SPEAK TANZANIA

Season 1 Episode 14

TANZANIAN LANGUAGES

Though there are two official languages in Tanzania, they are mainly used as lingua francas. There is no one language that the majority of the population speaks natively.

1. Swahili… (By now, you should be a fluent Swahili basic speaker if you’ve been following this page)

Swahili is an interesting language as only about 15 million people speak it as a first language, maximum. A big portion of Swahili vocabulary has Arabic origins, due to contact with Arabic-speaking traders in the past. It is a national language in three other countries besides Tanzania: Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Greetings

  • Hello = jambo/ hujambo/ ​salama
  • How are you? = habari gani
  • Fine (response) = nzuri
  • Goodbye = kwa heri/ kwa herini (more than one peson)
  • See you later = tutaonana
  • Nice to meet you = nafurahi kukuona
  • Goodnight = lala salama
  • Yes = ndiyo
  • No = hapana
  • Thank you = asante
  • Please = tafadhali
  • OK = sawa

2. Maasai

Just like most languages of African origins, including Swahili, Maasai is spoken by the ethnic group that shares its name. Maasai is spoken in the northern region of Tanzania as well as southern Kenya, where the about 800,000 remaining Maasai live.

Greetings

  • Hi = Olee (adult), Layeni (young)
  • What is your name? = Kekijiaa erkana
  • Nice to meet you = Sidai kinotote
  • How are you? = Supai (younger than 18) supai papa (adult male) Takwenya (adult women)
  • I’m good, thanks = Eepa, asher (both young male, female and adult male) Eekuo (adult female)
  • And you? = Supai siye? Takwenya siye?
  • Do you speak Maasai? = Ero e ngutuk e maa?

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