Is Swahili a UN language

The most important words for a trip to Tanzania

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But it's unlikely that you speak Swahili well enough to be able to express yourself perfectly. Even if you have learned a few words at the end, it will not be enough for a conversation in this language. Since your counterpart will probably speak no German either, English is the only solution to a conversation.

National language Swahili

Swahili is the official language of Tanzania amid hundreds of spoken languages ​​and dialects. You may not be aware of this, but you certainly know a word or two of Swahili. A "safari" is definitely on the plan for your trip through Tanzania. You guessed it: the word "safari" is Swahili, it means "travel".

"Hakuna Matata", which you probably know from the cartoon film The Lion King, means "There are no problems". "Hakuna Matata" and "Pole Pole" (slowly) seem to be the country's motto: you can hear them on every street corner. You will quickly find that it is relatively easy to memorize a few of the most widely used words in the Bantu languages. And even if you only say hello in the official language to start a conversation, your counterpart will be very happy about this effort! English is sufficient for everything else.


Even if you provide the vocabulary list at the end of the article with the most important words for a stay in Tanzania, this will hardly be enough for a conversation. And it's also unlikely that you will run into a Tanzanian who speaks German. You shouldn't expect that. And since you are equally unlikely to speak any of the 125 native languages, you'd better brush up on your English.

The Shakespeare language is understood throughout the national territory. Everyone involved in tourism and a large majority of the population speak fluent English. Of course, the accent differs a bit from the British one, but it is easy to understand and you will get along with it very quickly. If you haven't spoken English in a long time, you should practice a little before you travel. Because English will be your only means of communication in Tanzania to get in touch with the population.

Basic idioms / common expressions

Good day good eveningJambo
How are you?Habari Gani?
Good thanks and you?Vizuri sana na wewe
I understand / I don't understandNina fahamu / Sina fahamu
Good daycaribou
Many ThanksAsante sana
Excuse me pleaseSamahani
My name is...Ninaitwa
no thanksHapana asante
Yes NoNdiyo / Hapana
Here you goTafadhali / shika

Trade / Buy

How much does it cost?At gani?
That is a good priceAt nafuu
It is too expensiveGhali sana
Can you bring the price down?Unaweza kupunguza at
I would like to buy thisNinataka nunua
I like it / I don't like itNinapenda / Sina penda
Just browsing.Ninatazama do

Mode of Transport

I want to go to ...Ninataka enda
I want to rent a ...Ninataka kodi


Where is ...? / How do I get to / to ...?Wapi? / Vipi enda?
railway stationStesheni
City centerKatikati ya mji
Is it far?Ni caribou? / Ni mbali?
straightMoja kwa moja
Left RightKushoto / Kulia
North South West Eastnorth / sud / ovest / est


one two three four five six seven eight nine tenmoja, mbili, tatu, nne, tano, sita, saba, nane, tisa, kumi
twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixtyishirini, thelathini, arobaini, hamsini, sitini
seventy, eighty, ninetysabini, themathini, tisini

Times / date and days

What time is it?Wakati gani?
Today (tomorrow / noon / evening)Leo (asubuhi / mchana / jioni)
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday SundayJumatatu, jumanne, jumatano, alhamisi, ijumaa, jumamosi, jumapili
I'm on vacation hereNinalikizoni / safarini
I am here to workNinakazikwa

To table!

I'm hungry / I'm thirstyNina njaa / nina kiu
Good AppetiteKufurahia mlo wako
Bottom up!Maisha marefu!
It was great!Ladha!
What do you recommend?Nini ushauri?
I'm vegetarianNina mboga
Not sharp! (I don't like it spicy)Viungo bila!
It is too hot!Moto sana!
I have an allergynon c'è un corrispondente
glutennon c'è un corrispondente
I take / I would like to haveNinataka
Tea / coffeeChaï / kahawa
Beer WineBia / mvinyo
The Bill pleaseAidha tafadhali

Health / Emergency / Safety

I have to see a doctorNinahaja ona daktari
Call a doctor / ambulanceIta daktari
Where is the hospital?Hospitali wapi?
I do not feel goodSina sana
I am in pain hereUnaniuma
Where are the restrooms?Jisaidia wapi?
I've lost my wayNinapotea


Good day !Siku nzuri!
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Updated October 8, 2018
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