Learning Swahili

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May 12th, 2005, 04:58 PM
  #1
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Learning Swahili

My Husband and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary with a Tanzanian Safari this August and want to learn about the language and culture. While doing some research on the subject I found an interesting web site I would like to share:

http://www.glcom.com/hassan/index.html

I ordered the "Teach Yourself Swahili" interactive CD and nimefurahi sana (I am very pleased). I do not have a "real" teacher, so if that was put together incorrectly, someone tell me, tafadhali. Pronunciation has been suprisingly easier than expected and though the verb conjugation is very different from the Latin languages, the method seems quite practical.

Unfortunately, it can only be used on a computer. I would like to find an audio CD to augment my efforts. Jina langu Jodi, if anyone has an answer to this question or just wants to chat more on this subject. Baadaye.
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May 12th, 2005, 05:50 PM
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Hujambo-
Mimi nafahamu kiiswahili kidogo. I bought the Pimsleur tapes last month and finished off the 5 tapes. I'm trying to figure out what to do next. Like yourself, I'm going to Tanzania this June with my family.
Kwa hari,
Howard
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May 12th, 2005, 07:30 PM
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Sijambo, Asente Howard for your reply. Ninasema Kiswahili moja wiki. Ulinunua wapi the tapes? My Swahili vocabulary is very limited and I do not have a physical dictionary so am resorting to speaking "Swahiglish" to practice here with you. I hope you do not mind. Jodi
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May 12th, 2005, 08:56 PM
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Hujambo Jody. This is pretty funny. From the tapes, I know how to say (though absolutely no idea how to spell);
How are you? - Habari gani?
Very well, thank you and you? - Nzuri sana, asante, na wewe?
Where is Uhuru Street? - Icko wapi Ngia Uhura?

as well as a whole bunch of other disjointed phrases. I guess that I'm fine as long as I am talking to someone else who has done the same tapes.

I can actually understand your "unasema kiiswahili moja" but what does wiki mean? (is that Swenglish?) Also, what's "Ulinunua"?

Wewe ungapenda kounya kiku na mimi. Pia, wapi are you going in Tanzania?
Howard
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May 16th, 2005, 07:58 PM
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Habari gani Howard?

Ndio, hini cheshi. Wiki is the word for week. moja wiki being 'one week' Ulinunua is my attempt to conjugate the verb nunua (to buy) "You bought where, the tapes?"

My turn for a translation. I think 'ungapenda' is a form of the verb "to like" and will guess 'kounya' is something about 'to know' or 'to meet'. However, samahani, I do not know the word 'kiku' ?

Lini vimo Tanzania, tutasafiri Tarangire(Kikoti Camp), Serengeti (Serena Lodge), Ngorongoro (Serena Lodge) na Zanzibar (Karafuu Beach Resort) Moja wiki safari.

Utasafiri haraka. Utakwenda wapi?

Kwaheri. Jodi
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May 17th, 2005, 10:08 AM
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Howard and Jodi, wewe (mutu) mbili ume fanya mimi cheka sana !

It was just the opposite for me. I learned to speak swahili from having been born and lived in Kenya for 18 years but never learned it formally in school. Thus I knew how to say things but not to write them. Now having since moved away for that same amount of time and never spoken it since, I'm much enjoying remembering the verbal communication that I so took for granted through your spirited conversations ! You are both good, so keep it up !

I admit "kounya kiku" has me stumped too, but I'll try help when I can.

Kwaheri, naa salaam

Mathieu.
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May 18th, 2005, 02:26 AM
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Hamjambo wanafunzi wa Kiswahili?

Have a look at The Kamusi Project http://www.yale.edu/swahili/

For a book with CD try Colloquial Swahili by Donovan McGrath and Lutz Marten.
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May 18th, 2005, 09:10 AM
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Asente sana Nyamera, kwa yako saidia.
Mwanafunzi Sijambo.

I will look for the McGrath/Martin Course when I leave here. The Haasan course has been invaluable for learning pronunciation, (you can click on a word or phrase over and over again until you can truly hear what you are reading) however, I would like a physical dictionary to take with me to Tanzania. I am hoping that is the book you referred to.

The Kamusi Project is fascinating. I have been using their Internet Living Swahili Dictionary which is becomming more and more helpful as I continue to learn.

Thank you again, to you, Mathieu and Howard for your incouragement. Fanya sheri. Karibu. Jodi
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May 18th, 2005, 11:07 AM
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Jodi, the McGrath/Marten is a step-by-step course with a glossary at the end. The best physical dictionary is the TUKI Swahili- English and English-Swahili dictionaries (2 books) by the Institute of Kiswahili Research University of Dar Es Salaam. It’s a bit heavy for travelling. The Teach Yourself Swahili Dictionary by D V Perrott is more concise.

Regarding “kounya”, “kuonya” is “to warn”, “kuongea” is “to talk”, and “kuonana” is “to see (each other)“. “Ungependa” is “you would like”. No idea what “kiku” is.

Safari njema mwezi wa nane. Mimi nitasafiri Kenya mwezi wa sita.
Susanna (Nyamera ni “topi” kwa Kiingereza)

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May 22nd, 2005, 10:09 PM
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Oops, I want to say "kitu"(means "something" and not "kike". Also "kounya" was an attempt to spell the Swahili word for "to drink". Remember. I am learning this strictly from tapes so I absolutely no idea how these words are spelled.

Howard
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May 22nd, 2005, 10:11 PM
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Oops, again, I meant "kiku" (the original misspelled word) and not "kike" (last post).
Oh, just forget it.
Howard
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May 23rd, 2005, 05:00 AM
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Howard,

Shei endelea. It is amazing to me that you can learn so much with only the tapes. I am so visual, I would never be able to break the phrases down into words without seeing them. Though, I believe you may be better prepared than I during your travels. I will have to take pen and paper to communicate with the locals.

My turn for correction. I ment to write 'mbili wiki safari' two weeks, not one.

Still curious as to what you are saying in the 'unapenda kounya kitu' sentence.

You leave for Africa soon I believe. Aali safari!

Jodi
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May 23rd, 2005, 08:33 AM
  #13
pdxatty
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Your swahili discussion motivated me to order "Teach Yourself Swahili" $16.32 (with audio cd) and the Rough Guide Swahili Phrasebook $4.90 from Overstock.com ($2.00 shipping). They also have a Pimsleur Sahili learner with audo cd for $60 plus but I thought I would give the cheaper one a try. I prefer audio c.d. than software for the flexibility. I have no idea whether these selections are any good but the price was right since my vaccinations are cutting into my travel budget for our July Kenya safari..
 
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May 23rd, 2005, 08:44 PM
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Hujambo Pdxatty,

I "feel your pain" literally and figuratively on the vaccinations. Just got my 2nd HEP A/B and Typhoid Shots today in fact.

Karibu. Utapenda kusema Kiswahili. Fanya sheri. Kwaheri, Jodi
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May 23rd, 2005, 09:22 PM
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Hujambo Susanna,

I failed to thank you for the lesson on the months of the year. Much like the days of the week, so I better get with it and learn those numbers. Though I have by no means mastered the concept of subject and object in the verb conjugation, the fog is lifting na ninapenda kusema Kiswahili. Safiri njema kwa wewe. Jodi
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