Although you do not need Swahili to visit Kenya, you may want to know a few phrases. Here are some of the more common Swahili words you may hear and want to use. If you click on the Swahili words you will be able to hear the pronunciations. The audio files are in wav format.
Greetings:These are basically the equivalent of "Hi, how are you?" with the response being "good or well".
Where is...To ask where something is you would say "wapi?" along with whatever it is you want to find. For example to ask where the post office is you'd say "Wapi posta?" Here are some other places you may want to find...
A form of transportation
Matatu (daladala in Tanzania)
Even if you were to say "Wapi post office?" mixing Swahili and English that's alright. It's perfectly acceptable to mix the two languages in Kenya. In Tanzania, however, they are more formal with their Swahili and it's best to stick with Swahili grammar rules as much as possible.
Other Useful Phrases:
|Thank you |
Thank you very much
How many shillings?
How much money?
Oh yes, if you hear someone talking about "mzungu" - that's you!