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Swahili vocabulary words

abdomen (pl. guts, entrails)


tumbo / matumbo

absolutely, totally
kabisa

aeroplane
ndege Ulaya

after
baada ya

again, besides, furthermore


tena

ahead, forward
mbele

all, the whole


-ote

alone, by oneself
peke y-

also, too
pia

and
na

animal

mnyama / wanyama

asphalt, tarmac
lami

aunt
shangazi

bad
-baya

bag, pocket
m**o / mi**o

banana
ndizi

bank
benki / benki

basket
kikapu / vikapu

because (1)
kwa sababu

because (2)
kwa kuwa

because (3)
kwa maana

bed
kitanda / vitanda

before
kabla ya

bell
kengele

between, in the midst of


kati ya

bird
ndege

birthday
sikukuu ya kuzaliwa

blessing
baraka

blood
damu

board
ubao / mbao

body
mwili / miili

book
kitabu / vitabu

boy
mvulana / wavulana

bread

mkate / mikate

bridge
daraja / madaraja

brother
kaka

brother, any sibling


ndugu

bus
basi / mabasi

but, however
lakini

calculation, arithmetic
hesabu

capital
mji mkuu / miji mikuu

car
motokaa

carpenter
seremala

center
kati

center, in the middle


katikati

center, station
kituo / vituo

chair
kiti / viti

chicken
kuku / kuku

child
mtoto / watoto

Christian
Mkristo / wakristo

Christianity
Ukristo

church
kanisa / makanisa

city, town
mji / miji

clean, pure, clear, sincere, correct


safi

clock, watch, hour


saa

clothing
nguo / nguo

coast, shore

pwani

coffee
kahawa

college
chuo / vyuo

company, corporation
shirika / mashirika

competition
mashindano

complete
kamili

condition
hali

cooked rice (not sticky rice)


wali

corner, horn of animal


pembe

corrugated iron
bati / mabati

country
nchi

cow
ng'ombe

craftsman, specialist
fundi / mafundi

cup
kikombe / vikombe

cupboard
kabati

date
tarehe

day
siku

the day before yesterday


juzi

daytime, noon, midday


mchana

different, various
mbalimbali

difficulty, problem
shida

doctor
daktari / madaktari

door
mlango / milango

doubt

shaka / mashaka

drum, traditional dance


ngoma

dry
-kavu

ear
sikio / masikio

early
mapema

earth
dunia

earth, soil
udongo

ease
urahisi

east
mashariki

easy, cheap (of price)


rahisi

education
elimu

egg
yai / mayai

eight
-nane

eighty
themanini

electricity, lightning
umeme

elephant
tembo

empty, unmixed, meaningless


-tupu

end
mwisho

energy, effort, willingness to work


bidii

enough
-a kutosha

equal to, the same as


sawa na

equal, just so
sawa

especially
hasa

Europe

Ulaya

even a little bit


hata kidogo

even, up to, until


hata

every, each
kila

example
mfano / mifano

except
ila

exclamation of surprise
kumbe

explanation
maelezo

expression of sympathy
pole

eye
jicho / macho

face
uso / nyuso

factory, workshop
kiwanda / viwanda

family, relative
jamaa

far
mbali

farm
shamba / mashamba

farmer
mkulima / wakulima

father
baba

feces, latrine
choo / vyoo

fever
homa

a few (only countable nouns)


-chache

fifty
hamsini

finger, toe
kidole / vidole

the first
-a kwanza

five

-tano

flour
unga

food (typically staples)


chakula / vyakula

for example
kwa mfano

fork
uma / nyuma

forty
arobaini

foundation
msingi / misingi

four
-nne

Friday (Muslim assembly day)


Ijumaa

friend
rafiki

from,kutoka
toka

fruit
tunda / matunda

gate, huge door


lango / malango

gift, present, prize


zawadi

giraffe
twiga

girl
msichana / wasichana

good, beautiful
-zuri

good, excellent, good quality


bora

good, fine, morally good


-ema

goodbye
kwa heri

government
serikali

great day, holiday


sikukuu

great, pre-eminent
-kuu

greetings, peace
salaam

Original Alphabetical

juu
high, above, up

chini
down, below, under

-kaa
sit, stay, live, remain

kidole
finger

vidole
fingers

mbele ya
in front of

mlango
door

milango
doors

nyuma ya
behind

-onyesha

show

-onyesha kidole
point

picha
picture

sawasawa
correctly, ok, alright

-alika
invite

-ambiwa
be told

arusi
wedding

asili
origin

badala ya
instead of

dini
religion

-fuata
follow

-funga
tie, close, shut

-funga ndoa
tie the marriage, marry

kadhalika
likewise, similary

kanisa
church

makanisa
churches

karamu
feast

kiasili
traditional, original way

kidini
religious way

kienyeji
native way, local way, local custom

kihindi
Indian way or custom

kiislamu
Moslem way or custom

kikristo
Christian way or custom

kiyahudi

Jewish way or custom

-kubaliwa
be accepted, be allowed

kufuata
according to

kuliko
more than

mahari
dowry

Mkirsto
Christian

Wakristo
Christians

mpango
plan

mipango
plans

mjumbe
representative

wajumbe
representatives

msichana
girl

wasichana
girls

msikiti
mosque

misikiti
mosques

mvulana
boy

wavulana
boys

Mwislamu
Moslem

Wawislamu
Moslems

ndoa
marriage

-oa
marry (said of a man)

-olewa
be married (said of a woman)

-oana
marry each other

-ozwa

be married by

-peleka
send

pekee
alone, solitary

posa
proposal

maposa
proposals

-posa
engage, become engaged

sherehe
celebration

-sherehekea
celebrate

sheria
law

-tazama
look at

tofauti na
different from

dawa
medicine

sifa
good reputation

mnanasi
pineapple plant

minanasi
pineapple plants

ujuzi
knowledge, experience

utaratibu
order, orderliness, care, carefulness

afadhali
better, preferable

-chukua
take, carry

damu
blood

-enda zake
go one's way

hai
alive

hekima
common sense

hodari

brave, clever, skillful

-kali
sharp, bitter, fierce

-kataa
refuse, say no

kwao
their home, their place

maarifa
information, knowledge, facts

mara moja
at once

mfu
dead person

wafu
dead people

mfupa
bone

mifupa
bones

miongoni mwa
among

mwenzi
companion

wenzi
companions

mwenzao
their companion

wenzake
his companions

ngozi
skin

pori
wilderness, bush, uninhabited place

mapori
wildernesses, bushes, uninhabited places

rafiki
friend

marafiki
friends

-rudi
return

-rudisha
cause to return

-rudishia
return to/for

-ruka

fly, jump

-rukia
fly at, jump at

-shuka
come down, climb down, get down

simba
lion

-tia
put, place, set into

-tunza
care for

-ua
kill

uhai
principle of life, state of being alive

uhodari
courage, skill

uzima
wholeness

wale
those

-weka
put down

yule
that

-cheza
play

daktari
doctor

madaktari
doctors

dawa
medicine

fulani
so and so

homa
fever

jambo/mambo
matter, thing, affair

lazima
necessity

mpira
ball

mipira
balls

-piga

hit

-piga sindano
give injection

-pima
measure, examine

pole
expression of sympathy

sindano
needle

ugonjwa
sickness

magonjwa
sicknesses

-cheka
laugh

ghafula
suddenly

hadithi
story

hamu
desire

-ishia
finish up

-kubali
agree, accept

kuliko
more than

lo!
exclamation

-maliza
finish

mashindano
competition

mbio
speed, race

mjanja
clever person

wajanja
clever people

mwendo
way, manner of going, pace

miwendo
ways

-pita
pass

polepole

slowly slowly

-pumzika
rest

Yes!
Naam/Ndiyo

No!
Hapana/La

-elewa
to understand

-choka
to be tired

mgonjwa
sick

njaa
hungry

-sikia
to feel
to hear

kiu
thirsty

tafadhali
please?

pole/pole sana

Sorry
Very sorry

-sema
to speak

nina swali
I have a question

Samahani
I am sorry.

kwaherini
Good bye [plural]

Tukijaliwa
God wiling
If it is in our fate

leo
today

kesho
tomorrow

jana
yesterday

juzi
day before today

wiki
week

ijayo

next week

iliyopita
previous

mwaka
year

mchana
afternoon

usiku
night

asabuhi
morning

jioni
evening

hisia
feelings

-chelewa
to be late

nina wasi wasi


I am [have] anxiety/worried

-shtuka
to be shocked

-penda
to love/like

-soma
to read

-fanya kazi
to do/make

-enda/kwenda
to go

-jibu
to answer

-la
to eat

-uliza
to ask

-ja/kuja
to come

-cheza
to play

-cheza dansi
to dance

-jua
to know

-taka
to want/desire

-ishi

to live

-kaa
to stay

-sikiliza
to listen

-andika
to write

-oga mwili
to bathe

-ona
to see

-ondoka
to leave

-itwa
to be called/named

-piga mswaki
to brush teeth

-piga simu
to call on the phone

simu
phone

-hitimu
to graduate

-fuzu
to graduate

-nunua
to buy

-zungumza
to conservate

-amka
to wake up

-fahamu
to understand

-rudi
to return

-toka
to come from

-kumbuka
to remember

-agiza
to order

-sahau
to forget

-tazama
to watch

-vaa

to wear

-jifunza
to learn/study

-hitaji
to need

-zaliwa
to be born

-cheka
to laugh

-pika
to cook

-weza
to be able [to]

-pita
to pass

-pata
to find
to get

-tembelea
to visit

-zuru
to visit

-safiri

to travel

-fa
to die

-fariki
to die

-imba
to sing

-nywa
to drink

-safisha
to wash
to clean

-osha
to wash

-nawa
to wash
to clean

-eleza
to explain

-fika
to arrive

-furahi
to be happy

-hifadhi

to protect

-fundisha
to teach

-jenga
to build

-kata
to cut
to chop

-lima
to farm

-maliza
to finish

-oga
to bathe
to shower

-ogelea
to swim

-oa
to marry [for male]

-olewa
to marry [for female]

-omba
to ask
to pray

-ota
to dream

-panda
to climb

-panda baiskeli
to ride a bicycle

-paka rangi
to paint

-potea
to be lost

-poteza
to lose

-pumzika
to rest

-saidia
to help

-sherehekea
to celebrate

-tawala
to rule/reign

-tawaliwa
to be ruled

-tembea

to walk

-tengeneza
to make
to craft

-anguka
to fall
to fail

-chakua
to take

-ambia
to tell

-leta
to bring

-letea
to be brought

-paleka
to send

palekea
to be sent

-fikiri
to think

-fikiria
to be thought of

chuo kikuu

university/college

ndizi, ndizi
bananas

kiasi, viasi
potato

timu
team

mji, miji
city

motofaa
apple

filamu
film

kitabu, vitabu
book

nchi
country

kipindi
show

gari, magari
car

motokaa
car

chakula
food

nje
outside

meza
table

safari
trip

ndefu
long

lakini
but

treni
train

kichwa
head

nyumba
home

mnara
building
tower

familia
family

mlima
mountain

paka
cat

binti
daughter

mkulima
farmer
Original Alphabetical

maji
water

usiku
night

shangazi
aunt

ugonjwa
sickness

magonjwa
sicknesses

unasema age...?
how do you say...?

keshokutwa
the day after tomorrow

mwisho
last

unakwenda vipi polisi?


how do you get to the police station?

kukufahamu/kuwafahamu
to have met you (singular/plural)

mwzaji
shopkeeper

januari
january

februari
february

machi
march

aprili
april

mei
may

juni
june

julai
july

agosti

august

septemba
september

oktoba
october

novemba
november

disemba
december

leo ni tarehe...
today's date it...

mwezi wa...
month of

mwaka wa...
year of

mtoto wa tano
fifthe kid

watoto watano
five kids

kitabu cha tano


fifth book

vitabu vitano
five books

ufunguo wa sita
sixth key

funguo wa sita
six keys

ishirini
20

thelathini
30

arobaini
40

hamsini
50

sitini
60

sabini
70

themanini
80

tisini
90

mia moja
100

elfu moja

1000

wewe ulizaliwa lini?


when were you born?

nilizaliwa...
I was born...

sufuri
0

tensi
tenses

napresent tense (prefix)

lipast tense (prefix)

tafuture tense (prefix)

hojaji
questionnaire

siku za wiki
days of the week

jumatatu
monday

jumanne
tuesday

jumatano
wednesday

alhamisi
thursday

ijumaa
friday

jumamosi
saturday

jumapili
sunday

hali ya hewa
condition of weather

joto
hot

mvua
rain

baridi
cold

wanaweza
they are able

unaweza
you are able

anaweza

s/he is able

ninaweza
i am able

tunaweza
we are able

mnaweza
you (pl) are able

nimimi verb prefix

uwewe verb prefix

ayeye verb prefix

tusisi verb prefix

mnnyinyi verb prefix

wawao verb prefix

mtume
prophet

mtumwa
slave

...ni ngeli gani?


...is which noun?

mtihani
test

kuandaa
to prepare

tutawasilisha
we will present

-angu
my/mine

-ako
yours (singular)

-ake
his/hers

-etu
ours

-enu
yours (plural)

-ao
theirs

haijambo.
habari za jamaa yako?

ninataka

i want

kufanya
to do

hapa
here (definite)

hapo
there (definite)

pahali
place (definite)

huku
this side/here (indefinite)

huko
over there (indefinite)

mahali
place (indefinite)

humu
here (inside a specific location)

humo
there (inside a specific location)

mahali
inside a specific place

una miaka mingapi?


how old are you?

naomba unipe hoteli na/au texsi tafadhali


I am requesting the you give me a hotel and/or taxi please

naomba
I request/pray

unipe
you give me

ninataka
I want

kufanya
to do

kazi ya nyumbani
homework

hodi! hodi! hodi wenyewe!


while knocking...

karibu! karibu mgeni!


welcome guest!

nimeolewa
a man has married me

nimeoa
I am married (males only)

chuo kikuu cha


university of

serikali

government

kukaa
to live

kuishi
to stay

ninaitwa
I am called

afrika kusini
south africa

kusini ya Afrika
southern africa

nina miaka _____


I have ____ years

florida iko wapi?


where is florida?

florida ipo kusini kwa nchi ya marekani


florida is in the south of america

mashariki
east

kushoto
left

kulia
right

moja kwa moja


straight

kisha
and then

kwenda
to go

makutano ya barabara ya...


junction of road of...

kaskazini
north

magharibi
west

darasa lipo upande wa kulia


the class is on the right side

utamaduni
culture

ulifanya nini DC?


what did you do in DC?

tulionana
we saw each other

nilikwenda
I went

kitaifa

national

mjinga
idiot

nilipenda
I liked

namna ya kwenda
directions

katikati
middle

ramani
map

tupo hapa
we are here

naja sasa hivi


I am coming right now

jina lako ni nani?


your name is?

jina lake ni nani?


his/her name is?

majina yao ni...na...


their names are...and...

mtaa
neighborhood

kupenda
to like

mwaka ujao
next year

-maliza
finish

theluji
snow

kasoro
without, except

baada ya
after

kabla ya
before

chakula cha mchana


lunch

chakula cha usiku


dinner

chemshakinywa
breakfast

kisha, halafu
then

hivi

about, around

mpaka, hadi
until

kati ya
between

nguo
clothes

hesabu
math

soka
soccer

kazi za shule
schoolwork

kamili
complete

kazi ya nyumbani
homework

jamaa
family

baba wa kambo
stepdad

pacha
twin