteni (pl)
You're welcomeAsante kushukuru
No thanksLa asante
Where's the toilet?Choo kiko wapi?
This gentleman/lady will pay for everythingMtu huyu atalipia kila kitu
Would you like to dance with me?Tucheze ngoma? Utapenda kudansi?
I love youNinakupenda
Get well soonUgua pole
Help!Unasemaje ... kwa Kiswahili?
Fire!Moto!
Stop!Usifanye hivyo!
Call the police!Mwite polisi!
Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year
Krismasi Njema / Heri ya krismas
Heri ya mwaka mpya
Happy EasterHeri kwa sikukuu ya Pasaka
Happy BirthdayNakutakia mema kwa siku yako ya kuzaliwa!
Siku-kuo ya zaliwa njema! Furaha Ya Siku Ya Kuza Liwa!
My hovercraft is full of eels
Why this phrase?
Gari langu linaloangama limejaa na mikunga
One language is never enoughLugha moja haitoshi     



Corrections, recordings and some translations by Ylanne Sorrows and Rushomesa Remigius
If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.

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