It has been said that Swahili is one of the easiest languages to learn. Here are a few basic things to know about Swahili:
"a" is pronounced like the "a" in taco.
"e" is pronounced like the "e" in egg.
"i" is pronounced like the "ee" in seed.
"o" is pronounced like the "o" in old.
"u" is pronounced like the "oo" in boot.
BASIC SENTENCE STRUCTURE
Swahili verbs always carry with them the subject (and sometimes the object) and the tense. For example, Ninakula, is a complete sentence which means "I am eating". Ni- prefix stands for the subject "I", the -na- affix stands for "am" showing the tense i.e. the "present continuous" tense, and -kula is the root of the verb "eat".
Another example, Alitupa zawadi which means "He/She gave us gifts". First of all, note that in the Swahili language, the pronouns are the same for all the genders - he, him, she, and her are not distinguishable in Swahili - same words, prefixes, affixes and suffixes are used. The well sought after "gender equality" is in-built in the Swahili language!! Now back to the sentence. The prefix A- stands for the subject "He" or "She", the -li- affix indicates the past tense, the -tu- affix stands for the object "us", and -pa is the root of the verb "give".
Click on one of the buttons below to learn more...