Published - September 10, 2023

A Beginner's Guide: Kiswahili Vocabulary Translated to English

Learning a new language can be a fun and rewarding experience. One language that has gained popularity in recent years is Kiswahili, also known as Swahili. Spoken by millions of people in East Africa, Kiswahili is not only a widely spoken language but also an official language in several African countries. In this beginner's guide, we will explore some common Kiswahili vocabulary translated to English, helping you take your first steps towards learning this beautiful language.

Greetings and Basic Phrases

Let's start with some basic greetings and phrases that are often used in Kiswahili:

  1. Jambo - Hello
  2. Habari - How are you?
  3. Asante - Thank you
  4. Samahani - Excuse me
  5. Tafadhali - Please
  6. Ndio - Yes
  7. Hapana - No
  8. Ndiyo - Okay

Numbers and Time

Knowing the numbers can be incredibly useful when traveling or shopping in a Kiswahili-speaking country. Here are some numbers and time-related words in Kiswahili:

  1. Moja - One
  2. Mbili - Two
  3. Tatu - Three
  4. Nne - Four
  5. Tano - Five
  6. Sita - Six
  7. Saba - Seven
  8. Nane - Eight
  9. Tisa - Nine
  10. Kumi - Ten

Additionally, here are some time-related words:

  1. Saa - Hour
  2. Dakika - Minute
  3. Leo - Today
  4. Kesho - Tomorrow
  5. Jana - Yesterday
  6. Mchana - Afternoon
  7. Usiku - Night

Basic Travel Vocabulary

If you're planning to travel to a Kiswahili-speaking country, these basic travel-related words will come in handy:

  1. Ndege - Airplane
  2. Gari - Car
  3. Meli - Ship
  4. Jengo - Building
  5. Hoteli - Hotel
  6. Benki - Bank
  7. Kituo cha basi - Bus station
  8. Stesheni ya treni - Train station
  9. Soko - Market
  10. Choo - Bathroom

Food and Drinks

Exploring the local cuisine is an essential part of any travel experience. Here are some Kiswahili words related to food and drinks:

  1. Chakula - Food
  2. Maji - Water
  3. Chai - Tea
  4. Kahawa - Coffee
  5. Maziwa - Milk
  6. Mlo - Meal
  7. Mchele - Rice
  8. Nyama - Meat
  9. Matunda - Fruits
  10. Mbegu - Seeds

Health and Emergencies

In case of any emergencies or health issues while traveling, knowing these words can be crucial:

  1. Daktari - Doctor
  2. Hospitali - Hospital
  3. Msaada - Help
  4. Maumivu - Pain
  5. Dharura - Emergency
  6. Tatizo - Problem
  7. Kuumwa - To feel sick
  8. Dawa - Medicine

Recommended Tool: YOU-TLDR

Learning a new language requires a variety of resources, and one tool that can assist you in your language learning journey is YOU-TLDR. This web app allows you to effortlessly summarize, download, search, and interact with YouTube videos in your language. By using this tool, you can access a wide range of language learning videos and other useful content to enhance your Kiswahili vocabulary and overall language skills.


To get started with YOU-TLDR, simply visit their website at and explore the features and resources they offer.


Learning Kiswahili vocabulary is a fantastic way to connect with the rich culture and people of East Africa. By familiarizing yourself with these basic words and phrases, you will be able to navigate through everyday situations and make meaningful connections with native Kiswahili speakers. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep exploring and immersing yourself in the language as much as possible. Karibu kujifunza Kiswahili! (Welcome to learning Kiswahili!)

Unlock the Power of YouTube with YOU-TLDR

Effortlessly Summarize, Download, Search, and Interact with YouTube Videos in your language.